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Remote Prototype Testing Ensures Successful Launch for Princess Cruises

Problem: Not Much Time to Test Before Launch

In their effort to create one of the first cruise booking engines of its kind, Princess Cruises needed to quickly know if it was going to meet users’ needs. Since this would be the first time Princess’ customers could book a cruise on the website, they wanted to identify if they were providing users the information they needed, and if the new flash-based tool was intuitive. In addition, they needed to know if users from a wide age-range understood the find and compare features.

Solution: Remote Prototype Testing

Bolt | Peters conducted two remote moderated usability studies on the prototype of their Flash based booking engine. Using Ethnio, B|P was able to recruit users live off the Princess web site. This ensured that the participants in the study were actually potential customers. Recruits that met the criteria of the study were called up and diverted to the prototype of the new booking engine, where they were asked to perform searching and booking tasks.

Results: Massively Successful Launch

By identifying and fixing key usability barriers in the prototype before launch, Princess was able to book almost twice as many cruises as expected in the first month of active use.

Some of the findings and issues that were solved were:

  • Improved explanations of the ship layout
  • Identifying that users expected to be able to search for cruises based on the departure port.
  • A clear summary page of cruise details was crucial to creating trust in users.