No Reservations? No problem – Competitive Report Reveals Which Last-Minute Hotel App Ranks #1 Key Lime Interactive has expanded their Competitive Report portfolio with a new Competitive Index report for last-minute hotel apps. The report identifies which of sixteen travel industry booking agents and OTA’s best meets consumers self-defined needs.
Miami, FL – Key Lime Interactive’s (KLI) Competitive Research division has investigated the overall functionality and experiences offered by today’s last minute hotel booking apps. In an upcoming competitive report titled Last-Minute Hotel Booking Mobile Competitive Index Report, KLI reviews sixteen (16) apps including those designed specifically for booking last-minute travel as well as the top OTAs in the U.S.
This is more than an industry standard travel technology survey. KLI asks users traditional questions about their current behavior to understand trends, but they also push to learn about the innovation that consumers are buzzing about, what they expect to see next, and what barriers to a perfect experience exist.
Key Lime Interactive recognizes the importance of aligning business-centric goals with consumer-centric needs to produce winning solutions and makes this a core component to all deliverables. This incorporation of user feedback is a primary component for this and all studies across various industries ranging from finance, retail, hospitality, etc. This time, consumers also rank existing features on these last-minute apps and new developments, which takes a pulse of the market.
“With many players in direct competition to secure a place to rest your head while traveling, the indecision about which booking agent or OTA to use can be paralyzing to the user.” says Phillip McGuinness, report contributor. “As with all of our reports, we survey the target audience to see what they need and want in terms of features and capabilities first. Then, we take those desires into consideration when comparing and ranking the apps, giving more weight to consumers top priorities.”
The review examines their iPhone and Android apps (where applicable) and ultimately ranks the apps, awarding top rank to those who most effectively meet the consumer’s self-defined need.
Buyers receive a detailed report that identifies the survey results and the associated ranking of the 16 apps. They also benefit from detailed best-in-class features including screen prints and expert analysis. Opportunities for improvement are discussed as well as a new trends and innovation section where new concepts such as the use of an app to open hotel room doors or a mobile chat feature to communicate with hotel staff are highlighted.
“Differentiation such as the ability to set style preferences, access customer reviews, set filters, as well as view saved search history and favorites become apparent. Better, the impact that these features have on the user experience or the ability to meet user preferences is identified.” states Dana Bishop, primary report analyst and Director of Quantitative Research. “Organizations crave a way keep pace with what consumers want as they build their roadmap while also tracking and scoring themselves against the competition; to have a baseline that they want to beat as they continue to evolve. This offers them just that.”
To purchase the published report, please reach out to Key Lime Interactive for more information at sales(at)keylimeinteractive(dot)com
Researchers, Designers, Executives, Journalists and Bloggers in the Hotel, Travel and Leisure Industry are encouraged to contact Key Lime Interactive with any additional questions.
About Key Lime Interactive
Key Lime Interactive is an user experience research firm with proven excellence in both quantitative and qualitative user and consumer testing. To serve our growing client list of Fortune 100 companies, we conduct competitive research, true intent / voice of customer studies, and prototype studies using quantitative methods. Additionally, we’re experienced in moderating one-on-one interviews/ usability studies, focus groups, and eye-tracking studies for both the traditional and mobile web. Currently, Key Lime is working to help top brands better understand their customer via behavioral personas and customer journey mapping. Ultimately, our goal is to empower teams to use consumer/user experience data at any and all phases of product development; from strategy to implementation. We aim to provide the true perspective of target users and build exceptional consumer-driven solutions.
I received my Apple Watch this past Thursday. I chose the space grey Apple Watch sport with the black band, which was worth the wait. It’s fairly subtle, with one person (okay, a kid!) thinking it could be a real watch. Overall, I am impressed with its performance, especially for a v1 device with limited connectivity options. Powered by my iPhone 6, even on LTE instead of wireless, there is very little lag in most apps. However, the remote app has some issues connecting to iTunes libraries. It’s fantastic as a remote for the Apple TV, but very limited and challenging to sync with my computer’s iTunes library.
