Expedia Global Payments

Visioning, planning and executing a holistic view of payments for Expedia’s partners to boost discoverability & ease-of-use and promote diagnosis and actions


As a lead designer for the Expedia Global payments team, my role was to work closely with the cross-functional team of product managers, content writers, researcher and engineers on several short-term and long-term projects to enhance partner payments that included payments to businesses like hotels, flights, car-rental etc. working in partnership Expedia. Another key responsibility was to ensure transparency and visibility of design decisions to other design & product stakeholder groups across Expedia group working on partner experiences.

The Starting Place

Partner Central is a tool offered by Expedia group to let hotels manage their business with Expedia including payments made by consumers on various platform for their bookings like Expedia, Orbitz, Vrbo etc.

The financial experience on Partner Central was at large defined by the business rules and technical constraints. As a result, invoicing, payment, and virtual payments were the top drivers of calls to partner support centers. There was no clarity and guidance around finance processes and the manual-ness around invoicing experience seem unnecessary and frustrating. The UI was filled with technical jargon unclear to non-accountants and generalist hotel staff, particularly non-native English speakers. The tasks were disjointed and were more reflective of the internal structures than a partner’s workflow.

Overall satisfaction was lower for Expedia than for Booking.com on all key finance and accounting attributes:  “Help me manage my property efficiently”, “Easy to use”, “Available when I Need Them” and “Help me provide a good guest experience.”Higher call volume for queries on information present on existing pages   

I knew it was going to be a long road to bring a change that will move the needle in partner satisfaction but ignoring the underlying challenge and just focusing on new features wasn’t enticing either

The Goal

Short term goals: Increase in Partner satisfaction for key attributes and decrease call volume/increase self-service.

Long-term goal: Scalable solution to support larger initiatives in product roadmap that significantly reduce go-to-market time 

And several others in-between

The Approach – Go big and Go Small

Design Swarm was the “go big” perspective, the aim was to cover a broad scope of work, focused on North star concepts with all existing constraints set aside.

Design Sprints was the “go small” outlook to generate multiple interim ideas and collect feedback on solutions

Going 'big' strategy

Northstar vision was painted with the concepts like netting the payments for pay now and pay later business models to have a ‘no-touch’ solution for payments. Other ideas discussed were automatic payments and reconciliation to reduce manual work to create and submit multiple invoices. Team also explored delighters like to-do’s, reminders and payment trends over time for various business models.

The outcomes of the design swarm guided the design sprint to test and deliver a Minimum Delightful Product (MDP) experience for partner payments. It focused on bringing the elements of the vision that aren’t too disruptive yet powerful enough to get us on a better experience

Both immediate and extended came together to prioritized the first set of design changes and the follow-up phases for development.

The lmpact

The updated page was released amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenging period for the travel industry. The OKRs were centered around mitigating the surge in support calls caused by the uncertainties associated with COVID. Although I had to leave the company for personal reasons before the mid-year Partner Satisfaction Survey, I trust that the team successfully reached the objectives and had a positive impact.