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.
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.
Once I knew what information we needed to show in the catalog, we had to get real-time data.
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.
Images illustrating the process, artifacts and outcomes.