Years ago when I was graduate searching for work, I came across Booking.com CONSTANTLY. It was even featured on Dribbble. I felt like either;
A: They have a horrible turnover of new staff
B: They're getting a tremendous amount of 'free' design exercises.
I understand it' common practice these days, but they could be milking it. There may be a 'C' I've not considered tho...
possible C: Amsterdam location with no remote may limit talent pool
They have a huge team, high turnover, and they will relocate you to Amsterdam so they recruit/advertise jobs globally.
They are always looking for new designers, so I think its not hard to get spotted by their ad :)
I liked your work. Seems like you understand how things work and how new features can be validated.
About Booking.com: Isn't their entire strategy is just adding more tricks to make users feel FOMO and book? I highly doubt they ever think about what can benefit the user, but mostly what can benefit the company's revenue.
You should've went for this:
- Make users more anxious to buy out of fear and pressure
to make them more fomo and spend more $$$
Show users results that they missed with a red disappointing box
WHAT TO MEASURE:
number of bookings
(DEFINITELY NOT) their negative emotions after their session to book a hotel
Thank you very much! When working in commerce business of course you always look first at what value that brings to company - if you dont make from feature, why have it? :) but features can have positive improvement to user experience and then also bring revenue to the project.
i agree. the problem is features that bring value to the company but hurts the user. which is 90% of booking.com's "features".
Not a fan of the "give us some free work" design exercises, but I definitely like what you did. Your recommendations are solid.
Thank you very much! I am also not a biggest fan of give us some free work exercises, but this one was really nicely structured and offer insight on how day-to-day of ux designer at Booking.com goes :)
agreed. i'm all for design exercises as a part of the process, but it shouldn't be so directly tied to their live product.
Some interesting ideas to test, I honest to god hate the clutter and number of nags of booking.com these days though so adding more stuff to it would do little for me but always good to see what others have in mind.
The region area on the map I think is a good feature but I've never been convinced about adding image galleries to search results simply because at this stage it's a lot of page weight when a user is still in filter mode.
Did they feed back why your application and ideas wasn't successful or just a "thanks but no thanks"?
Some concrete suggestions from a graduate designer. Although i agree with James, it seems that there is more to be done within the existing design/information distribution before adding any more features!!
Thank you James for the feedback. The idea was to come up with 3 actionable improvements to current page that can be easily measured and what is already currently on the page is proven with test to work, so I wasnt thinking of removing elements.
The feedback on design challenge was very positive, but I failed on the other task on the on-site interview. The final feedback was that I was not ready yet.
Thank you for sharing the process :)
Interesting to see and hear what challenges you had to face. Those tests are difficult because you seldom have enough context to make a good suggestion but helpful to see your thinking and glad you found another opportunity instead.
Just commenting on the "I got rejected," although you didn't appear to paint it altogether negatively. Nonetheless, it's a pretty hostile word to use for the hiring process. Sometimes teams might think you're good, even great, but might not exactly thrive in their own culture. They might actually be doing you a huge favor, even though you might not realize it. Always follow up for feedback.
I just don't like the idea floating around that not getting hired at some place is grounds for intense therapeutic soul searching.
Hey, yes maybe the title was a bit too hostile - I just wanted to emphasise that even if you do a really good interview and exercise you might not get hired and thats it should be taken as good thing - something that you learned and not a bad thing :)
I took the whole process as a positive experience that lead me then to MOBGEN Accenture Interactive. I enjoyed every step of the interview process at Booking.com and got back really valuable feedback :)
Some solid suggestions! Interviewing is very much a game, you have to avoid getting attached to a potential role and get yourself out there. You don't win them all.
As someone who hires and looks at candidate approaches, I would suggest, when faced with a task such as this, two parts to a presentation:
- Actionable, objective or evidence-based improvements to the existing interface.
- Something that throws out the current interface entirely (be brave) and makes the interviewer think completely differently.
This proves you can think along the lines of current best practice (1) and be a valuable asset for future reform and transformation (2).
Congratulations on your new role. Sounds like you bagged a winner.
Hey, thank you! :) The feedback on the improvements was really positive, but I wasn't selected because other part of interview - the famous redesign of ATM wasn't perfect :(
I wanted to share this article to also help others prepare for interviews at Booking.com and share my experience.
Thanks for sharing this.
Not really feeling the A/B testing culture at Booking.com. Seems they rely a little too much on it. Inevitably, if this is not managed great, it will slow down the design process and every decision would be based on how you interpret and present the results.
Sometimes, I'm wondering how it would be to prototype with HTML & CSS, having all that A/B testing knowledge and being a full time politician. Would I be able to look outside the box and be creative / innovative !?
Anyway, the design has improved lately and starting to have a clean look. So congrats Booking.com
Hey Lucian, thank you for your feedback. Yeah the A/B testing has its pros and cons, at Booking.com they heavily rely on that so its really challenging for designers to come up with good solutions that will also convert :).
But yes designers at Booking.com really need to have a wide arrange of skills, not just visual.
It's great that this was a valuable experience for you, and excellent to hear you've now been hired by MOBGEN - congratulations on that!
Interestingly, I wrote a small piece for our company blog about take home tests, and why I don't like them. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on having to do a take home test.
Here's the article I wrote here: https://medium.com/hacking-talent/design-take-home-tests-are-no-good-7505684e00f
Thank you very much! I also am not a biggest fan of take-home exercises. The one from Booking.com was interesting to me, because it give an insight how actual day to day of a designer at Booking.com goes - coming up with small improvements, building them and testing them. Also the exercise did not take too much time, because they were small improvements.
Really like how you approached the take home exercise and transformed it into a small workshop, really like the approach! (and congrats on getting the job).