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Usability Testing of Travel Websites

Deborah S. Carstens and Pauline Patterson

Journal of Usability Studies, Issue 1, Volume 1, November 2005, pp. 47-61


A usability study was conducted to identify usability problems as well as recommendations for improvement for three travel sales websites. The study performed testing on twenty participants, between the ages of 19 and 65, recruited from the university campus consisting of students, faculty, and staff. The three websites tested were Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, and Travelocity.com. Each participant was given general instructions and a pre-survey to determine their demographics and level of Internet experience. The usability study tested participants on the task of finding the same itinerary on each travel website. The participant during testing was under observation of the experimenter that maintained an observation log. A post-survey along with a debriefing session was conducted to gather additional feedback. The average testing time for participants was 30 minutes. The results of this study are presented as well as a future research discussion consisting of the development of usability guidelines for designers of travel websites.

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Usability Testing of Travel Websites