Have you ever booked a cruise before? It’s not a simple process—and it shouldn’t be. After all, a cruise is a multi-destination trip with a plethora of options for excursions, dining, and entertainment.
But with such a variety of options, it is no wonder that Carnival’s first mobile site chose to pare down features. But as their mobile traffic increased, it was then that my team was brought into to redesign their mobile site. Our goal was to not only to make it easier for their users to book their trips but make it easier to manage.
Our first priority was the booking engine. As project design lead, it was on my shoulders to figure out how to take this complex process and translate it into something clear and easy to use—not a simple task!
The booking flow starts with Search. This is where the user can play with their earliest options: destinations, trip length, dates. And then each result returned must show those details as well—plus each and every date the cruise is offered, which can range from three months to two years in advance. That’s a lot to fit on a small screen.
I’m a strong believer in content parity; there’s no reason what exists on a desktop screen can’t exist on mobile. But with limited screen space, it requires a considered approach. After working with the client to establish a hierarchy in content, the use of progressive disclosure helped to keep the information in one place without having to cut out anything crucial.
Once the user has decided on a cruise, they need to figure out the details: how many people are coming, and how many rooms they’ll need; what kind of room they want and where on the ship it will be located; the personal details of all the travellers; and then, finally, how they’d like to pay—all at once, or a deposit first and the rest later. Not exactly the standard ecommerce checkout.
Though there are a lot of steps with a lot of information, we had to be careful; monstrous forms usually send users running. By splitting the flow into a manageable stages and then breaking each stage into bite-sized steps made it easier for the user to progress through the complex form without getting overwhelmed.
It took a lot of work from our teams to complete this project, but in the end, it was worth it. Carnival saw a significant increase in their mobile conversion rate, courtesy hold rate, and time spent on the site.
This Project is Live!
If you want to see
the mobile site for yourself, check it out on your smartphone.