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  • Tourism UX

3rd March 2017

What is User Experience (UX) and how does it relate to tourism?

According to Wikipedia, UX refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.

UX is a concept that comes from the digital world and is generally related to the design, functionality and usability of software systems and websites. It is particularly important when dealing with complex processes and vast of amounts of information.

On a website for example, UX attempts to resolve questions like – Can users do what they need to do easily? Can they access the information they want? Will they generally have a good experience, rather than tearing their hair out? UX considers different types of users and the different paths they may use to get the information they want.

How do visitors get the information they need?

Our consultancy, Wayfound specialises in helping destinations to create seamless visitor journeys. This includes thinking about how to provide information in a variety of ways before, during and after the visit. It also includes online and traditional forms of communication like brochures, maps and signage.

The purpose of the information is to:

  1. guide visitors safely and efficiently to their destination
  2. inform them of the range of attractions and services available within a destination

It’s important to recognise that different visitors have different information needs at different points in their journey and people will often use multiple sources to get information (i.e. sometimes signs, sometimes social media).

The primary aim for destinations in providing information is to help visitors feel confident about their journey and to enjoy the experience.

So, why think about UX for tourism?

Given all of this, we started to think about how the concept of UX applies to people feeling confident about their journey and having a great experience.

We will continue to explore this notion of Tourism UX®.

But, for now we want to pose some questions for destinations to consider.

In terms of the overall experience, when a visitor comes to your town, city, venue –

  • How do you want them to feel?
  • What do you want them to think?
  • What do you want them to do/experience?
  • What do they need to know?

The answers to these questions then lead to thinking about how to provide information in a seamless way. Thinking through things like –

  • Who are the different types of visitors?
  • What are the different ways they will get information? (eg: devices)
  • Is it easy to access and understand the information?
  • Is the consistent, accurate, up-to-date?
  • Does it all support the experience you want people to have?
Your feedback is welcome

We see this article as the start of a conversation about Tourism UX® and we are keen to hear your thoughts. So, email us or give us a ring.