Interaction design task: prepare hotels for an inspection

Task

There is a company ‘HotelRate’. It is hired by hotels to conduct an inspection and find out how prepared the hotel is for the real upcoming ‘5 diamonds’ inspection. The task is to design an interactive report that is given after the inspection to the hotel managers and help the hotel managers achieve 2 objectives:

  1. How good / bad is my hotel? – “How prepared am I for the ‘5 diamond’ inspection?”
  2. What should I do in this last month to prepare for the official rating inspection? – “I obviously can’t fix everything, what should I do?!”

There are 3000 rules that the hotel is checked against. There might be hundreds of thousands of issues reported. So, 1 rule can have multiple issues.

Solution

We provide a table view with 2 levels. First level is the rule level. Second level is the issues level. We clearly show severity of the problems. We provide flexibility by enabling sorting and filtering the data. And we show how much percentage is missing for the 5 diamond status.

rules_mac

First we show all the rules that were broken.

issues

The user can click any rule and see all the issues, associated with it.

Overview

The main approach I took was to provide the best solution for the hotel managers to achieve their two main objectives, while not spending too many resources on developing the solution. In other words: provide a great solution with minimum resources, with least amount of features.

Since there wasn’t a specific requirement, the solution provided is for the web. Web is the most accessible interactive digital medium. Main design is 1024px wide, so it will suit most desktops, laptops, and tablets. Solution is touch-friendly.

Process

  1. After studying the task, I came up with initial solution and sketched up an interface on paper.
  2. I conducted 2 interviews with a business manager and with a person who has experience in hospitality.
  3. Analyzed the feedback and made amendments:
    1. Added more data to the issues: date, time, and a person associated with that issue (who might be responsible for the issue). Associated person is to be reported during the inspection if possible. Time and date should be quite easy data to gather. The main reason for this is that business manager will want to be able to pinpoint who was responsible for certain problem, so that he can work with that person (talk / discipline / fire, etc).
    2. Added color coding for most severe problem categories to enable easier recognition
    3. Made minor interface tweaks
    4. Made some amendments in accordance with my own assumptions and expertise
  4. Created wireframes in Photoshop
  5. Created interactive prototype with Proto.io
  6. Next steps would be to test the prototypes, conduct more user research, iterate and work on details

Solution details

Solution for problem 1: How good / bad is my hotel? – “How prepared am I for the ‘5 diamond’ inspection?”

We provide a bar showing clearly what percentage is missing to achieve click here the ‘5 diamond’ status. I assume this can be calculated based on the amount of rules broken and issues reported.

bar

Solution for problem 2: What should I do in this last month to prepare for the official rating inspection? – “I obviously can’t fix everything, what should I do?!”

We clearly show which tasks have the most severity and thus should be taken care of most!

rules_mac_filter

We introduce lots of filtering and sorting options. Severity is the default sorting option. It lets the manager clearly see the most important problems.

issues_filter

For the issue level, we also provide useful sorting and filtering.

A hotel manager cannot deal with these issues alone, he will need to delegate tasks. So he needs to take a look at the report and be able to assign the most important issues to the corresponding managers. For example: “Ok, I will assign the cleaning problems that are severe to the Cleaning Manager” or “Chief of Staff will have to take care of all the business threatening and major Personnel problems”.

Alternatively, if it’s a small hotel, the hotel manager might need to solve the problems by himself or with a very small inter-disciplinary team.

With the provided solutions both ways are possible.

We provide a table view with 2 levels. First level is the rule level. Second level is the issues level.

  • We mark most severe problems with color codes to attract attention, because those are the ones the manager needs to concentrate on first
  • We provide many useful sorting and filtering options. Default sorting is from the most important severity to the least important
  • We provide good search options
  • Small usability details must be taken care of:
    • Ajax loading
    • Maintaining previous view when going back (because the table is huge, user needs to remain on the same place when he goes back and forth)
    • User needs to be able to easily copy and send links to his colleagues. For example, user goes into the rule ‘All debris/trash should be removed’ and sees the list of all issues, associated with it. He should be able to just copy the link from the browser and send it the cleaning manager.
    • User needs to be able to open rules in separate tabs, in case he needs to compare different rules’ issues or for some other reason
  • Filters
    • All possible options are visible right away. User can easily tap them.
    • Apply button is introduced instead of the on-the-go reloading, to avoid unresponsiveness and lags, as there is a lot of data. We also might need to introduce page numbering.
    • Filters are hidden by default, to keep things cleaner.
  • Removed feature
    • First I had the ‘resolve’ command for each issue that the manager / his team might click and then the readiness percentage would get recalculated, but in the end I removed it, because it’s out of the scope of the stated objectives.