RELATE-AND-DISCOVERY: exploring the confluence of UX design and electronic word-of-mouth in travel technology
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 12:56 by Peter Albert Weir
Due its costly and intangible nature, travel-related purchases involve a lot of complex decision-making, and are therefore deemed high-risk. However, since the turn of the millennium, as web-enabled technologies grew increasingly more prevalent, the manner in which people seek information has evolved, thus distorting our traditional understanding of the buyer’s journey. Using search-powered, online platforms, consumers now deploy an arsenal of means to discover new goods, services, and activities. While there are countless price comparison websites and virtual communities for obtaining travel information, all of the existing networks neglect the most effective and longstanding breed of communications—a form that regularly outperforms the standard approaches to advertising: word-of-mouth (WOM). Namely, a process in which consumers can discover information not only through search, but by relating to one another. As a result, the market is devoid of a tool for sharing personalized, experience-based, destination-specific travel recommendations with friends and family. Through Dispatch, a mobile app prototype and research proxy, the efficacy of online WOM (eWOM) will be explored further, revealing how this behaviour phenomenon coexists with the intricacies and nuances of user experience (UX) design.