Consider the display of hotel prices... Per night without tax, Per night with tax, and Per trip (all nights and taxes added together)

Generally there is a marginal popular winner, that varies by country. However, without fail once a decisions is made the next person I ask or test with seems to want it the other way. To the point where I've considered suggesting letting the user adjust the setting. But I know this will end poorly.

What research would you recommend to help get to a more definitive answer? Or is it a situation where we are just going to have to live with upsetting some users?

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    Would it be viable to display it as per night, tax per night, and total cost all in one screen? – Nrgdallas Jun 25 '13 at 16:51
  • Feel it is more of a business decision than an UX one i.e. being transparent or manipulative. – rk. Jun 25 '13 at 17:55
  • Displaying all three figures is difficult to do in certain places on the site. Agree that it could be a business decision but even stakeholders can figure out what they want, so they are trying to determine what users would actually prefer. – JLWeber Jun 25 '13 at 17:57
  • What makes the per trip view so different in format from the other two views? – Edward Williams Jun 25 '13 at 22:06
  • @Nrgdallas - +1 to that. Also, why would allowing the user to adjust the setting end poorly? Just make it easy to change (maybe a radio button on the screen) and remember their preference. – KeithS Jun 26 '13 at 22:53

I'm answering the general question of how to make a design decision when all available options have equal merit.

Write down what each options provides as advantages to each user group and confirm your target market. It's also good to note down any assumptions.

e.g. a per trip price allows users who have a total accommodation budget to compare against their budget in one glance. Assumption 1: these users are more likely planning a vacation and their stays are between 3-5 days in duration.

A per night price allows users who relates nightly rates to service quality. Assumption 2. These users are frequent travellers, usually for business and have their budget approved by HR. They are given a nightly accom budget and their stay are between 1-2 nights.

Any of these assumptions could be wrong, but this way you can track decision back to an assumption or your business can change their target users later.


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