Interaction design and development of Transavia Voice Assistant for flight booking experience on Google Home
With our initial exploration of flight booking experience on Amazon Alexa, our client Transavia decided to move forward with us and explore new potential on Google Home and Google Assistant platform. Again, as a fast-paced and explorative project, within four weeks, I worked with creative consultant and strategist for concept development, worked closely with a solution developer to develop the first version of launch-ready service on Google Assistant.
The service is approved by Google and is currently available for consumers.
You can either search “Transavia” on Google Assistant or follow this link to start the experience.
The project has been nominated for SpinAwards 2018.
Personal contribution: Desk research; UX Strategy; Experience journey; User research; UX flow; UX/UI design
Team: : Ekaterina Belousova (Solution Developer), Dimitri Teunissen (Creative Consultant); Edgard Beckand (Strategic Director)
With our former experience of VUI development on Amazon Alexa based on the core flight search feature. It is possible to create a similar search and book experience on Google Home. In this way, Transavia is able to target on both platforms and their users.
With the integration of Google Assistant on Google Home， Android phones and Google apps, it enlarges the user group to those who are not possessing smart speakers.
It is definitely not possible to handle everything through voice user interface, thus we need to take into consideration of advantages from other platforms, such as mobile phones, smart TVs, etc. With Google Assistant integration and eco-platform of all Google services, we are facing multiple opportunities but also challenges on how to deliver engaging experience for the customer. The challenges rely on how to make use of different platforms and services to create a seamless flight booking and management experience.
Taking reference of existing customer journey of flight experience, we mapped out the needs of customers through flight search, flight booking, check-in, at the airport, flight track and post-flight phases. Most importantly, we defined the touchpoints of Google Home and other platforms, highlight the value points of integrating different Google services, such as Youtube, Weather, Google Calendar, etc.
In order to make the experience journey more tangible for the client to understand, I helped to transform the whole journey into storyboards.
The client immediately gets excited about it.
Further, we conducted desk researches to evaluate the feasibility of each concept. Based on the current capacity and implementation of Google Assistant platform, certain features are moved to future stages. For instance, currently there is no API integration of Google Home and Youtube, and it is not possible to initiate notification from Google Home. We left out these two concept directions first.
Based on the experience journey, we break down them into different features. In order to define and prioritize user stories for development, I decided to conduct a fast user research by handing out Google Forms to colleagues and on social network. Within two days, I received 25 responses which I considered as a decent amount of user input.
According to user insights, we refined user stories together with the developer. Afterwards, we distributed them on a matrix based on development effort and user preference to prioritize our development effort. The numbers are accordingly marked on the experience journey. As a result, we decided to proceed with inspirational search once the core specific search has finished.
The developer starts working on porting Alexa specific search framework to Google Assistant, in the meantime, me as interaction designer is developing the flow of inspirational search.
The challenge is to integrate multiple search parameters and eventually guide user to a specific flight result.
Taking a look at how other players doing is a quick way to absorb pros and cons of current practices while differentiate Transavia’s service and brand value.
The biggest players currently are Google Flights and Kayak. Through cognitive walkthrough of both platforms, I aggregate learnings to assist the process of flow mapping.
For example, empowering user to search with a combination of parameters, accessing user’s location to seed up search process, only providing limited amount of search results within human language processing capability, etc.
I involved several rounds of dirty user tests in my iterations of UX flow. Based on the final UX flow, together with the developer, we developed actions on Google Dialogflow, a platform enables conversation UI development without hardcore programming.
I helped the developer to enrich speeches as conversation content on Google Dialogflow and used the simulater to test best ways of showing information or list on Google Assistant cards.
This is an intense, short-term project with an intention of exploration. After going through desk research, experience mapping, user research, defining user stories, prioritizing development efforts, and development on Google Dialogflow, we are able to deliver the first version of Transavia on Google Assistant with main functions of specific search and inspirational search.
The service definitely requires further iterations and improvements, but you are free to experience the current version Here.