Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mobile Websites For Hotels

Website design decisions made by any hotel are ultimately going to be determined by the specific customer-driven requirements of the individual hotel or chain. Only hoteliers can truly know their guests and what their expectations are for hotel brand interaction via the web. The case has been made that the best web design option available to hotels is responsive design, meaning a website that detects what device a user is accessing the site from, and then conforms itself to that format seamlessly.

This option can be seen as “the best for most”, but responsive design may not be the one size fits all solution for every hotel. Perhaps, for example, your hotel has concluded an overwhelming majority of the hotel’s customer base only interacts with the brand via mobile and would benefit from a “mobile first” approach. Whatever the reason, hotels that choose to create a dedicated mobile website should follow some best practices in order to deliver their customers the most rewarding mobile experience possible.


Design To The End User

The question must be asked, what are the hotel mobile website user’s objectives when accessing the site? The simplicity of the design must be paramount. Since mobile users are on the go and usually seeking to accomplish a simple task, the amount of content presented must be drastically scaled down. This is best managed by limiting the choices available on the landing page. Due to screen size, a user will look at a few pages at most and move on to something else. Speed and ease of navigation are vital. If the pages offered don’t load quickly, or the user can’t rapidly find what they are looking for, they will leave and probably not come back. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to have a clear understanding of the hotel’s customer base and what they require of your mobile hotel website.


Design To The Platform’s Strengths

Always take into account the platform, with its inherent strengths and weaknesses, and design to those strong points. Mobile devices empower their users with touch screens and fingertips are how they will interface with your website. Make sure all of your content is user friendly in that regard. Everything must be easily swiped, buttons and links must be clearly discernible and functional. Offer easy to follow drop down boxes where appropriate. No matter the user’s end goal, be sure they are confidently guided through the process using plainly visible “Next” buttons. 

A major strength of the mobile website which should be effectively leveraged is the geo-location capabilities of mobile devices. The hotel’s location page should easily interface with maps and other location based apps the user has on their device. Another strength of the platform for smartphone users is their click to call feature. Phone users can be easily funneled into calling the hotel directly through strategic use of this feature.


Design To Generate Revenue

For those users who have found your mobile website and are ready to buy, ensure that their pathway is readily available, with unmistakable calls to action. The process of booking the hotel from your mobile website should be as simple and intuitive as possible, so as to conclusively leverage every mobile website user who is ready to book. There cannot be any dead ends or obstacles that lead the user away from your booking funnel. Be sure that if the hotel is presenting any special offers or promotions, the users gaze is naturally drawn to them on the page and that site navigation will lead them there as well.

All of these factors will help monetize the mobile hotel website, transforming it into an engine of revenue for your hotel.  

Posted via OnFast -

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