Destination Finder - City Details


The Destination Finder was a 2 year old product designed to provide travel seekers with information about various destinations to help them decide where to go.

Original Destination Finder City Detial Page


  • Improve engagement
  • Attract travelers that are higher up in the purchase funnel


  • The current page did not meet customer expectations
  • The business goals for the page were unclear
  • Customers were not clear of the site’s purpose or how to interact with it


Google Travel Survey 2014

We used research from Google to help us better understand how travelers discover and find inspiration on where to go.

What are travelers searching for?

We researched the most searched destination travel terms on Google. As a result, we discoverd phrases like "Things to do in Barcelona", "Surfing in New Zealand" or "Best beaches in Europe" were among the most searched. This gave us a better understanding of not only how travelers were searching, but what information was important to when learning about destinations.

Excerpt from Google 2014 travel report


In addition how people search, we also looked at other Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet and Timeout to see how other sites presented information about destinations.

Solution Exploration


Not knowing for sure which types of information travelers find most important, I chose to go with a modular design. The advantages of this approach is that it allows for expirimentation with different content hierarchies. For example, if travelers engage with traveler reviews less frequently than information about different districts within a destination, travel reviews can be moved down on the page or maybe even removed entirely. Modularity also provides the flexibility to add new content buckets as they arise.

Existing City Guide Content

Initially, my thoughts were to duplicate the city guide content that we already provide to our customers after they book an accommodation. Some felt strongly that the guides should be only provided as a post-booking bonus for customers. They felt it would diminish the value if we made it available for everyone who browsed the site. Though I was not initially able to make the complete city guide available on the city detail page, I was able to use a great deal of the content.

Initial Wireframe for redesigned City Detail Page - View the full wireframe

Prototypes and Usability Testing


After iterating on the wiferframes a couple of times, we quickly built a live prototype to test with real users. We then accompanied our User Research team on a trip to San Francisco to put it in front of real travelers. After compiling the feedback we made some adjustments and then tested again in our in-house lab.

SEO is King

The usability tests were extremely valuable in helping us understand both how travelers searched for inspirational travel destinations and what information they found crucial to making a decision. One thing we learned is that travelers most often start their search with google.

Brands Don't Matter

Information is a commodity and travelers don't care where they get it from as long as it is correct.

On the right track

Our test participants showed an obvious preference for the new design. It seemed to be better meeting their expectations and more clear in purpose.


We saw marked increases in our primary metrics for engagement and even an increase in bookings as the result of our efforts.

Current version of City Detail Page - View live version

Time on Page

30 secs 1 min 2 min 5 min 10 min
Base 70,520 60,219 49,861 36,277 25,893
Variant 1 71,496 60,982 51,192 37,460 26,771
% change +1.38% +1.27% +2.67% +3.26% +3.39%

Clicks to lower funnel

Base 51,313
Variant 1 52,151
% change +1.63%

Net Bookings

Base 11,098
Variant 1 11,503
% change +3.65%

The new design was a huge success and paved the way to adding more and more content that was included in the City Guides onto the City Detail Page. The page has evolved a great deal since I worked on the project, but my work laid the foundation. The designs I created opened the doors experimenting with various content types and content hierarchies.