[Design nuance] Switcher icon

Cleartrip for past 10 years have always stood for Travel. It’s always tough for any company to break out of it’s positioning & offer new set of products & features. With recently launched Cleartrip Local, we faced similar such situation. The most challenging part while designing local was to fit it in the same app. It was not just adding few more icons in the product line up but inherently positioning Local and Travel as 2 modes. Local had to be at an equal level as Travel.

We gave a deep thought about whether it should be a different app or the same. But of course travel is not as frequent as going for a day outing, so we decided to accommodate local experience in the same and now you don’t have to download another app. If the app has to operate in 2 modes then not only we have to establish this conceptually, but also visually creating levels.

We set out with following goals
  1. Same app, 2 modes
  2. Switching between the 2 modes to be made super simple and accessible
  3. Educate people about Travel & Local modes every time the Cleartrip app is launched
To meet these goals we did a number of iterations, one leading to another. We would like to show you the journey of how the interface evolved.


Iteration # 1 – Extending tab bar

Considering one very old post, there was no debate about showing the navigation first. Get the user to do his frequent task without any taps. So the first and obvious iteration was to retain the tab bar and add a “more” button which expands the navigation to show more options. Not even remotely acceptable.



Iteration # 2 – Color coding Tavel & Local

Color code travel and local. Blue stands for travel and yellow stands for local. Really? I asked my self and gave it a shot but was not working. Mainly because it’s too tough for user to first associate with colors and then to identify the number of products within. So rejected.



Iteration # 3 – Creating visual seperation

In iteration # 2, I felt there is still scope to explore further. May be the colors are not too easy on the eye and needs some learning curve. So tried another approach with black and yellow, creating a differentiator to establish sections. Still not convinced.



Iteration # 4 – Flattening Travel and Local

Discarded the entire thought and looked at it with a fresh perspective. A lot of people in the design team were convinced with the following approach. We just have 5 main tabs in the tab bar. Search, Travel, Local, You and more. And then within each tab we have segmented controls to show individual products. I know it’s not a regular case, but if someone had to go from Hotel details to Activity details, they had to tap some 8 times. So this was definitely out.



Iteration # 5 – Creating 2 prominent modes

Lets merge last 2 iterations and see if we can come up with some other variation. Not happening again.



Iteration # 6 – Explore posibilities

By this time our anxiety levels were on there peak. We decided to go all out. Not linear but explore all possible directions.



Iteration # 7 – Stick to basics

After exploring various possibilities, we were quite convinced that lets not reinvent the wheel. The most convincing of all the approaches which we tried was iteration # 5 with 2 main controls to switch mode. A bit more experimentation on that lead to a series of variations.



Iteration # 8 – Break through

The idea echoed at the most fundamental level and this was it. After sleeping over this concept and referring to few other well designed apps, we strongly felt that something on these lines will work perfectly fine and won’t disturb the user experience.



Iteration # 9 – Almost there

The black switcher bar was conflicting with the black body of the phone and was not visible. So we made it gray to have a better contrast. And this is how it has turned.

While all these experiments were happening, Google also released a component in the material design which included the bottom tab bar. Few days back we shared design nuances of Android navigation. Since Android has these hardware buttons in the bottom, it was tough to put the toggle bar in the bottom which can get tapped accidentally. Also users is in local mode will rarely switch to other mode unless they have travel plans. Assuming this, we placed the switcher icon on top in Android.

In the coming days we are further optimising the navigation for better experience. Meanwhile give Local a spin and stay tuned for more updates.

What’s happening, lots happening!

Two weeks back, we launched “Cleartrip Local”. Cleartrip Local is a bold way to reimagine the “trip” in the context of your home city.

At Cleartrip, we are more attuned to performance advertising as we firmly believe in the cliched adage “In God we trust, the rest bring data”. We wanted to take a different approach on Local, as we firmly believe that this product can scale exceedingly well with powerful communication combined with wider reach. So, came the idea of using TV to communicate the product that we have built, with of-course using new tech for measurements.

Cleartrip Local caters to the ‘here & now’. We brainstormed multiple moments of truth which included the fear of missing out, illusion of ’same old, same old’ in the city, & the illusion of complete knowledge around what’s happening around you. And one line resonated with a lot of us – “You are a stranger in your own city” & out came the central idea for the campaign – “What’s happening, lots happening”.

While the core idea was nailed, we were worried on the execution as most ideas falter at this stage. To make it more challenging, as has always been with us, the product had to be the protagonist. Our good friends at Mullen Lintas meticulously planned the details so well that the film came out exactly how it was visualised in the storyboard. Creativity with perfect execution – We couldn’t ask for more.

