Designing a booking platform for accommodating daily workers


The outcomes of my research shifted the course of company, as well as the perspective of founders, investors, and all employees of Accomango. The entire company changed its direction from no research (static booking) to a user-centric company (booking&operations, based on real needs). I proved that booking itself can’t work unless it's connected to an operation system. When operations such as accommodation booking at scale runs on "pen and paper" alone - and some of the future bookings are not even on paper (just in the mind of a receptionist), large-scale change is not possible.


  • Before the company hired me, there was no research at all. To conduct in-depth interviews, I first had to explain to stakeholders why researching must be a priority at all.
  • After the 1st round of interviews I started to find that some parts of product were completely wrong. My findings were also cross-validated with the Customer Support team.
  • For example - people interested in booking primarily needed to see the availability of beds, and because there was no operations platform, no such data was available.
  • Furthermore, people who booked were interested in booking beds, not rooms, so they needed to see an image of room (there was none). They also needed to know about Wifi available, laundry facilities, etc.


I mapped the current solution of our potential customers. Most of them only used Google search and phone calls, and they had to call a lot to find proper accommodation with free capacities. I mapped what the average phone call looked like, what people asking for, and what questions needed to be answered in order to get confirmed booking. This defined the 1st flow of our new web-app.


Flow, IA and every piece of the process was constantly iterated and usability tested. I designed a catalog of accommodations that had all the needed parts except for real-time data. This brings us to the 2nd part - the Operations.

Designing an operations platform for accommodating daily workers

Once I knew what information we needed to show in the catalog, we had to get real-time data.

A tale of a 90's receptionist

Imagine the reception area of an accommodation for daily workers. In a dark room there sits an underpaid receptionist. Papers with inscribed phone numbers, names, and dates are everywhere. Every piece of paper comes with another paper that contains followup information. There is a very old computer, and it's used only for emails. No one knows if this place is even profitable. That is the situation we dealt with on a daily basis.


  • No software evidence is used on the operations side - most of the current operations run on pen and paper.
  • Receptionists are not tech savvy.
  • No one on the operations side wants a software solution - it's too complicated, they say. With every interview I see, though, that's exactly what's needed.
  • But - it needs to address the right problems: no bookings or a low amount of bookings, low revenue, pen and paper mess, the necessity to set and edit every single booking manually, double booking, reporting, etc.


  • In-depth interviews with owners and receptionists.
  • Changing the minds of Accomango stakeholders - showing them the real depth of the problem. Selling it internally.
  • Prototyping, testing, iterating.


  • In short: A calendar with automatically updated data.
  • All-in-one operations platform. Covering all layers - communication with Foreign Police, booking evidence, free capacity management, etc.
  • Data can be provided (and updated) by both the receptionist and the person who booked the capacity. That way there's no need for any more papers - with one exception -
  • The Foreign Police - module that automatically updates this database. That way, no more paperwork. This combination itself is a key way to sell this solution to any accommodation fitting our persona.

Sketches & Results

Images illustrating the process, artifacts and outcomes.

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