Introducing the Next Mobile Breakthrough in Connected Travel
Expedia.ca is pleased to release the newest update to its tablet app for iOS and Android: a reimagined experience that is equal parts beautiful travel browsing and connected trip booking resource. Below is a Q&A with Jerald Singh, Senior Director of Mobile Product, to learn more.
Question: Expedia.ca is introducing its redesigned tablet app – what makes it special?
Jerald Singh (JS):
We wanted to build a tablet experience that complemented how we see people discover, plan and book trips on tablet devices. The earlier version of this tablet app was simply a port of the phone app we have. It was successful in terms of transactions, but it didn’t really do anything to showcase the powerful tablets that are on the market today or how people use these unique devices.
Our hope is that this redesign will be something travellers want to invest their time in: a helpful tool they turn to when they begin researching a trip, something they easily pick up on their couch or before they go to bed. We’ve made the app easy to navigate by removing the up-front questions travellers generally need to answer when they start thinking about a trip. We’ve replaced the fields you typically see with a single search box: all you need to know is where you are thinking about going.
The updated app also provides a more lean-back experience with the inclusion of “collections.” These are beautiful, hand-curated destinations which appear along the bottom of the tablet app and can be explored by scrolling right-to-left and selected with a single tap. Right now, these collections have been created by Expedia.ca staff and are a mixture of hot travel destinations and others that are more obscure. Over time, we will allow users of the app to create and share their own collections.
Question: Why invest in a standalone tablet app?
JS: Our approach to every mobile product we build at Expedia.ca is very simple. We want to build experiences that are beautiful and that make travel easier for people. To achieve this, we have to make sure that each experience we build is tailored for the device the user is on. The travel use case for the phone app is very different than the tablet app, which is also different from the desktop site.
It’s a risk – it’s no secret that the travel industry has largely gone the opposite route by continuing to view each interaction as a single transaction and pouring significant energy into making each one of those discrete transactions better. We’re presenting a stark contrast to the user interface seen across the industry, and we’re doing so based on data.
Essentially, we noticed that while the existing model may have worked for the PC era, it doesn’t anymore. And the reality is, today the status quo in travel search is inherently unnatural on tablet devices. With industry research showing travellers using tablets more than ever, it made sense for us to invest in a new approach on tablets. Since we know tablets are the devices people use at home to browse and dream about their travel, our mobile designers and engineers handcrafted a completely new experience that takes advantage of the extra screen space and rich visuals that make the experience shine. We think it helps alleviate decision friction and better connect travel planning in a simple, easy-to-use way.
Question: Sounds worth testing out – how can our customers learn more?
And – for people who try it today and are eager to book a trip, we have a 24-hour coupon code they can use to save $100 on their first-time tablet app hotel purchase! Visit this site to claim your code and for more info on the terms and conditions.
Question: Any last tidbits you’d like to share with our travel blog audience?
JS: Our team loved revamping an app that we truly believe is exceptional. We’ve taken some risks, but we firmly believe that people are ready to discover and experience travel in a more intuitive and connected way, and, as a team, we are excited to make another huge step in that direction with the introduction of our newly updated Expedia app for tablets. We sincerely hope that our users love the app as much as we have enjoyed redesigning it.