When asked how they prefer to do vacation research, U.S. consumers are nearly unanimous in their response: 95 percent say they prefer doing research online (versus offline). Digital travel sales are projected to top $800 billion in the next couple of years. With so much money on the table and so many competitors, travel brands can’t take a break. They must continually uncover and provide cutting-edge digital experiences to acquire and keep customers. As the world’s largest airline for international flights and Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair is a brand rightfully associated with scale and efficiency. This is certainly true for Rui Pereira, Head of UX Research and Usability. As the head of a lean research team supporting Ryanair Labs, the company’s digital innovation hub, he was tasked with unveiling insights to support critical customer experience initiatives across Ryanair’s flight, accommodation, car rental, and full vacation offerings. For Rui, this meant a lot of work for a team of two:
With every prototype or redesign, teams would come to me for feedback. We do a lot of 1:1 interviews at the airport in addition to other customer qualitative research, remotely, in-house, and via other methodologies. We have lots of design teams here at Ryanair operating under tight deadlines. We needed to empower product designers to do more of the research and validation on their own.
Dipping a cautious toe into self-service customer insights solutions, Rui selected two vendors to try out concurrently: UserTesting and another solution. While the two solutions seemed similar, in reality, they couldn't have been more different. Here's how Rui explains how UserTesting stands out:
Ease of use
Rui's team found UserTesting straightforward and self-explanatory, adding that,
In just a few minutes, teams were able to use it. [The other solution] was difficult. We had to wait a few months before I could even understand how to use it. And for a non-researcher? Forget it. The research and methodology were too complex for someone who wasn’t coming from a research background.
Speed to insights
In addition to ease of use, UserTesting provided much faster insights that better aligned with Ryanair’s rapid product development cycles.
With UserTesting, I would receive responses within 20 minutes, while [the other solution] had turnaround times of one day at a minimum. With all of the projects we’re working on and our tight timelines, it’s simply not feasible for us to wait one day or more for these valuable insights.
The size of UserTesting’s study panel was only part of the swift turnaround. The completely self-service nature of the UserTesting solution made it incredibly fast and easy to get studies out the door.
With UserTesting, it was just about ticking a few boxes, and my study would be ready to share. With [the other solution], I had to spend more effort defining sample size and types of customers; I had to do a lot of the legwork, and this really slowed things down.
The company now turns to UserTesting for incremental product improvements as well as strategic new product development. Having the recordings of the studies makes it easy to communicate across teams and to get everyone working together on the next steps.
Anytime I present my findings, I attach the videos of the UserTesting panel. This persuades even the skeptics. If a team member raises a question as to why we need to change a design, I present the video and they can instantly understand and empathize.
It also instantly grabs the attention of all project and business stakeholders.
When I’m explaining my recommendations, the videos ensure that everyone is 100% engaged. There is something very important and compelling about seeing your customers interacting directly with your products. It’s like you understand—almost immediately—what you need to do to keep them happy.
Want to learn more?
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Ryanair flies past the competition with intuitive experiences for booking travel
Learn how Europe’s #1 airline turns to customer insights as the cornerstone of product improvements.