Performance at home is fantastic. I was able to leave my phone in my bedroom and wander all over my apartment with the watch. I made calls on it of durations between 30 and 40 minutes with no problems. I will say the speakers could be a bit stronger, though. It’s hard to hear people if they’re speaking quietly, or also on speakerphone. Messages and alerts come through in real-time, though. Pleasantly, if you’re interacting with an app on another device you do not receive an alert on the watch. While this makes sense, it isn’t true for the iPhone/iPad, so it was a great software addition that should come to more devices in the family.
I was deeply impressed with its performance in transit. Using Bluetooth, the watch is still connected to your phone so you can change music or get activity updates while underground with no cell service. Where there is cell service, it will push notifications to you. I was expecting the watch to be fairly useless while traveling, but that is certainly not the case.
It’s useful while at work. Again, the performance over LTE has few noticeable lags for any app, apart from maybe 5-10 seconds sometimes for NYT updates. The calendar alerts are fantastic. They pop up 10 minutes before your meeting and let you scroll through all of the meeting details. There’s even an option to email the meeting creator, which is the only email option I’ve seen on the watch so far. The dictation is good enough that I wish they allowed text responses to emails. It would be a really useful update. My biggest frustration while using it at work was when I went out of range for a meeting in a far conference room. I didn’t bring along my phone because the watch was a great substitute, but it didn’t alert me as I was exiting its range. Some sort of notification would be helpful, as it’s challenging to gauge distances, especially inside buildings.
The messages app is delightful to use. Being able to dictate messages makes it extremely functional. However, the feature could be improved by making it easier to edit these messages. I’ve definitely found myself canceling messages and re-dictating them due to one or two incorrect words in places that would make overall comprehension challenging. I would also like to be able to send the messages without having to touch the watch. There currently isn’t a verbal command that lets you send a message. Despite these usability challenges, I still found myself sending the majority of my text messages this weekend using the watch. It’s the easiest way to send text messages I’ve seen so far, though it would definitely be improved by easier (or any!) editing capabilities and a way to send without touching it.
Email is surprisingly functional on the watch. Initially, I assumed it would be just notifications, but you can scroll through the entire email. Not everything renders on the watch, especially graphics, but you can see the entirety of provided text, which is very useful. My biggest pain point when using the email feature was how difficult it was to delete emails. When I clicked on a notification, I had to scroll through the email to get to the delete option. In your mailbox you can swipe for a trash option, but as a notification that only gives you the option to clear notifications. Being able to delete from the notification without scrolling through the whole thing would be a useful addition.
My largest gripe centers around Apple Pay. Figuring out how to add a card to the watch was NOT intuitive. It kept directing me to my phone, but I assumed it was the regular Passbook section. I tried re-adding my card, but it didn’t let me. I had to Google how to do it to find out it was in the Apple Watch app on my phone. Even then, I had to re-verify my card for the watch by calling my credit card company. When I tried to use it at Whole Foods by tapping the button twice it kept telling me it was ready, but ultimately it was unable to make the payment. Obviously, this was pretty frustrating. I ended up using my phone. Seeing as the watch is likely one of Apple’s best chances at making Apple Pay catch on, it’s a shame this was the least intuitive watch experience I had all weekend. This experience should definitely be improved. The Apple Pay on-boarding would have been easier with a diagram clearly illustrating where to go on the phone. The BEST solution would be letting me choose on the watch whether to add the credit cards from my phone. I don’t see why I need to go through the phone. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work in stores, but that’s definitely a huge issue that needs to get fixed.
The native activity app is interesting. I’ve given it a small amount of information and it’s been making attempts to inspire me to greater efforts. I personally am not a super active person, but what I like about the activity app as it exists currently is that it works with you. It’s not being overly critical or alerting me too frequently, both of which would result in me turning it off. It’s sitting there in the background letting me know when I’ve hit a goal or reminding me when to stand up. I don’t listen to every stand reminder, but I’ve listened to more than I’ve ignored. I’m curious to see if it changes my behavior over time. It’s definitely a much better way to interact with this information than the Health app on the iPhone, which I’ve always found oddly buggy.
