Booking is famous for its B2C online booking platform. Behind the scenes, the B2B tools that hoteliers use to check-in their guests and manage reservations are often slow, outdated and the majority of them offer poor customer support.
Booking saw an opportunity to grab a large piece of marketshare with the power of their brand, offering a SaaS (Software as a service) to all their current base of hoteliers. It's a very fragmented market with no big players in it.
To enter the market the fastest way possible Booking bought 2 start-ups: Hotel Ninjas from Barcelona and Buuteeq from Seattle. Hotel Ninjas had a booking system and rates management while Buuteeq was working on custom property websites. Priceline Group paid $98 Million for the acquisition of both companies.
When I started working in the Barcelona office in August 2014 we were kicking-off the design of Booking Suite with the remote team in Seattle. Unfortunately I had to leave the company in the end of 2014 since the Barcelona office was closed and I declined to move to Amsterdam – where the headquarters are located.
In total we were 3 designers working on Booking Suite: me and my co-worker in the Barcelona office and 1 more in Seattle. We used to sync daily (stand-ups) in the end of the day due to the timezone difference. Once a week we did a larger meeting to share work in progress on a deeper level and get feedback from each others.
My main role was to align with the Product Owner on what features we needed to design/implement, sketch wireframes with some proposals and then collaborate with my co-worker on the visual design of the best solution.
I was also leading user-tests in the Barcelona office, visiting hoteliers to interview them, to see their current SaaS and to test some prototypes.