Building a team and designing a scalable platform for booking tours, activities, and tickets.
2017 – 2020
Lauren Hughes, Andrew Loschiavo, JoJo Lee
Our main challenge was to establish a site experience that was intuitive enough to scale to multiple audiences, allow for brand customizations, and ultimately drive value for our partners by offering value to their customers.
Condense & simplify
With an inventory exceeding 250,000 activities, we needed to condense products into a handful of groups to browse within. Through API tag data, user research, and brainstorming, we arrived at four primary categories; Tours & Activities, Food & Drink, Live Events, and Transportation & Transfers.
Within a category, customers could further narrow options by filtering for specific activity type, the duration of the activity, and accessibility needs.
How much to show? When?
Adding a Quick View feature proved helpful in giving customers a better sense of a particular activity, and resulted in a considerable lift in conversion versus control. With the understanding that added activity information increased browsing confidence, we experimented with product tiles that disclosed different levels of information.
Be upfront, make it clear
With booking criteria varying widely by activity type and supplier, we decided to expose all of the required selections on the detail page. This allowed for customers to see the impact of their selections in real time, and adjust accordingly.
At checkout, we progressively disclosed required fields while allowing for easy revision. Integrating express payment options further expedited the process. A recap of selected booking options and a price breakdown were kept in clear view.
Powered by PlacePass, partners were able to offer their customers bookable activities with the ability to earn rewards points, under the umbrella of their trusted brands.
Design a product, build a company
When I joined, we were ten people operating out of a house in Cambridge. We moved to an office in downtown Boston, and grew to more than thirty people.
A great learning opportunity was in hiring a small-but-flexible Design team that allowed us to cover bases across Product and Marketing while bringing research and usability testing to the company’s process.
Overhauling much of the site took more than a year of effort, but led to a much-improved tech stack and API integrations, considerably improving site performance.
Working closely with product managers and engineers, leading brainstorms, and conducting research shaped how the company operated.