Is Google’s New Hotel Finder a Game Changer?
I don’t know if Google’s recently-launched Hotel Finder is actually a game changer, or, as Google itself said, “an experiment in finding the perfect hotel.”
But it’s fun to play with.
Eric Leist, an emerging technologies specialist says that it’s always interesting to see information we scroll scrolling through linearly, suddenly presented in a new, visually interesting and user-friendly layout.”
Google's Hotel Finder does just that: Takes hotel search results typically presented in list form and charts them on a map.
And will probably redefine “best practices” relative to hotel searches.
First, and most compelling, when you put in your desired hotel location, up comes a map (of course) that generally highlights the area of your search. In this case, Boston.
But the map’s overlay changes shape.
How it works
Users can “edit” the map and change the configuration of their search vector. They can move the “foot print” west or south; make it into a triangle or elongate it continuing to change the region the user is interested in looking at, relative to hotel choices
In this case I stretched the shape into a near square to include suburbs west of the city, all the time watching the number of available hotels increase or decrease depending on how I shaped the map lines.
The second best part, is the streamlined, simple, uncluttered results.
I put in my dates, and up comes a list of hotels within the region I mapped, coherently arranged.
There’s thumbnail image of the property.
Next column shows the Hotel Class (Star Rating) then User Rating, Price per Night and the last column compares the price to other hotels in the map region.
Reviews and star ratings, says Deanna Yick a Google spokesperson, come from Google users themselves, and the images come from VMF Leonardo.
So the Holiday Inn Boston/Brookline shows, in red, that this price is 54% more than comparable hotels in the region, “comparable” being a tricky word, of course.Continued on the next page