We have gone live with the campaign across TV, Radio & online. By far, the largest campaign that we have launched in Cleartrip, we are excited to see it come alive on multiple formats.

Here are the links to the films.

TV

60 seconder

Radio

Bangalore

Mumbai

Delhi

True to the brand’s soul, the films are cool, quirky & fun. Keep a look out for our happening ads on all your favourite TV channels or scoot over to the Cleartrip Youtube channel to access them.

Next time, when somebody asks you “What’s happening”, we hope that you turn around and say “Lot’s happening”.

[Design nuances] Cleartrip Android navigation

Last year we updated Cleartrip Android app with a fresh design, based on Google’s material design guidelines. It made the app cleaner, faster and more consistent with the Android ecosystem.

This year when we tried to bring the local product to Android, we thought we will clean up lot more things and make it more intuitive and better. In a multi part series, we want to first discuss about navigation.

h1. Problem with the previous navigation

 

Our previous navigation was in line with Android’s suggested navigation. But the accessibility of the navigation was broken.

Based on the thumb accessibility map, hamburger menu lies at a place where most people can’t reach, especially in a bigger android phones like Nexus. We thought about bringing tabs for long, but the options we tried never felt compact or actually solved our discoverability problems for our other products.

Our approaches

 

We were also bringing a new set of products under Local, and this option would not scale well for the products there. The top navigation won’t work if we bring in travel and local switcher in the top. We went back to basics and tried with bottom tabs for navigation. It was new and we felt it will work strongly. Around that same time Google also released a component in the material design which resonated with our design. So the time was right to make it live.

Final navigation design

 

Products are now upfront and clear. No hamburger or more tab to keep things hidden. Now the Travel — Local product switcher resides on top. Stay tuned for a post on design process and how we came up with the switcher. But to adapt it to android, we made few adjustments and made the entire travel — local switching experience delightful.
  1. We kept the Travel — Local switcher on the top, to give an hierarchy for the products and also not to keep three level navigation at the bottom.
  2. We brought a Material design colour change when the user toggles between travel and local. This sets up the product context between local and travel as mentioned above.
 

 

We’ll share more android design processes in upcoming weeks. Meanwhile if you haven’t tried our app yet, go check out in the Android Playstore.

Cleartrip turns 10

“The journey is the destination” – Dan Eldon

Seems like not too long ago, that we dreamt of building for Indian travelers, a clean, no-nonsense and non-intrusive travel product to search and book. Something that was so simple it would change the way travel was booked forever. All this, while keeping the pricing honest, choices transparent and interactions consistently positive.

From a rough sketch on a paper napkin, to millions of diehard customers, we’ve all come a long way. Forgive the pun, but what a trip it has been – lots of fun, ups & downs, loads of work & everything else that goes into a great journey!

We’ve led on the user experience front, pioneered multiple innovations consistently (split screen search, Expressway, Online amendments), championed mobile-first & taken bold positions in the journey (customer servicespam, mobile web)

It’s exhilarating that we’ve all traversed this distance together for 10-years, from strength to strength & a big, big thank-you to all of our customers and to Cleartrip’s amazing people–we’re glad to have all of you with us.

But our journey has only just begun. There’s a lot to build. With Cleartrip Local, we have reinvented the wheel again solving some of the tough problems for our customers. This combined with our world class travel product really makes us a unique choice for customers at home or while traveling.

The doers at Cleartrip made a short video of the journey. This is what our world looks like on the other side of your screens. Where real people, real madness and the real magic resides.

Nothing makes us happier than happy customers-it’s a real privilege serving the Cleartrip customer, and we will continue to deliver the promise of building awesome beautiful products.

Thank you.

Live the local life

“But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” – Patrick Geddes

Whether we are traveling or at home in our own city, why do we struggle to decide what to do over a weekend or on a free evening? Why do we have to head to the neighborhood mall, or stay home while we order in grocery and food?

After simplifying travel for a decade we asked the question, can we trip without travelling? That question led to the introduction of Cleartrip Activities last year. Since then we’ve been thinking, what comes next? How does travel and activities fit together? How do we improve a product that all of you have made so successful?

Introducing, Cleartrip Local.

Travel-Local

Cleartrip Local is a bold re-imagining of Activities and the answer to the questions we had. With 15k+ experiences catering to 200+ interests in 50+ cities, Cleartrip Local presents the most comprehensive set of experiences to go out and enjoy when you’re in your city or away travelling. With Local, we want to deliver awesome experiences in your city so that you can trip without travelling.

