A clunky, confusing website limits your bookings. You don’t have to be a huge chain hotel to build a great site. Keep these six UX design trends in mind while designing (or revamping) your site experience, and you’ll be in the running for best hotel website.
These six user-experience ideas will make for the best hotel website.
1. Include a clearly visible booking window.
Make it as easy as possible for a prospect to book a room once they visit your website. The booking window or button should be clearly visible no matter which page a site visitor is on. Now, it should not be a nuisance. A window that keeps popping up while someone is trying to read about a room’s amenities is annoying. Keep your sales funnel in mind while designing your site by making the conversion process as smooth as possible.
2. Make it easy for customers to compare.
Sites like Expedia are successful because they make it as easy as possible for travelers to compare different rooms, amenities, and prices. Do the same on your website. Include sections that show visuals, prices, features (i.e. bed size, smoking/non-smoking) for different rooms along with pricing. This way, it becomes a choice between something at your hotel and something else at your hotel as opposed to a choice between your hotel and another hotel.
3. Optimize your payment form.
First of all, use your own payment gateway, when possible, as long as its secure. Redirecting your guests to another site is interruptive to your hotel’s site design. You also risk undermining the credibility of your hotel. Redirections tend to make people nervous. After setting up your own gateway, limit the amount of information you collect via the payment form. Gather the bare minimum you need to reserve the room and receive payment. Don’t frustrate guests with a ridiculously detailed form. And, ensure that guests receive a prompt email confirmation, so they are confident the booking went through.
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4. Include large, high-resolution photographs and avoid cluttered text.
Visitors should be able to instantly imagine what it’s like to stay at your hotel. Guests want to see every nook and cranny of your hotel. Include photos of the entire room, the bathroom, the lobby, shared areas, the courtyard, and more. If they might use it, show it.
Additionally, avoid overwhelming site visitors with a cluttered page whether it’s due to text or images. If your hotel site’s UX design is stressful, it leaves a poor impression of how a person would feel at your hotel in person. That said, images slow down load times. Online users are impatient. If a page loads slowly, they’ll click away from it. Since you can’t ditch high-res images, prioritize optimizing your site so that it loads quickly.
5. Use hero images.
A hero image is a photo that’s prominently displayed on the first page of your site. Some sites use a static image while others use a slider. This photo (or photos) should be the most impressive shots of your hotel. Incorporate text to give the photos some context so the visitor can immediately imagine themselves in your space.
6. Include unique but precise typography.
Consider adding a unique touch to your hotel’s website with a one-of-a-kind font. Remember biases around fonts. For instance, people view Comic Sans as unprofessional, so even if you have a personal affinity for it, it’s best to avoid that font.
Furthermore, look for fonts that don’t sacrifice clarity for coolness. Use one that’s easy to read. The same goes for the color of the font in relation to the background. It goes without saying that you should not have pale yellow text on a white background.
Hoteliers understand physical hotel user-experience intuitively — that’s how they get guests to come back! But in order to get guests to arrive in the first place these days, you need to think about how they experience your hotel before they even arrive at it. This means thinking about your hotel’s digital user-friendliness. A clean, easy-to-use website equals a steady stream of customers. The opposite means driving them away.
Now you know a few key points of leverage to create the best hotel website design, from the start of a users journey on your site, through to their payment.
Want to make sure you’re meeting the expectations of planners coming to your site. Check out the free guide we put together below! (Don’t forget to let us know what you think on Facebook.)