Of the 3rd party apps I’ve interacted with so far on the device, I’m most impressed with the New York Times app. They’ve done a wonderful job of creating a new kind of article specifically for the watch. Some articles feature just a headline, some have pictures, and some have 1-2 sentences. It’s a fun surprise to scroll through them a few times a day. I do hope in the future it’s possible to read full shorter articles on the device, but I understand their choice and think it makes a lot of sense for the watch that exists today. 95% of my interaction with the NYT iPhone app is through notifications, so NYT on the watch is an ideal match. Now I actually get more information with the brief articles and images. I prefer the tablet for actual reading, but again I would be interested in having a more email-like experience for the NYT.
While I was initially unimpressed with the battery life, it was fine over the weekend. It does drain my phone battery faster, BUT it means I’m spending significantly less time on my phone so that evens it out for the most part. Like all Apple devices, I would appreciate a longer battery life, but I will say it survives a 12-hour day much better than the iPhone. Having the two devices has made it possible to have weekend days without airplane mode or constant recharging. Speaking of charging, I wish it were possible to wear the watch while charging it. One of the best use cases for me so far has been using the watch to act as an Apple TV remote. I do most of my Apple TV watching at night, so it would be great to be able to plug it in and continue using it. I’m also curious about the watch’s potential as an alarm, given that the taptic feedback might be a more pleasant way to wake up.
At this stage, I would rate the Apple Watch as a ‘nice to have’. If you, like me, own the whole family of devices and upgrade pretty regularly, go for it. It’s an awesome addition to the family, and you’ll find a lot of unexpected uses for it. I think it needs to be able to stand alone, ideally by v2. However, it’s still challenging enough to use that I wouldn’t recommend it to my parents just yet. I do think it will get there, and I will definitely be keeping mine and not returning it. Its best uses for me are: messaging, Apple TV remote, email, and keeping me off my iPhone (supposedly the #1 secret purpose). Those are important enough things in my life that I find value in a device that improves my access to them.
Note to Apple: I would be happy to put a $5 data share plan on it so I could leave my phone behind while at conferences, meetings, bars, parties, etc.
Enterprising Women Magazine Announces 2015 Enterprising Women of The Year Award Winners Prestigious Awards Program Recognizes World’s Top Women Entrepreneurs
RALEIGH, N.C. Feb. 9, 2015 – MonicaSmiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women magazine, has announced the winners of the 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. Honorees will be recognized at the 13th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards & Conference, Sunday, March 29 to Tuesday, March 31 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Many of the honorees also serve as leaders of the key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.
Award winners were recognized in seven categories this year: annual sales revenues of more than $100 million; annual sales revenues of more than $25 million and up to $100 million; annual sales revenues of more than $10 million and up to $25 million; annual sales revenues of more than $5 million and up to $10 million; annual sales revenues of more than $2 million and up to $5 million; annual sales revenues of more than $1 million and up to $2 million; and annual sales revenues of up to $1 million.
Winners in the “over $100 million in annual revenues” category:
Kay Ivie, Ivie & Associates, Inc., Flower Mound, TX
Beatriz Manetta, Argent Associates, Inc., Plano, TX
Jennifer Maier, WDS, Inc., Lake Wylie, S.C.
Julia Fournier, HCMWorks, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Veronica Muzquiz Edwards, InGenesis, Inc., San Antonio, TX
Jacqueline E. Muller, 3DOM (Asia Pacific) Ltd., Hong Kong
Moni Singh, STEM For Kids, Raleigh, N.C.
The 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration and Conference will bring together dynamic women business owners from North America and around the world for two full days of top-notch workshops, networking opportunities, corporate sponsor exhibits, and awards presentations. The celebration will shine the spotlight on award winners and finalists, with award presentations at the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Gala Dinner. During the annual “Hall of Fame Luncheon,” one woman entrepreneur will be inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, an outstanding nonprofit will receive the 2015 Advocacy Award, and two women will be recognized with the 2015 Legacy Award.
The event is open to winners and finalists of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award, corporate supporters, members of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board, VIPs in the women’s business community, readers of Enterprising Women magazine, and members of the many partner organizations affiliated with Enterprising Women.
