JapanTravel owns a Type II-licensed travel agency providing tailored tours starting through online inquiries.

Role

  • Product Design
  • Front-end Development

The Impact

  • Increased inquiries by 253%
  • Decreased drop-off rate by 33%
  • Increased user satisfaction

The Challenge

Japan Travel's online travel agency creates tailored tours for travelers varying from individuals to large company groups. Previously, this journey started at a long tedious online form with an abundance of optional questions to fill in.

Snapshot of JapanTravel's previous inquiry form
A small snapshot of the previous form

Our high level goals were to turn this first online touch-point into a more pleasant experience and to increase the amount of bookings.

Strategy

When starting this project, metrics weren't actually set nor tracked. In order to improve the outcome we first had to define what a more pleasant experience meant and decide how we could measure this.

Using Google's HEART framework we were able to do just that and we focussed on 3 key metrics: adoption, task success and user happiness.

Goal Signal Metrics
Adoption Increase amount of bookings per month Rate of users using the service, Amount of bookings
  • Number of started enquiries
  • Number of enquiries
  • Number of bookings
Task Success Users to book a tailored tour Number of successful inquiries
  • Number of inquiries
  • Drop off rate
  • Completion time
Happiness Users feeling like the service is useful Anxiety and stress, user satisfaction
  • 5 star rating system
  • User feedback

Discovery

The form tried catering to all kinds of travelers at once, leading to unnecessary and even distracting options for the majority of users. It was in fact so big that users would feel overwhelmed at first sight and drop off.

Before jumping straight into the design phase we had to do more research. First off, we talked with our travel agency members who were in direct touch with the target users to figure out what information was essential for them to start creating a tailored tour.

Next we used Hotjar to view heatmaps and recordings of the users using the form. This enabled us to see what questions users would skip, be stuck upon or have trouble answering.

Last, we reviewed former inquiries to get familiar with the user's vocabulary and to find out common questions that weren't available in the form yet.

Chunking

Combining these results we were able to reduce the amount of questions and options in the form, enabling the users to go through the form quicker. Furthermore, we grouped these questions into 4 themes to reduce cognitive load.

  1. About you
  2. Your trip
  3. Your group
  4. Preferences
  • 1 About you

  • 2 Your trip

  • 3 Your group

  • 4 Preferences

Process overview of JapanTravel's new inquiry form

Reforming the Form

Chunking the form was a good first step, however the form would still feel dull and not fun to fill in. Not something you want to experience as a first starting point of an exciting holiday. To make the form less form-like we used various icons and visuals making it more enjoyable to fill in.

icons in the form

The visuals helped users fill in the options quicker as the touch areas were bigger and they'd have less information to read.

selecting a budget in the form

As users did not know how much the Japanese yen was worth compared to their own currency, they had to switch the default in the older form. In the new form we switched the default currency depending on the language, which meant users had 1 less thing to think about and were able to complete the form faster.

Reducing Anxiety

User interviews revealed that users did not fully understand the process of the service and there were uncertainties about the outcome. They had questions such as whether this was a paid service and if it were, when they'd had to pay.

To reduce anxiety we launched a landing page of the service presenting an overview of the process. Through interviews and former reviews we were able to create a FAQs section, which enabled us to answer questions users most likely had about the service. This helped users understand that this was in fact a paid service before filling in the form.

Landing page of the tailored-tour service

In the budget section we reinforced payments not being taken at this stage through a disclaimer, this reduced doubt on whether they should complete the form, reducing the drop-off rate.

To further increase trust in the paid service we asked the travel agency to get a few reviews from former customers as a means of social proof.

“We are very thankful to Japan Travel for arranging the Japan trip for us – to me it was like a pilgrimage. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Japan and would like to come again.”
User of JapanTravel's Tailored Tours

Getting Started

To get started we used the foot-in-the-door psychology principle by only asking the travel dates up front. This resulted into the user starting the form with just a small commitment before we started asking them more information, ultimately increasing inquiries through the form.

widget of the form

To further increase adoption, we launched a widget with the same small form around the site. Helping the users get started from anywhere further increased adoption to the service.

Business inquiries

Since businesses required a different approach all together, we decided to create a separate form and landing page for this user-type.

tailored tours business landing page

For these type of users we made the form even smaller to focus on starting a conversation because they might not have all information available up front. Instead of showing user testimonials we used company credentials to show what other businesses have used this service before.

The impact

We were not only able to increase the amount of users starting the form, but also decreased the drop-off rate by 33% through making the form simpler to use. Users felt more confident using the new multi-step form and the final results have been a great success with an increased amount of inquiries by 253%.

“Japan Travel was fantastic in helping arrange a variety of activities for our group. They were highly organized, knowledgeable and responsive - with a great attitude too!”
User of JapanTravel's Tailored Tours