Thomson – Our Eye Tracking Review

September 5, 2011 2:09 pm

Thomson – Our Eye Tracking Review

Our team conducted an eye tracking review of the Thomson website for the September edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The full article can be read here: Thomson Website Eye Tracking Article.

We invited users to participate in booking a holiday on the Thomson website. They were asked to have a destination and booking party in mind and add on any specific requirements they would need. Eye tracking technology was used to observe how the users would navigate through the site during the holiday booking process.

Once on the Thomson homepage one user was immediately attracted by the ‘Late deals’ option. This took them to a landing page showing over 33,000 holiday deals which the user found overwhelming. The results were already arranged in lowest price order but this was not obvious to the user. Clicking on the column heading rearranged the date order of the results, but again we saw the user looking around the page because she had failed to realise that anything hand changed due to the listings looking so similar.

Users liked that they had the option to view Thomson reviews, however another user was a bit sceptical of the reviews that Thomson would provide on their own site. The majority of users liked that they were able to access TripAdvisor straight from the website.Some users stated that they would place more trust in a TripAdvisor review then a company’s own customer review. A user also said they would be suspicious of a resort that wasn’t reviewed.

The ‘My shortlist’ facility was a helpful tool which enabled users to save their favourite holidays during browsing. This tool was mainly missed by the users as their attention was drawn into the middle of the page where the holidays appeared. The ‘My shortlist’ was in a separate box which moved down the right-hand side of the page when the user scrolled, it was hard to distinguish it because the background colour was a similar colour to the background of the main page.

We observed a user misunderstanding the language used in the ‘Choose your date’ filter. The user believed the wording ‘I can travel between…and…’ allowed them to enter the dates which they could fly out between, without entering a return date. No results were returned due to the narrow date range. The user then entered a wider range of dates believing that they would have to narrow down their search manually later on in the booking process.

SimpleUsability have been providing expert eye tracking advice for the readers of  Internet Retailing Magazine since 2009.