The Switcher

Separated from Travel by the simplest of switches, Local makes it easy for you to find the experiences you want. A completely new design makes it easier to browse through four distinct categories – Activities cater to every interest and age, Eat Out presents individually curated options for a great dining experience, Events tell you what’s happening in your city and Fitness presents a completely new way to get fit that may just, finally, help you meet your New Year’s goal.

The Weekend

Imagine waking up on a Saturday and going out for a brunch. Then drive down to a theme park to spend the rest of the day. End the day with a delicious dinner by the pool. Start Sunday with a visit to the gym, any gym. Just pick from regular gym floors, zumba, yoga and more activities and go to any gym that offers it. Spend the evening watching your favorite play or listening to your favorite artist live. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

When you want to travel, it’s easy to “switch” and book a flight or hotel. And when you want something in your city it is just as easy to switch to Local. So get up and step out, have fun, have a new experience anytime, every time.

Everyone in the team has worked really hard and burnt the midnight oil to roll this out and we’re really proud with what we’ve built here. We’ll put out more posts soon, elaborating the magic that went behind the making of Local. Meanwhile, give it a spin and do let us know what you think about it. As always drop a line to mobile@cleartrip.com.

So the next time someone asks you “What’s happening?”, just turn around and say “Lots happening!”

Charting Activities on Cleartrip Mobile (Quarterly Mobile Insight Q4’16)

In a rapidly growing mobile-first economy, Cleartrip Mobile continues its aggressive growth. In the last quarter of FY’16 (infographic below), Mobile on Cleartrip accounted for 74% of the traffic and 42% of transactions, posting a robust  87% YoY growth in transactions. Most of this growth is synchronous with the launch of Cleartrip Activities mid last year, which presented customers with an array of specially curated experiences in their own city, or even while they were away.

With 13,000 experiences across 240 categories in 50 cities from 6,600 suppliers in India, Activities has generated humongous interest across our users. This is visible in the number of searches on our apps which have been growing  at a sharp pace. An interesting dimension here, is the fact that almost 80% of the Activities’ users book in their home-city, demonstrating the keen interest consumers have, about knowing all that can be done, in the city they stay in.

Interest in Activities is not just  from our existing users, but from a fresh set of  new customers, too. That over 43% of people who search for Activities are under the age band of 18–25 years, against the traditional 28–40 years’ band that typically searches for air, accommodation or rail, is noteworthy. Activity searchers also comprise a high percent of females.

During Q4’16, we have seen 38% of total searches on our Mobile Apps attributable to the Activities product. Clearly, the breadth and depth of the product offering that covers categories across theme parks, skill workshops, F&B offerings, outdoor sports, luxury bike-rentals and thousands of things-to-do, seems to be resonating with our consumers.

We are seeing a very uniform distribution of transactions across different price ranges, starting from as low as Rs. 150 to over Rs. 750. But they seem to be very last-minute decisions with over 60% of our users making transactions just a day prior to the Activity.

On the Travel side of things, we are pleased with how Cleartrip Mobile is transitioning beyond just another transaction channel. With a ~64% YoY growth on Accommodation and 53% YoY growth on Air transactions, we see it evolving each day, to deliver a richer customer experience.

 

Introducing multi-city bookings

There’s a lot of firsts that we have shipped when it comes to travel apps. Split screen return flight bookings, Apple Watch app, 3D Touch support, Expressway and more. And we keep that tradition going with the introduction of what has been a top user request in the past few months.

Here is a very small sample of the messages we have been receiving.

Please start the multi-city flight booking option on the app.
Otherwise it’s a great app, but should have multi city search option as well on the app which is really missed and one has to go back to the web version
This cleartrip application is very useful for frequent traveller. You should add multicity option while buying ticket on international sectors, as it will be very helpful for buying stopover tickets.
Why is the multi city selection not available for the mobile app? I keep travelling abroad and miss that option which is only on desktop.

We’ve been listening.

Multi-City Search

And we are proud to introduce multi-city flight bookings on mobile – the first time in India (and may be the world). Now you can book up to four flights in the same booking. All with the same split screen design that we pioneered on the desktop and mobile apps.

Multi-City SRP

With the increase in complexity, getting the information display correct while also reducing the likelihood of errors was a big challenge. Which is why we are also bringing a new, slicker, faster flow reducing the number of clicks required to make a booking. There’s no need to go back and forth while you are making a booking. All required information and actions are now beautifully placed on the same screen.

