U.S. State Park—Hocking hills

A new look for this state park inspiring travel and improving the booking experience

Read on

Hocking Hills were looking for a new and improved UX to be delivered in a fairly quick time scale and budget. Their initial focus was to address the part of the site that allows users to search and book park cabins. These were often luxurious cabins in stunning locations but the existing website wasn’t doing them justice.

Mockup of designs on Apple device

Project deliverables

  • Make UX recommendations to improve booking flow
  • Provide design options for search and book
  • Design search and book and a handful of key landing pages

My process

UX recommendations

To understand the current situation we performed a heuristic review of the existing site. This takes the form of applying a standard set of criteria against a website or system and seeing how they perform against a startnard set of criteria. We identified and documented a number of usability concerns. Some concerns were small but we of larger concern we found that the navigation could be confusing for users, making it difficult for potential applicants to complete their task.

My recommendations were to make better use of the existing content they had – allowing their accommodation to speak for itself, and help users highlight the bits that are important to them.

Design and prototype

I produced a couple of design concepts to give a feel of the direction that Hocking Hills wanted to go with using the same information architecture and content elements.

Prototype search flow

In order to gain confidence in the information architecture and new user journeys I started designing out the pages and produced a prototype. This not only helped communicate the interaction design but also allowed validation through some guerilla usability testing

Final set of designs

With the confidence that the flows were working I went on to produce the final set of designs. I worked to ensure calls to action were clear and consistent. Whilst still providing links to external websites these were made a lot more subtle. The booking flow was brought in line with the search design to make the whole journey cohesive.


Document design system and designs

Given that development was yet to start it was important to document the designs and design system. I used notion to document the design work from typography choices and how to implement them, through to colour systems, stock photography and of-course the prototype and screen designs.

The notion design system screen which covered the icon suite, photography suite, colours and typography.

Outcomes

A full suite of mobile and desktop designs delivered with a prototype and documented in notion ready for delivery.

Learnings

Although I was able to source a couple of great free stock images it was worth the investment to purchase the right images, which were even specific to HH state park.

Although I would like to have optimised the checkout UX for a ‘sunny day’ scenario there were requirements which meant that there were still some steps that had to go in there. I could have saved time by establishing the extra user stories earlier in the process.