Archive for June 2009
We have been hard at work at adding and improving our at-a-glance features since our launch.
When we started Raveable we wanted to make it easy to differentiate between good hotels and just ok hotels and excellent hotels vs the good ones. The original design solves this problem in part by providing a series of rankings by hotel, by hotel class and by hotel feature.
If you’re looking for the best hotel in Myrtle Beach the current design makes it easy to quickly identify 3-4 properties you should consider. For example (image below):
- The room is ranked #23 while the service is ranked #51 out of 122. This is helpful when you want to compare individual features across properties.
- The colored boxes represent a rating or score for individual features. This shields users from naturally trusting a property ranked #1 but with below average quality. In practice this is helpful in small towns or resort destinations with only a few properties.
These features allow users to analyze hotels with a higher level of precision than ever before. This level of precision created unintended challenges we wanted to overcome in a new design.
- We re-learned that people don’t analyze web pages they surf them. (Don’t make me think)
- The over-use of bright color makes the other information on the page seem unimportant.
- Too much information and differing amounts of emphasis left people confused about how to interpret the numbers and colors.
Tony Wright co-founded a company that has an app for employee time tracking software . He was an early advocate for solving the problem by removing the amount of information we display to the user. One of our advisors also found our colored numbers to be difficult to grasp and thought we should remove them. Our one on one user conversations and analytics data supported this conclusion.
The great challenge in web design is striking the right balance. We have adopted a less is more approach to the page design by removing the rankings and colors that made our initial design more difficult to grasp. We think it helps to balance usability and information analysis.
The new design for our hotel scorecard goes live a week or so. Let us know what you think of the current design, or share your recommendations for what would make the site more useful.
Surprise hotels in New York City actually have fewer complaints about noise than beach front towns like Santa Monica and Monterey. The the cities below had the highest percentage of complaints about noise based on comments found inside of online hotel reviews.
Pack your ear plugs – The top 7 noisiest U.S. cities.
7. Honolulu, Hawaii: So much for the island getaway – 5.4% of hotel reviews in Honolulu contained complaints about room noise.
6. Miami Beach, FL- Apparently the South Beach night life was a bit too much for over 5.8% of travelers.
5. New York City -NYC – The big apple was #1 in terms of the total number of complaints about room noise. However, on a per review basis 5.9% of all hotel reviews contained complaints about noise.
4. San Francisco, CA –Move over NYC, San Fran is the noisiest big city for travelers. Over 6.4% of reviews about hotels in San Francisco contain complaints about room noise. Let the coastal rivalry begin.
3. Anaheim, CA – 6.5% apparently “quiet as a mouse” doesn’t apply to the home of Disney Land.
1. Santa Monica, CA –7.79% of reviews contained complaints about noise making it the noisiest city in the U.S. for leisure travelers.
It appears that being in a hotel near a beach or the ocean is a bigger threat to peace and quiet than being in a hotel in a major city. I suppose one explanation could be that skyscrapers can rise above the noise while the smaller hotels located on the beach don’t have that privilege.