eLong.com Travel Website Usability Test and Redesign

Method: User Interview, Questionnaire Survey, Persona Creation, HTML Protyping, Usability Testing
Tools: HTML, CSS, JavaScript


eLong.com is a travel service company partered with Expedia. Its main business is selling airline tickets, hotel reservations, and vacation packages at discounted price via the company website and telephone booking system. The management wanted to build the next version of the company’s website. We were hired as a consulting team to inject the user-centered design concept (figure below) into the redesign and testing process.

Our design and test process:
UCD process


We interviewed 20 frequent users of eLong.com, extracted their profiles, and then used a mixed apporach including quantitative cluster analysis and qualitative abstraction to create personas for design goal-setting and evaluation. We also designed new prototypes and recruited another 10 users to test the new design in terms of task flow and usability improvements.

##Sample Personas


  • travels for business;
  • books tickets online to earn more points;
  • time is more important than price;
  • flies with AirChina;
  • will check prices on AirChina website;
  • uses popular hotels; checks hotel location and reads reviews;
  • rational decision maker.



  • administrative assistant;
  • only search for ticket information online;
  • books tickets and hotel via phone call;
  • tries to balance price and comfort;
  • eLong is just an information source.



Homepage design 1: Index page design 1

Homepage design 2: Index page design 2

Hotel search results page: Hotel search results page

Flight search results page: Flight search results page

Hotel overview page: Hotel overview page

Hotel transportation information page: Hotel transportation information page

Tu, N., Dong, X., Rau, P. L., & Zhang, T. (2010). Using cluster analysis in Persona development. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Supply Chain Management and Information Systems (SCMIS), Hong Kong.

Tu, N., Zhang, T., & Dong, X. (2006). Personas creation and quantitative methods. In Proc. of the 7th Asia-Pacific Conference on Computer-Human Interaction. Taipei, Taiwan.

Updated on July 11, 2006