Landline.com is the direct-to-consumer face of The Landline Company. The website had been designed and built by an offshore company in 2018-19.
During the initial two years of the Covid-19 pandemic the airline industry went through dramatic changes resulting in major shifts in the markets airlines were able to serve. The direct-to-consumer product was back burnered for several years while the company built its partnerships with airlines. In mid-2022 as air travel resumed pre-2020 levels, it was time to refocus on direct-to-consumer business and updated the design to appeal to modern travelers and inspire confidence in the brand.
- Modernize the overall look and booking flow within the constraints of the current technology solution
- Improve booking user experience to clarify options and interactions
- Immediately increase conversion rates and user retention
Contextual user research and interviews, UX redesign of desktop and mobile sites from concept to high fidelity prototype. Post-launch tracking, testing, and refinement.
Contextual research, user interviews, digital wireframes, low- and high-fidelity design prototypes, design iteration, and responsive design. Fullstory integration, set-up, and monitoring.
Understanding the User
Contextual research \ Interviews \ Personas \ Problem statements
I conducted contextual research in Colorado and Pennsylvania riding alongside users to see how passengers were experiencing the Landline service. I also interviewed drivers in-person and via survey in each market to get their views on rider personas and pain points. Driver feedback closely matched the results of my contextual research defining the typical users and their actions onboard.
Users tend to fall into one of three categories: solo business travelers, older solo travelers or couples, or college students. By far the largest segment is solo business travelers tipping towards male.
Compared to standard websites, Landline has a unique opportunity to gather information, good and bad, directly from users through the customer service agents and drivers. Poor user in-person experiences can sometimes be mitigated by better information and processes on the website.
Personas & problem statements
Problem statement: Andy is a frequent business traveler who needs an economical and reliable way to get from Ft. Collins, CO to Denver International every week because parking at the airport and gas prices have made driving himself too expensive.
Problem statement: Fran and Wallace are retirees who make trips three or four times a year to visit family in Florida and Arizona. They need a convenient way to and from Minneapolis International Airport with three to four large suitcases and their dog because rideshares don’t allow pets and they don’t want to park long-term at the airport.
Digital wireframes \\ High-fidelity designs \\ Usability
Due to business goals, prior to a wholesale rebuild of the site and booking engine, the decision was made to update the Landline.com UI without modifying the underlying programming. The challenge was to improve the user experience as much as possible without any modifications to the booking flow or site structure. Because of these limitations, we moved directly to digital wireframes, then high-fidelity designs.
Usability for this redesign so far have been limited to what we’ve learned through Fullstory. Watching user recordings revealed a handful of flaws in the responsive design that we were able to quickly diagnose and correct.
Because the business is not at a point where we can make the larger needed technical changes, true usability studies have been put on hold.
One of my goals with the redesign was to move away from the strict yellow and dark brown brand colors on the homepage. The brand yellow is meant to invoke the yellow lines on a roadway, but that same yellow is also used for street and caution signs. Because we weren’t looking to change the logo, I wanted to shift from the mental model of yellow=caution toward yellow=sunshine. By introducing sky blue consistently in the promo hero photography, yellow and sky blue pairing reframes user thinking toward sunny days, vacation, and ideal travel weather. The blue + yellow also helps remove focus from the brown, which becomes a dark neutral when juxtaposed against the two bright colors.
We made the trip pricing more eye-catching and used a brown on yellow button style, which is more readable than the yellow on brown used previously in the booking flow. The large prices and organic, rounded shapes used in the trip options display helps the eye move quickly, easing decision making.
The checkout screen was segmented into logical chunks: summary, pricing, checkout. While the page feels far lighter and easier to scan than the previous version, we were able to add an entirely new section devoted to the the loyalty program.
Takeaways // Next Steps
We continue to get positive feedback from users directly and via our customer service reps since the relaunch in late January. The increase in conversions and sales have shown strong evidence that our changes have been a net positive, inspiring confidence in new users and delighting long-time customers. Users who have continued on from the homepage has jumped 12% with launch of the new design.
What we learned:
Clarity, clarity, clarity. Though we couldn’t make any deep technological changes, reorganizing the information made a huge difference in our conversion rate and how quickly users were able to make decisions and complete their purchase.
Simplify anywhere you can and think about users’ physical experience as well. As part of the redesign, we eliminated online check-in and paper boarding passes which has been a big hit with past customers.
We’ll continue to track user in real time through Fullstory, making improvements as opportunities are revealed. We’re going to focus next on improving the mobile conversion rate which, while higher than pre-relaunch, lags behind desktop by 2%.
The site is due for a full-scale tech rebuild, which will be scheduled as business goals allow.