Finding a great hostel on your travels can be challenging, especially if you’re going off the beaten track and exploring less travelled places. OurHostels is a crowd sourced platform where you’ll find popular hostels as well as hostels that aren’t listed on some of the major booking platforms like Hostelworld or Booking.com. The easy to use map-centric design means you’ll end up exactly where you want to be.
Using HostelSnap you’ll book directly with the hostel, and avoid paying high fees or commissions. Did you come across a hostel not listed? You can help other travelers by suggesting hostels, and even get rewards!
I was deeply involved in strategy planning for this project, as well as the UX and UI design of the website. I continue to support and develop this product as the design lead.
As the design lead, I created a strategy and service design, working with the OurHostels team to take our ideas and transform them into a product focused on delivering great user experience. I drew on the knowledge of other team members, developed ideas, ran user testing, and remodeled designs until we were completely satisfied with the product.
Being a long-term digital nomad with a background in the travel industry, I have a unique insight into the consumer’s needs, and I was able to quickly test ideas on other travelers. I also drew on the experience of OurHostels’ founder, a hostel owner with a clear understanding of the hospitality industry.
What sets OurHostels apart is that, unlike traditional booking sites, the platform is map-centric. This is especially suited to the planning stage of a trip, and shows all the hostels in a specific location. Users can browse the map to discover new places and cool hostels located in the areas they want to visit.
For the MVP we were limited to a web-based platform, but we know our users often search for hostels on their mobiles, so we put a lot of effort into making the mobile experience as smooth as possible, without compromising quality or user satisfaction.
A simple, consistent, and friendly UI is what sets OurHostels apart from other platforms, and users can easily find the best hostels in the area they plan to travel. They will also feel that they belong to a community of likeminded travelers, rather than being just another user on an impersonal booking platform.
While this website represents an innovative design that fills a real user need, the design of OurHostels takes into account the future vision of the platform, leaving plenty of room for it to grow from the current version to a fully-fledged platform.