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Priceline.com

This is a description of my work!

Priceline.com

Building the best responsive flight experience on the web

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internship deliverables

Production UI Assets
A/B Testing Iterations
New Feature MVP Wireframes

MY ROLE

UI / UX Responsive Web Design
Wireframing
User Flows, Experience Mapping

Project Timeframe

June - September 2016
10 Week Internship

 

Priceline was my first design internship, and I was incredibly grateful for the chance to work on multiple fantastic projects this past summer.  During these projects I learned a ton about the “real-world” design process, the handoff to development, and most importantly working as part of a design team that used an extensive pre-existing style guide.

 
 

During my 10 weeks, I worked on three main projects — A/B iterative tests, the Priceline intern project proposal, and the final minimum viable product mockups for an exciting new feature

 

1. A/B design iteration tests

Most of my time at Priceline was spent assisting the Flights product team on creating a new mobile experience for booking flights, where I worked side-by-side with the design team.

2. Priceline Intern Project

At the beginning of the summer, all interns at Priceline were grouped into interdisciplinary teams and given a problem to solve relating to a category of business at the company. 

3. Fare Lock Product Feature MVP

At the end of my internship, I was given the opportunity to lead early ideation and design on an exciting new product feature that was in the pipeline.

 
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Day-to-Day Work

My average day at Priceline consisted of designing various small product features and visual bugfixes that were documented in our team JIRA board

 

One of the most unexpected parts of my internship was being treated as an employee from day one. I wasn’t assigned “intern work”. I actively contributed to the same projects my managers were tackling themselves. The combination of collaboration and independence I was given allowed me to maximize my impact in the short amount of time I was at the company.

 

Throughout the internship, I discovered that my design process would need to vary with different deliverables based on their time constraints.

 
 

Designers at Priceline has a robust internal visual style guide that allowed me to dig deeper and better test the UX flow of features I was implementing. Below are four of the many small projects, features, and fixes I worked on. The end deliverable was the result of several tests and design iterations being done, with each small element being tweaked to maximize conversion rate and mitigate frustration during the booking process.

 
 

One of the largest features I worked on was the Express deals listing tile. Express Deals are a huge revenue driver for the flights division, and are great deals for travelers who don’t mind making sacrifices in layover times or departure/arrival hours in exchange for a significantly lower cost flight. Designing a listing for this was much more complicated than our other flights being displayed because of the dynamic content.

One of the most important aspects of the Express Deals redesign was highlighting important information quickly and consistently across screen sizes, and in a variety of situations. Creating a “North Star” design allowed us to apply this consistent visual style across the listings for situations we currently have, as well as future-proof certain features by providing a modifiable template to work from. The current version that was put into production was the product of several different iteration of copy, text weight, and information hierarchy.

 
 
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Priceline Fare Lock

To finish out my internship, I was given the unique opportunity to design an MVP for an exciting new product feature called Priceline Fare Lock

 

Fare Lock is like insurance for the price of your flight — For a fee, you can lock in the price of your flight now to prevent paying more if you buy it later.

 

Fare lock was an important product feature that was in the pipeline, but with every designer on the team tackling other projects it was put on hold. I offered to take up some of the work, and ended up designing a beginning-to-end experience of how it would work. This was later implemented as an MVP to a percentage of our users. It was a unique opportunity for me to meet with stakeholders, create the whole flow from scratch, and then handoff the final specifications to our development team.

If you price lock a flight at $100 for an additional fee of $10, and then the price goes up to $160 before you book, you just saved yourself $50. This feature is a game-changer for indecisive travelers and group travel organizers.

 

Because the fare lock concept isn’t one that people are often familiar with, explaining the feature in an easy-to-understand manner was important.

 

One of the most difficult aspects of this project was choosing the copy carefully. A large problem we anticipated centered around customer credit cards being charged the full amount for a flight, then being reimbursed by our fare lock partner, Flyr Inc. Explaining this process concisely to our customers was incredibly important.

 
 
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Intern Project

In addition to our day-to-day work, interns at Priceline were grouped together into interdisciplinary teams to solve a problem in different products pitched by the leadership team

 

intern team question

“How can Priceline semi-opaque flight inventory be used more effectively?”

 

Conveniently, I was placed on the Flights project team which gave me a head start in understanding the problem because that was what I worked on regularly. Semi-opaque inventory was our internal name for our Priceline exclusive flights, where details of your flight aren’t revealed to you until after you book). After two weeks of pitching ideas to each other, we settled on two product features that centered around social media outreach.

Priceline hasn't typically been a strong choice with the millennial and young-adult market, which is surprising because this demographic places monetary value over other constraints such as time or location. Using social media such as Facebook, and more importantly Facebook Messenger allows us to engage this market in a unique way. Our ideation started as a simple Instagram travel sweepstakes contest that could be entered post-booking, but through observing behavior in our own personal social networks, we found a more effective tool for outreach: our friends themselves

Ads on social networks typically have low engagement, but one of the reasons that scam links on Facebook spread so quickly is because your friends spread them, not a company page. By leveraging social connections on Facebook instead of company pages, we make our content seem much more genuine: Enter our two developed features, Dispatch and Flightvite.

 
 
 

Travel is often a shared experience — something we can leverage as a way to share exclusive deals with our customers.

 

The first of two product features we developed for this was called Dispatch. People who book with Priceline have the option to send a link to friends via Facebook with exclusive deals and to update their friends and family about their trip. 

Writing copy for this shared post was incredibly important because it had to pass the so-called “BS filter”. The BS filter is something that we all have, where if we see something online (e.g. a post or picture) that has certain keywords we immediately disregard it as an advertisement. By pitching Dispatch as an asset instead of sponsored content to our customers, there would be more organic growth than traditional social media advertising. Giving the customer genuine utility (usefulness) we believed would translate to a much higher conversion rate than a simple monetary incentive. 

 
 

Coordinating travel plans is hard — what if there was visual confirmation your entire party successfully booked with you?

 

The second product feature we developed, Flightvite, is much simpler in process than Dispatch. Flightvite is a flight invitation you can send to your friends while still in the booking process.

What we found through preliminary research is that group booking can be exponentially more frustrating, especially when the whole group hasn’t yet committed to booking. Sending out invitations to a flight via Facebook Messenger integration allowed for something we called “asynchronous booking”; a group of people booking a flight at different times, together. While limited in functionality due to ticket reservation rules, the ability to see if your friends booked gives someone the confidence to book themselves. 

 
 

By creating two different social features, we are able to target specific social personalities simultaneously.

 

The psychology of purchasing decisions was something we also researched and was an interesting step I had not considered so much with design. With big purchases such as plane tickets, however, taking into account customer emotions and their motives for purchasing were just as important as providing an easy to use tool to do so. The leadership team was impressed with the fidelity of product we were able to produce in such a short amount of time, as well as the customer-centered thinking behind our decisions.