Having to open your computer or pick up the phone to make a phone call is not the ideal method of communication for many people looking for seamless services. After managing requests for and fulfillment of services, we realized that EveryBell clients were ripe for the mobile experience.
We decided to take the leap towards exploring an offering a mobile application for the booking experience. Specifically focusing on viability and testing of the booking feature for UpStay, I explored how mobile could impact the lives of travelers looking for on-demand services.
Client interviews were thoughtfully constructed around supplying real information about what clients needed in mobile, not what they thought they wanted. Having heard a fair bit of feedback about clients wanting mobile, we took a first stab at what we thought people wanted - we needed to have a baseline to validate and test against.
We uncovered user motivations regarding the services that are most widely used at hotels and drew conclusions from this data about relevant services in alternative accommodations. This proved to be a valuable exercise and expanded the product scope to include all relevant services, a frictionless booking process, and a simple payment solution.
Through the extensive user research utilizing surveys and interviews combined with lo-fi mockups and prototypes, a number of patterns and user insights were uncovered that shaped the direction of the design of UpStay. I began exploring rough concepts for the mobile layout, which proved useful as discussion points for defining more specific details.
We slowly started to update the wireframes and test with a set of users. We decided to focus our efforts on the mobile experience initially resulting from discussions with key stakeholders. This included input from hosts and marketing to ensure features were realistic to deliver within our time frame and to ensure the features met strategic business goals.
To kickstart the process I created an inventory summarizing the experiences a client would have with the mobile app (below). I took these and broke them down to their core components and began assembling them into wireframe interface elements. From there I worked on how these pieces fit together and affected each other. Using the user flows to direct the wireframing, I proceeded to sketch concepts to address user onboarding, SMS verification, zip code confirmation (property address and access information), account overview and service selection as seen in the screen shots below.
To ensure we were taking the right steps and building a product that users need, we determined to design an MVP focused on the service selection to gather further insights and iterate based on these conclusions as this is the main pain point for the user. The MVP was positively received by user group we tested with the clickable prototype, so we went ahead with focusing on the booking process to facilitate a positive experience.
UpStay is a mobile application designed to facilitate the booking process of on-demand hotel services. With a simple onboarding process and seamless services booking, UpStay brings EveryBell services direct to residences and rentals. UpStay is the platform for users to experience hotel luxuries while experiencing a new place like a “local.”
We released the UpStay mobile app prototype to current clients of EveryBell with the objective to test and scale for a larger release.
Improved communication tools and bringing bookings to mobile phones has increased response times and will have further positive impacts as we continue to refine what and how we build on mobile. With the release of the mobile app prototype we saw a positive impact on user engagement and retention without our test groups.
Mobile will play a major role in the EveryBell ecosystem, providing an opportunity for guests to book services directly and providers to have a core platform to manage the service execution & fulfillment.
In terms of next steps, expansion is dependent on data and development resources, with the aim to integrate with service providers to ensure seamless delivery and back-end data integration. Next phases would also include building a robust payment solution with secure processing as a priority to store payments for future purchases. The future of on-demand bookings is also to enable in-app, live chat for 24/7 Concierge for a highly customized experience - which is now the ultimate luxury.