Making travel 're-search' simple

At Cleartrip, we’ve always been passionate about delivering the very best user experiences we can. Observation is one of the key tools we use to refine our products. We’re huge believers in the power of observation – nothing delivers insight into user-behaviour and usability like it. We regularly take what we observe and use it to make our products better.

A recent analysis of user-search behaviour on our site showed that nearly two-thirds of our users perform the exact same searches multiple times before they actually make a booking. On average, users perform the same search five times, and over three days, before finally making a booking. Looking at the data, it was blindingly obvious that we needed to make this ‘re-search’ process dramatically easy for our users.

It was also obvious that delivering an elegant solution to our users would involve changing our home page. At Cleartrip, we’ve had to work incredibly hard to maintain the simplicity of our home page – it may look simple from the outside, but it takes a monumental amount of work and commitment to keep it simple; so, we have an inbuilt allergy to changing our homepage. The only way to really get a change to our home page approved is by proposing a change which makes the home page unequivocally, indisputably better.

There, in a nut, lay our design challenge – the most elegant solution required changing the home page, but the home page is massively resistant to change.

Adding clutter to the home page is a surefire way to stir up our anti-change allergens, so any design would have to add something completely new to the home page without adding any clutter.

To work within that constraint, we applied the Accordion design pattern to ‘make room’ without adding clutter – a single accordion unit with two separate panels; one for our promotional links and one for quick access to your recent searches. Only one panel is visible at a time and users can switch between panels with ease.

The recent searches panel in the accordion displays three rows of information for your last three searches. Each row shows the parameters for your last search – cities and dates. We didn’t think that just showing you your last search was enough, so we added the cheapest current price for your search and how the fare has changed since the time you did your last search. Finally, we made each row clickable so that you can ‘re-search’ your travel with just one click.

We liked this design so much that we’re introducing the travel ‘re-search’ feature for our flight, hotel and train searches simultaneously.

We hope we’ve made your travel ‘re-search’ simpler – one less thing to remember and one less search form between you and your travel.

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