Partner organizationsrepresented on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board and supporting the 2015 event include:
The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC)
Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW)
The Global Initiative for Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)/Women Entrepreneurs Inc. (WE)
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence
Women’s Leadership Exchange
The International Alliance for Women (TIAW)
Asian Women in Business (AWIB)
Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)
National Association of Women REO Brokerages (NAWRB)
“When this awards program began 13 years ago, there were only a handful of nominees in what was then the highest revenue category – over $10 million in annual revenues. This growth reflects the fact that more women are scaling their businesses to the $100 million plus level. The Enterprising Women of the Year Award has grown each year in prestige and stature so women entrepreneurs at all levels want to be recognized with this award for the great work they are doing. We could not be more proud of the outstanding women who make up the Enterprising Women Class of 2015,” Smiley said.
– For more information or to register to attend the 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration and Conference, visit http://enterprisingwomen.com.
ABOUT ENTERPRISING WOMEN MAGAZINE: Enterprising Women, with headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, is the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women. The magazine provides a friendly meeting place, a public forum and a national stage for the critical issues confronting women’s businesses and daily lives from the unique perspectives and experiences of entrepreneurial women. Published in both print and digital editions, the online edition of the magazine reaches nearly one million readers in 185 countries. For more information, please visit http://enterprisingwomen.com or call (919) 362-1551.
by Eugenio Santiago
For all you sports fans I’m sure you’ve seen and formed an opinion about the new ESPN responsive website. Most of the comments I’ve seen have been negative. In fact, most site visitors who have expressed their dislike for the redesigned site have done so in a very colorful way:
I spent a fair amount of time on Apr 2, 2014 reading through thousands of user comments and was only able to find three that were not negative:
I can’t really say they were positive, just not the common variety of “this is the worst thing EVER!” or “is this an April Fools joke?!”.
Now we all have heard the adages: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” or “people don’t like change”, but many of the comments were very specific in detailing WHY they disliked the new design. In short, it is different, but more importantly it forces them to change the way they normally interact with the site. No longer are they able to scan headlines, but now must scroll endlessly through entire stories that ESPN deemed newsworthy*. *This has been changed since the writing of this article. The homepage now features bi-lines of top stories instead of displaying them in full. Here’s an example of how site visitors indicated they typically interacted with the site: I would normally come to ESPN for a quick glance of the top stories then, as time permitted, would dig deeper into the topics / articles that are of highest interest to me.
What I read over and over in the user comments was that site visitors would normally use the homepage of ESPN primarily as a means to scan. Therein lies the problem with the new design. It’s much harder to do that now. The number of stories/headlines that are available, above the fold, has decreased.
Those in charge at ESPN have taken their 6+ months of user testing along with their business objectives and have decided that the homepage interaction should now be different. Did they underestimate or misinterpret their data and come away with a design that didn’t meet the needs of their site visitors? Or did they intentionally redesign the homepage in a way that would force users to interact with it differently?
As of the afternoon of April 3, 2014 the answer is clear, they goofed. Midway through my article I noticed a change on the homepage. The endless scroll of the homepage where you had to view full stories before advancing to the next was replaced to only include snippets of the main stories. Scanning is now much easier than its initial release, however, some may still not enjoy the endless scroll. While many site visitors commented the design was yet another example that ESPN didn’t “listen” to them, I’d have to say this is clear evidence of how responsive ESPN can be.
If this is any indication of things to come, I could see ESPN making continued updates to further refine the interaction, but how many customers did they alienate in the first two days of this new release? Since I started this story, not only have they changed how they display stories on the homepage, they have darkened the background from white to a gray to increase the contrast, which too, was another complaint site visitors had.
There still remains much to do. Some secondary pages still have the endless scroll from story to story (e.g., ESPN Cities blog pages), which is even more difficult to deal with when on your smartphone. Navigating horizontally through the site content once you go 1 or 2 levels deep is a major issue, and not every team page has the same layout (e.g., Boston Red Sox = New/Good, Boston Bruins = Old). These are some of the first enhancements that would go a long way to improving the user experience.
