Aug 2022 - Dec 2022
Sole UX/UI Designer
Hotel Link offers property providers a comprehensive set of essential tools in a single dashboard, including channel manager, booking engine, front desk, payment, smart rates, and website service. However, their digital experience needed to better match their ability to keep up to date with the latest technology. The main objective was to improve their user experience and user interface to attract more hotels & guests.
As the sole product designer at Hotel Link, I had a really great time working and collaborating with our product manager and developers on building new website templates from scratch, redesigning Booking Engine, and adding new features to the mobile app.
Communication is key. Building rapport, particularly with developers, is a crucial step for a designer. However, I've also found that fostering friendships and engaging in conversations about user experiences with everyone on the team has enabled me to empathize with their perspectives and generate more effective & feasible outcomes. The majority of my time at Hotel Link was remote in a timezone that differed by 12 hours. During this time, I relied heavily on Jira and Figma to communicate the progress of my work and documented everything on Slack/Confluence. As I discovered Loom, I realized its value for discussions and design handoffs, so I introduced it to my team. It was well-received, and everyone embraced and utilized it enthusiastically.
You don't always need expensive usability testing. Especially for a startup with a limited budget like ours, we needed not only cost efficiency but also faster feedback and iteration cycles. The in-house team is intimately familiar with the product, having worked on its development. This knowledge and understanding of the product can provide valuable insights during usability testing. We can identify specific pain points, potential improvements, or unique aspects that external testers might miss. However, I do acknowledge that in-house usability testing also has limitations. Team members may have biases, lack the objectivity of external testers, or be too close to the product to identify certain usability issues. The good thing at Hotel Link was that I received a variety of valuable feedback from multiple teams across the company, rather than just my own team, which provided me with ample opportunities to learn. Overall, given the availability of budget and time, I would definitely conduct usability testing involving external testers/users.