While at Egencia, Expedia Group's hub for business travel, I served as the lead designer for the Trips pod. We handled business travel itineraries and anything a traveler might manage after booking a trip, including downloading receipts. After joining, I noticed the current receipt had significant flaws– there was no visual hierarchy, it was too small to read without zooming in, and the information was extremely unclear.
I searched through customer feedback and found many complaints that confirmed these issues. Customers described receipts as "convoluted," "hard to find," and "an issue that needs to be resolved ASAP."
One of Egencia's core selling points was taking the stress out of expenses as hotel, flight, and car bookings all lived in one place. However, the existing receipts worked directly against that value proposition. My findings led to a new initiative on the team: make our travelers' experience with receipts seamless and clear.
Receipts need to be easy to understand and consume
They should have a clear breakdown of prices and charges
Everything should be labeled and named explicitly
For this project, I took a lead role in product strategy. It began when I took the initiative to propose we prioritize receipts on our roadmap, collecting data to help make the case. I presented these findings at our quarterly company-wide planning meeting, where people across departments were invited to pitch their ideas for the product. My pitch was chosen as the winning proposal for the Trips team that quarter, so I partnered closely with my product manager and developers to define our project roadmap from start to finish.
Previously, the design team had only run a few moderated user tests, as we did not have a dedicated researcher. I was the first team member to run a side-by-side unmoderated test, allowing us to get clean results and actual data more quickly and simply. I carefully crafted questions and user criteria, creating a testing framework that would be used across future projects.
This project's scope began as simple improvements to the link users clicked to download receipts. However, as I carried out the design process, I realized that a more significant overhaul of all payment-related items on the itinerary page was crucial to improving the travelers' experience with receipts. I spearheaded new research, testing, and designs to create an optimal solution and led the team to expand the project's reach.
The initial proposal of this project was a simple redesign of the actual receipt PDF travelers could download. Before, we had a PDF and a standalone webpage showing the same receipt information. For simplicity, we consolidated that into a single PDF view in the traveler's native browser.
After conducting competitive research and sketching out several ideas, I designed a simple receipt that presented the information cleanly, consistently, and straightforwardly. The ticket was built to be readable on desktop and mobile widths, allowing physical printing in a standard printer.
As I worked on this project, I realized the improvements to the receipt PDF still didn't address one of the main issues identified during my research: discoverability. It was important to me to think about redesigning receipts themselves, but also to consider the users' experience in context.
Historically, we'd considered receipts separate from the Cost Summary, which was Egencia's estimated price breakdown but not an official invoice. However, I hypothesized that to the average business traveler, these two should be connected. I wanted to eliminate any potential confusion and bring all payment information to one place in a clearly defined way.
With this new idea in mind, I began sketching ideas for how the receipt link and Cost Summary could work together instead of against each other. After receiving feedback, I decided that the most robust option would be to move all items related to the cost of your trip– cost summary, individual transactions, and the link to the receipts– to the top right, where it's impossible to miss.
Because we hadn't previously discussed making any changes to the Cost Summary as part of our receipts initiative, I decided it would be best to test this new concept before deciding if we wanted to expand the project's scope.
I ran a series of unmoderated user tests, half using the new designs I had created and half using the old layout. This way, I could demonstrate to my product manager and team any measurable difference this update could make.
I asked users about the three key goals I set for the project– is the receipt information clear, does it feel accessible, and is it easy to find?
The results of the two tests demonstrated the new designs as a clear winner. Business travelers had largely positive things to say about the new layout. We asked test subjects to rate their experience with the receipt PDF and the redesigned itinerary. The new designs scored a 4.8/5 for ease of finding their receipt on the itinerary and a 4.9/5 for clarity of information on the receipt itself. This was compared to a 4.5/5 on both in the old experience.
With these excellent results, we all agreed it was worth investing time into making these larger changes before moving on to our team's next priorities. Without the proper context, any updates to the receipt itself would still get lost.
For launch, we rolled out the new designs as an A/B test, measuring the number of calls to customer service as the key indicator for its success. After one month, we saw 2% fewer calls to customer service on the new design compared to what was there previously. That may seem small, but that small percentage saved the company millions of dollars in service calls. And most importantly, fewer calls to customer service meant users were finding what they were looking for.
The tested designs were the winner. As the itinerary page continued to evolve, receipts and payment finally became a focal point of the page rather than just an afterthought, a win for travelers and Egencia.
© Sarah Gorman 2023