Reimagining Search Paradigm

Live version of Marriott’s search results page

The goal, and the approach

Back in 2015, I was tasked in reevaluating’s search results page. In its current state, it was heavy, and cluttered with information that wasn’t necessary to the user’s booking journey at this point in the process. Additionally, our filters (which were thrown below the fold underneath the search on the right rail) wasn’t being utilized. Every time we point it out to customers, they are shocked that it exists. Placement didn’t help.

So in order to optimize this page’s efficiency, I decided to show relevant information only: Location, dates and room information.

What was created

New and improved search results page.

This did a couple of things:

  1. Only showed relevant information at first, while showing everything else on “edit.” That way, the user only saw more when they asked for it.
  2. Marriott is all about their hotels, so why not give more room to display them and their information? This ensured as these hotel listings evolved in design, there was room to explore and take them further, without the clutter.
  3. We surfaced filtering to the top, and also displayed price and distance, the two most commonly used filters (yay analytics), while also allowed for further expansion of our filters (we called it geek out mode). We allowed filtering for everything (from pools, spas, wifi, food, etc).
  4. There was a sense of hierarchy, knowing that information cascaded. If you tweaked the search at the top, it influenced the filters and in turn the listing.

The outcome

Not only did revenue jump because of increased bookings, but I also started asking, what would happen if that “search bar” traveled with the user as they ventured through the booking process? There was searching, exploring and then finally booking, and information evolved in every step.

Thus sticky summary was born, read the full details in the document here, revolving around the rules of how it is to be used and developed here.

You can also play with the prototype that I created for user (and stakeholder) testing, here.