The Future of Red Roof
LUX interactive’s stake in the software design & development world has involved helping organizations such as Red Roof Inn and Spirit Airlines better themselves through strategic problem solving, maturity, and evolution of the technical operations. LUX understands how reservation, travel, and hospitality work - plain and simple. Their experience and credibility have set them apart over the years.
In 2018, LUX interactive received a call from the CIO of Red Roof. They were preparing to launch a new hotel brand, and the third party they’d hired to build the website wasn’t working out. Red Roof hired LUX to figure out how far the site was from complete and to get it up as soon as possible.
“The amount of work was significant. Many features of the site hadn’t even been started, and a key architectural choice made by the previous developers took them to a dead end. To reach the goal, we recommended building on what we had, knowing there would be technical debt to address once we could successfully create bookings,” stated David Mengyan, Partner at LUX interactive. Despite having no prior knowledge about Red Roof’s proprietary booking system or Tridion’s CMS, LUX was able to help Red Roof successfully launch the new brand and its website on time.
Proving their strengths, Red Roof asked LUX to continue the process and update the RedRoof.com website software and UX (user experience). Performance, flexibility, features, simplicity, and friction reduction topped the to-do list.
The first task was to migrate the site from AWS, including the APIs, to Azure. With that complete, it was time to bring the website up to modern standards. LUX added several new necessary features, changing the entire layout, functions, view, UI, and codebase. Anticipating the eventual upgrade of the CMS, LUX implemented changes and improvements, including converting much of the site to React. They were then able to unify the navigation of the two brand sites in anticipation of a merge.
Next was a cosmetic and functional upgrade to the booking path. LUX merged four steps (pages) into one by eliminating unnecessary or redundant steps and combining logical data collection components. Rate displays were simplified, while LUX added the capability to display multiple rates for each room type. Summary information and filters were improved and modernized. The entire flow now had significantly reduced friction. Building the site with React components prepared LUX for the surprise that would come next; The original DAM (digital asset manager) Red Roof used was canceled by the manufacturer and given an end-of-life date.
Knowing this software was deeply intertwined in the site, LUX recommended that the CMS upgrade coincides with the DAM replacement to decrease the time and money spent compared to handling them separately. Thanks to the groundwork laid in anticipation of the CMS upgrade, the entire website was rebuilt using the new version of Tridion and the new DAM in just a few months.
Red Roof also agreed to allow LUX to unify the booking flows during the upgrades, enabling the developers to eliminate the brand-specific booking flow they’d inherited as well as the remaining technical debt from the launch of the Hometowne Studios brand. It also allows them to add new features to the other brands:
- Weekly and monthly rates
- Check-in/check-out desk availability (not 24/7 like a hotel)
- Brand selection/exclusion (as well as several other filters) in the Booking Path.
LUX then shifted focus to the optimization of the site. While Red Roof’s performance and load time scores were better than most other companies in the hotel space, there was still significant room for improvement in the user experience.
As a result, the metrics show Red Roof more than ten points higher than the top performers in the industry for mobile and desktop, and that gap continues to widen.
LUX strives to improve performance continuously:
- Test regularly using multiple measuring tools
- Identify problem areas
- Regularly evaluate tags/pixels for value
- Recommend improvements to RedRoof APIs
- Incorporate image optimization and content delivery system
- Automated Testing
This ranking is critical to the industry. According to the Little Hotelier, mobile devices have become the travelers’ best friend, with around 85% of activities booked through mobile devices. The main advantage of having an online booking engine is that it lets potential guests make reservations at any time. Online booking also makes it convenient for international clients to book a hotel without worrying about office hours. An online hotel booking system that is always open for business offers hoteliers a higher chance of increasing occupancy and revenue with a 0% commission.
LUX interactive strives to foster relationships rather than accumulate customers. Being involved in the early concept phase of projects allows them to guide the solutions to meet their partner’s needs.
In 2021, LUX is still a trusted partner developing software for Red Roof, continuing to assess and expand the features of the company’s web and mobile offerings.
Hospitality websites (including lodging and foodservice) require a deep understanding of the customer experience to access and navigate easily. LUX helps clients devise simple solutions, regardless of platform, enabling customers to work through their booking/ordering experience. LUX knows that the needs of hospitality clients can change rapidly based on both internal and external events. Knowing what it takes to respond to those changing environments is what has made LUX forward-thinking and credible within hospitality.