Virgin Holidays

How to fit an entire holiday and a rep in your pocket

I started my Virgin Holidays journey in the Post-booking Team the tail-end 2018, where I reviewed the user experience and looked for quick wins to improve how customers managed their holiday booking.

Mobile App available on:App StoreGoogle Play
  • Ingredients:
  • User research
  • Product design
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing

Dear diary...

Just before I joined the team, a diary study had been carried out by Verve with 38 customers that had booked a trip with Virgin Holidays. The participants were asked to share any thoughts or actions related to their holiday booking – from the moment they received confirmation, right through to arriving at the airport.

Before I got stuck into seeking low hanging fruit or ideation, I read the diary entries for all 38 participants to understand their journeys and identify any themes. This helped us to understand exactly what future customers would want and expect from their holiday management tool.

The insight we gained was invaluable and gave us a clear picture of how our customers plan and research in the lead up to their dream trip. Some of the top themes included flight preparation, budgeting, deciding what to wear, creating an itinerary and the important one – researching where to eat.

‘An update is available’

To support App strategy conversations, I mocked-up a concept to illustrate how the experience could look and flow with a consistent and intuitive UI / design language. It was also a good opportunity to include some teasers that addressed user paint points and desires.

One of my observations on social media was that customers often share screenshots of their holiday countdown. This gave me the idea to include a screenshot feature that hides the App and OS UI to put the spotlight on their destination and days until departure.

Full exploration and development of this concept are due to start H2 of 2020.

Screenshot view – San Francisco

Screenshot view – Orlando

Screenshot view – Barbados

Screenshot view – Indonesia

Home screen


Payment history

Flight details

Accommodation overview

Accommodation amenities

Accommodation location

App settings

Holiday magic touches

Whether you’re trip is to meet Micky and friends or take to the skies over the Grand Canyon – there’s an experience to make that dream a reality. With so many of our customers using the Virgin Holidays App on their travels, we wanted to make browsing and purchasing those magic touches easier and more convenient on the go.

We took the existing in-browser journey and looked to simplify and streamline it to work directly within the native App. After refining the flow and adapting the UI, I created a prototype and carried out remote basic usability testing to ensure the journey could be completed end-to-end with ease.

Experience details

Date and ticket selection


Success screen

Introducing Direct Debit

Our research showed us that Direct Debit (DD) was a preferred payment method, as it allowed customers to spread the cost of their holiday between booking and their final payment date.

We worked closely with our Finance Team and DD service provider Smart Debit to understand the business requirements, internal/external processes and technical boundaries of implementing DD into our book and post-booking journeys.

Based on what was achievable with the service providers API, I mapped out the user flow for customers setting up a new DD and managing an existing one. I then moved onto designing the front-end UI, including all scenarios and states, which were then validated through a couple of rounds of basic usability testing.

DD user flow

Payment overview – DD CTA

DD installment breakdown

DD mandate form

DD instruction successful

Payment overview – DD schedule

DD overview

DD installment adjuster

DD cancellation options

Booking login screen

Not long after joining the Post-booking Team, I spotted an opportunity to improve the in-browser login screen. The previous version wasn’t accessible to WCAG AA standards and there were inconsistencies between the three brands that used the template.

I designed a white label version of the screen, that met AA WCAG standards and had a consistent UI that pulled in the relevant theme (Virgin brand pattern library) depending on the type of booking the customer was logging in to.

We also wanted to increase the number of customers downloading and using the Virgin Holidays mobile App, so I added sign-posting to that particular theme which saw the number of new downloads double within days.

Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays Cruises

Virgin Atlantic (flight + hotel)

Previous version