New Team Page Layout
Old Team Page Layout
Conducting user research is important, but what you take away from that research is much more important in our opinion. At KLI, we like to call that ‘being data informed rather than data driven.’ ESPN has shown they can be responsive and make on-the-fly changes that correct/improve the user experience, but are you as flexible?
We at KLI pride ourselves in making sure the insights you learn from research are in alignment with user needs and respect, not only what they do, but why they do it. Whether your user research need is at the concept/ideation stage, pre-launch phase, or post-launch phase, Key Lime Interactive is ideally suited to partner with you.
To learn more about what Key Lime Interactive offers and how we can help you with enhancing your user experience, contact us at: 305-809-0555.
One of the big themes of nearly every SXSW event we attended was personalization. Even events about the Future of TV had panelists talking about supplemental apps or making sure people could watch on the devices they chose. A news discussion with Dan Rather and Dan Pfeiffer also discussed how people consume news on the platforms of their choice, like Facebook and Twitter. Customers are looking for a more personal, customized experience in the place of their choice.
Predictive technology is making big strides in making these more curated experiences accurate. Facebook’s facial recognition technology is making use of their extensive data on user tagging so they can auto-tag your photographs when you post them. This technology may be more accurate than that of law enforcement. Netflix’s House of Cards was famously made by using data to understand that a political drama starring Kevin Spacey directed by David Fincher would be popular. An important consideration with using predictive data for customer recommendations is providing said data to customers.
Personalization is changing the landscape all over. I went to a talk by Karlie Kloss and Sara Wilson about technology and its role in Fashion Week. Models and editors can now deliver a more personal experience to a massive audience using Instagram and Twitter. They can let people into their lives remotely and enable fan interaction. Vogue recently had a cover featuring nine models with large Instagram followings.
Companies are integrating data into their operations in a variety of ways. Capital One is experimenting with personalized financial recommendations AND personalized offers / rewards recommendations in new apps Ideas and Level Money. Ideas provides recommendations for different types of activities in 4 beta markets: NYC, LA, Richmond, and DC. Level Money lets customers link accounts and program in budgets and receive alerts and content depending on their spending.
For television, companies are looking to make the experience more intimate for viewers. Some companies are experimenting with companion apps, especially in the UK. These might let viewers answer quizzes or play related games while watching. Other companies are trying to make promotions / advertisements more personal. For Game of Thrones Season 5, HBO ran a promotion called The Sight in which people would get text messages with video links that would disappear. The videos would be different for different users but communicate small snippets of information about the upcoming season in the guise of visions / dreams. In Spain, Canal + ran a promotion called 19 Reinos that turned all of Spain into an interactive Game of Thrones-themed game played via multiple different channels: Twitter, Facebook, brand websites, and physical stores. Customers all over the world are looking for targeted, personal experiences. User experience research is one way companies try to identify what kinds of experiences are most valuable to customers. Airbnb mentioned that when they redesigned their website, they made sure to keep the hosts involved in the process since their feedback was critical to its success. There was a fantastic talk by Etsy about how user experience feedback, both from users and from their clickstream data, was extremely valuable to their design process and their feature prioritization. Part of Capital One Labs’ approach to every project is a pilot study with 5-10k end users to understand how they’re using the product.
Stay tuned for more SXSW recaps in the coming months!
We had the opportunity over the past couple months to better define who we are as a company and what we represent. What do we stand for? Key Lime Interactive is pleased to announce our new vision for the future and the values that def who we are at the core.
is a world where clients turn to us to perfect the user experience and develop outstanding products that change the lives of their customers. Our mission
is to bring clarity to the thought leaders, trailblazers and innovators who seek new ways to enhance the user experience.
Business is personal to us. We thrive only when our clients and staff succeed. Trust:
You can always rely on us to be transparent, honest and objective. Intellectual Curiosity:
Our favorite questions are “Why?”, “Why not?” and “What’s next?” We blend new approaches with past experience to find forward-thinking solutions. Drive:
We are doers. We consistently find creative, innovative ways to understand and interpret the user experience. High Quality:
We know you have high expectations. We approach every single project with care and rigor. Fun:
We believe laugher and levity should come standard with everyday.