This is hostel one

I used to work at the hostel one chain, more specifically I worked for one of their hostels in Sevilla. This gave me unique user insight, both when it came to their frustrations and goals.

Community and wellbeing are important for the staff and guests alike at hostel one, this app tries to solve the most occurred complaints from our guests.

Goals

Identify users’ pain and present a potential design solution trough user research and empathy.

Main pain points

The hostel one chain has a website, but it is not mobile friendly, given that most of our guest are travelers, which means that they tend to pack quite light. This again means that they can’t bring their laptop.

As a result, the potential guests at a hostel one hostel will be frustrated because they find it hard to book a room through their phone. This will in most cases lead to lower turnover rates. This is also a big reason of why I chose to develop this idea mainly for a mobile device.

Below you can see the users most frequent pain points, and how my design can decrease their pain.

Solving for pain

Users find it hard to book a room

Users often said that they found it confusing/hard to book a room. I hope that presenting the room options in a clear way will make it easier to book a room. Additionally, the user can see the whole process on the top of the screen while booking.

I hope that this will give the user assurance and transparency trough out the booking process.

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Users would like to feel more included in the hostel one community.

From the beginning the user is presented with the home screen, the spotlight section which features deals and news will make them feel included in the hostel one chain.

Additionally, the user can have a look at the activities within their hostel that they are staying at. I belive that a section for activities will invite my users to take part in the welcoming community of hostel one.

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some users felt betrayed because of lack of honesty.

some users felt betrayed or tricked upon arrival, because the message that the hostel was putting out was not in line with the hostel upon arrival. Therefore, user trust was broken, which in return damages the hostel one brand.

with a wholesome review system and an individual review system from non-biased guests that have experienced the hostel before will ease and persuade new users to act with confidence and book a room.

Design process

User interview

Name: Anna Carolina

Age: 21

Occupation: Student
Nationality: Italy

 

Anna Carolina was a guest at hostel one. It was her first time staying with the hostel one chain, it was also her first time in Sevilla. Additionally, she was also traveling alone. Which meant that she would like to get to know other people during her stay. She stayed with hostel one in Sevilla for six days. This interview took place during her last day, this is her interpretation of the hostel one experience.

Goals for this interview

Identify Anna`s pain points in the process of booking a room, but also identify how a design solution can enhance her stay at hostel one.

Question 1:

Is it okay with you that I use the answers you give in this interview for a personal project?

Answer:

That is totally fine with me

Question 2:

How did you hear about the hostel one chain?

Answer:

I heard about it from a friend, who had a great time with hostel one in Barcelona.

Question 3:

After hearing about the hostel chain how did you go about booking a room?

Answer:

I started to go to hostelone.com

Question 4:

Did you find enough information about the hostel you wanted to stay in?

Answer:

No, I did not, I had to go to hostelworld to read about the hostel I wanted to stay at.

Question 5:

Did you find booking a room easy on hostelone.com?

Answer:

No, I especially found it hard on my phone.

Question 6:

Did you enjoy the activities set up by the hostel?

Answer:

They were great, especially for solo travelers like myself. I found it hard to know when the activities were, and what we would be doing.

Question 7:

Lastly, how did you enjoy your stay overall?

Answer:

I loved my stay here, but I felt that the description of the hostel and the actual hostel were two totally different hostels.

solving for pain

How might we?

How-Might-We questions are a way to frame ideation, and often used for launching brainstorms. How-Might-We questions might prompt an array of fruitful ideas. The goal is to create questions that provoke meaningful and relevant ideas. Good How Might We should give both a narrow enough frame to let me know where to start my Brainstorm, but also broad enough to give me room to explore wild ideas. These questions will be in the back of my mind when proceeding to the ideation stage.

How might we...

Persona

The role of personas is always important in every project. In this project it played the role of reminding me of who my users are. This was useful to have in the back of my mind throughout the design process. From my research it was this persona that fit the most to the users that I encountered during my stay at hostel one. Additionally, the development of the persona increased my empathy for my users further.

User insight

I have concluded that these are my user's main pain points. This information is gathered thanks to user research. 

Users do not find any written Information about the hostel they want to stay at, this might discourage users to book a room.

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Users found booking hard, especially on their phones.

Users rarely knew about the activities that the hostel was planning to do, and where the activities were taken place.

Users felt that the description of the hostel and the hostel upon arrival were not inline. This might break users trust.

Wireframes

Wireframes allows me to test out user flows quickly in a low fidelity environment. it is an excellent way of trying ideas in a fast-phased environment, this was exactly what I needed after conducting user research. Wireframes were used to try layouts that would meet my user’s needs. Additionally, wireframes let me test out UX heuristics and ideas before spending a lot of time and recourses on a high- fidelity product.

Screen 1 - Home

Screen 4 - Activities

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Screen 2 - Pick hostel

wireframe2.png

Screen 5 - Review

wireframe5.png

Screen 3  - your hostel

Screen 6 - booking

User flow

User flow allows me to map out how much effort the user must go through to perform a task. I tend to do multiple flows throughout the design process, if a common task is done in more than three clicks, I might have to reconsider my design solution. Journey map allows me to routinely check if the user is experiencing more pain than necessary when achieving their goal.

UI/UX Heuristics testing

color theory

Blue is the color of trust, the bright blue gradient is aimed at the young audience at hostel one. The blue and pink color is complementary colors, these colors are chosen to achieve harmony and an inviting feel.

Dont lose search

“Some people (search-dominant users), will almost always look for a search box as they enter a site.”
Principle by Steven Krug, don’t make me think.

Affordance

Drop shadow affords that the section is clickable. Buttons are also finger friendly. principle by Don Norman

Present few choices

The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices. The user will also feel less overwhelemed. principle: Hick`s law

Provide signposts

Users still cling to their back buttons

it’s important to show where the user is always. Principle by: Steve Krug

There’s not much of a penalty for guessing wrong. Unlike firefighting, the penalty for guessing wrong on a website is just a click or two of the back buttons. Principle by: Steve Krug, don’t make me think.

Color theory

Orange is the color of attention, the color here sticks out from the blue design, which draws attention. It is also big. Which encourages activity.

Layout

A 1x1 grid system gives a feeling of harmony and order. This is done to hopefully convey trust and stability. The grid is also in place to increase consistency further on.

Feedback

The button is in an active state, this gives feedback to the user that this is where the user is right now.

Affordance

a cut on this picture affords that this section is scrollable horizontally. Principle by: Don Norman.

color, layout and spacing is consistence throughout all the screens from beginning to end. Consistency implies stability, and people always want to feel like they are in good hands.

consistency

grouping related elements near each other will make it easier for the user to scan the page.

Group related objects near each other

Simplify choices for the user by breaking complex tasks into smaller steps. Principle: Hick`s Law

Affordance

the inner shadow of this card affords that it is selected.

Feedback

The button lights up after a room is selected, this gives feedback to the user that they can proceed.

Conclusion

I hope that this design would ease the user's pain before and during their stay with hostel one. Communities at all hostel one hostels around the world can now be a cohesive unit and enjoy their shared activities together. All in one place.