How buying Nike Sneakers could inspire the next travel experience.

Retailers, especially large retailers have spent a lot of time working out how people will buy their products, and as much as I’d love to be part of a team that size, I doubt many travel companies can afford such a budget.

When considering new UX prototypes, its essential to consider ideas, this is usually done by heuristic evaluation, gathering market research, and UX feedback.

By conducting internal heuristic evaluations on 3rd party retail websites we can interpret and consider the usability of other flows (mostly in my case complex ones).

In one such example I was reviewing how people buy complex itinerary products for travel and their challenges. We recorded our user sessions and observed a number of frustrations, and used a 3rd party to support a UX evaluation. The feedback confirmed that users struggled to find a starting point, to know what they want to do.

Looking at retail, you buy something pre-made, maybe in  different colours or sizes – its simple, but is it? and is it what I want?  Many retailers are now offering you the ability to custom make things, have it exactly your way, so in some respect this has the same challenges as my travel itinerary problem.

Nike has such a service, it never starts from scratch, it always uses a pre-made solution and allows the user to change every element – often each element has a choice of 4, and the experience is quite satisfying seeing the changes being presented and offering an easy way to purchase.

This solution can be applied to my travel problem and as a prototype presents a case for an alternative flow, a case where if you didn’t know what you wanted  you could select from a choice of pre-defined  itineraries, each allowing fully customisation.

Inspiration can be right in front of our eyes, we simply have to look for it.

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