Multi-City Bookflow

Update the Cleartrip app to the latest version to give multi-city bookings a spin and let us know what you think. As always drop a line to mobile@cleartrip.com.

Hotels for Pets

Yes! You read that right.
No! We’re not talking about pet-friendly hotels, but hotels purely for pets.

Whether 2-legged or 4-legged, we understand that it’s all about loving your family. And we’re going all out to make sure you get what you look for. Today on Cleartrip, we’re proud to introduce Hotels for pets.

 

https://blog.cleartrip.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Cover-image.png

 

Our furry friends haven’t had it too easy. For the past many months, we’ve been researching different types of travelers in the accommodation space…and boy, there are many. We found a huge segment of people who wish to travel without their pets, but love them enough to not leave them in the lurch. Their reasons were:
  1. It’s too tiring & exhausting for the pet
  2. Change of place / environment effects the pet’s health
  3. Sometimes it’s impossible to take pets to the place that they are going to
  4. It’s also good to give pets their own space. Except dogs 😉
A quick analysis showed that these pets vary in size, breed and also category. Following is a snapshot of our research from 3 major cities; Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi.

 

https://blog.cleartrip.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Survey1.png

 

Personally, I have faced challenges myself when looking for a dog-friendly hotel. Even if you find one, there are tons of restrictions.

This led us to change the game and think of partnering with hotels that are exclusively built for pets.

Surprised?

So were we, until we got to the field and started locating such hotels. Cleartrip has tied up with more than 800 hotels across India which are built only for pets. These hotels are fully-equipped with amenities and recreation options for pets, with prices starting at as low as Rs. 3,000 per night.

 

https://blog.cleartrip.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Amenities.png

 

Our Market Experts are discovering and contracting more such hotels each day, so you can be assured that your pets are going to stay in luxury.

All this, so our customers can holiday without a strand of worry about how their furry friends are, in their absence.

Search & book a fancy hotel for your pet today & let us know the experience.

When Cupid got cheeky

If you’ve followed the kind of posts we’ve put out in the past, you will have noticed how most of our communication has often been affable and informal, even bordering on quirky. We’ve always been big proponents of keeping it simple and nifty, rather than fancy and complicated. So we thought it was time to take a slightly different track. #KuchHatke, maybe.

And what better time to do that, than the onset of Valentine’s Day, or how some call it, ‘being-single-like-on-any-other-day’.

So we got a little sassy and tried our hand at some tongue-in-cheek memes and infographics. These range from offering ‘Utterly Useless Advice to Survive Valentine’s Day as a Single’ to highlighting how ‘some bfs and gfs are just plain evil’.

single-vs-married-life

snarky-comebacks-from-single-men

  Head over to our comical campaign pages and tell us what you think, will ya?

sarcastic-guy-01

utterly-useless-advice-02

evil-girl-friend-01

And feel free to share these with your beloved. Or not 😉

But single, hooked or hitched…there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s Day on Cleartrip Activities no matter if you are in Mumbai, Bengaluru or New Delhi.

Cleartrip is on a hunt for a Lead Creative Designer

We at Cleartrip are looking for a Creative Lead Designer to work on all sorts of creative, fun & meaningful marketing stuff.

If your campaign just talks about products & features then we call it a handbill. We want you to tell a story to our users not by just pushing pixels but also by infusing life into your graphics. In addition to graphic design, we expect you to write crisp copy and plan the experience for marketing pages. You will be defining the direction of marketing design at Cleartrip.

We have an awesome product and we need your killer creative instincts to compliment it with great marketing. Designer that work on marketing shouldn’t be afraid to sell.

If you were with us before, here’s some work you might have done:

Worked on big budget campaigns like, “Every trip has a purpose”, “It just works”, “Cleartrip #kuchhatke”

Whenever Cleartrip launched a new feature, you would have defined the face of it along with product guys. You would’ve been a part of making Cleartrip sub brands like, Expressway, Quickeys, Way to go, Weekend Getaways and many more…

Over time if you were feeling adventurous, you’d dive into the world of product design and volunteer to add that credibility in the product with your awesome graphic skills.

On a whim, you’d plunge in to making t-shirts for your fellow workers or our thousands of Hotel & Activity Suppliers.

You’ll look at a hoarding and wonder how Cleartrip activities will look here. You will be equally passionate about SEM banners, online display advertising, news letters & offer pages. You treat a newspaper front page ad and a tiny gif with equal respect.

Connect with us today!