Does Money Always Buy Usability?

Four Seasons recently launched one of the most expensive hotel websites to date. It was reported to cost about $18 million and have many great features including:

  • New booking process
  • Spotlight on all hotel locations
  • Mobile/Tablet optimized site
  • Designed for user-friendly experience

Read the official press release here.

Despite that hefty press tag, web usability experts have been reviewing this site and it seems to have fallen a little short of the mark that four seasons set. Specific flaws pointed out by Econsultancy seem to contradict every point that Four Seasons was going for.

  • Booking engine not intuitive
  • Lack of filters to narrow down hotel selection
  • Poor mobile site
  • Design without consideration for accessibility

In conclusion, while design is a very important aspect to retain user interest, it’s important to make sure design doesn’t get in the way of ROI.

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