How do you design a booking system that works? We ask our Head of Product & Design, Jason Quinn

How do you design a booking system that works? We ask our Head of Product & Design, Jason Quinn

We ask our Head of Product & Design, Jason Quinn, about the challenges that face the travel and leisure sector, AI and personalisation. He also explains why you should ignore design trends.  

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the travel and leisure sector?

Having to plan for unknown and unpredictable market changes is a necessary challenge. Covid created a whole new alert system for the industry and forced businesses to think about what they might need to be prepared for. Attractions went from selling a ticket to reserving time slots. For many, this approach has remained as it created new opportunities to manage capacity better and sell more experiences.

Cybersecurity is also a real design challenge. Especially when travelling, consumers are conscious of how they share their personal and payment details but having to use dual factor authentication to make every booking is time consuming and could create a barrier to purchase.

Do you see big design trends affecting how companies approach technology?

I’m not a fan of design trends. When it comes to manufacturing a product that is fit for purpose, there are certain methodologies in terms of investigation, design and problem solving that have been used for decades because they work. These practices, are often dressed up, renamed and presented as new trends but are often core principles that experienced designers have never stopped using.

Trendy concepts also attract use in the wrong circumstances as people are dazzled by them and don’t give much consideration for the benefits they bring or the problems they solve. While interesting, they can derail companies and detract from the value of design that creates the smartest solution. Brilliant design isn’t meant to be noticed. So, really the goal for designers is to create a system that allows users to do what they need to without thinking about the steps they’ve taken to get there.

How do you anticipate AI will impact product design?

You can’t really use a tool until you break down the magic of it and understand what it really is and how you’re going to use it. When you look at how people describe concepts such as AI, they often over-inflate its capabilities. AI is simply a series of data-informed algorithms. By principle our decisions should be informed by data and AI is a tool to support us. This data-led approach should be baked into everything we do from how we talk to our customers and how we uncover their needs to how the platform operates, how it recommends movements and assists with tactical decision making.

What does personalisation mean for design?

There is no point having personalisation as an optional tab at the bottom of a page, it needs to be folded into the whole experience. Equally there are many examples of personalisation going awry, such as customers being recommended tickets to attractions in New York when they have just booked an event in London. There’s a difference between personalisation and customer service, and it is going to run into problems when you let algorithms do all the work for you.

Revolutionising your booking system? Contact Patrick Gray at for more information.


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