Helping Saga’s “Silver Surfers” find their ideal holiday quickly and easily online.

Leading over-50’s specialist Saga needed to capitalise on “Silver Surfers” who were increasingly web savvy when searching and booking holiday packages online. However, while they had no problems with getting customers to their web page, they wanted to understand why users were not finding their holidays and booking online, turning to resource-intensive call centres instead to book their holidays.


Saga wanted to understand how users reacted to the site and the holiday search process and the effectiveness of signposting. Specifically, how they reacted to the home page, how intuitive the search feature was and how easy it was to locate and select a holiday.

Usability Study

Both a Eye-tracking and Think Aloud usability study was conducted to provide both. Both methodologies were adopted to produce more well-rounded results with a selection of tasks.

Test participants were specifically selected who were over 55 and were either new to the Saga brand, past customers or at the enquiry stage. They were each given a series of tasks which involved them attempting to find a holiday or to understand specific information.

Afterwards, participants were asked to retrospectively comment on the difficulties or confusion with their tasks and any suggestions on how to improve their experience.


Methodical detailed reading of results proved fatiguing.

Methodical detailed reading of results proved fatiguing.
The Saga brand resonated strongly with the target audience, users were initially confident with the site’s visual appeal and forgiving of some minor flaws. However, users were struggling to use the main functionality of the site and finding relevant information for their task. In particular:

  • Participants were not confident with the home page, being confused by several different methods of finding a holiday, with equal visual priority.
  • Insufficient relevant information in search results lead to participants reading the page in detail looking for destination locations, instead clicking into results randomly or returning to the home page several times.
  • Promotional panels on a holiday package page were not related, misleading the participant to a completely different location or holiday package.
  • Top navigation was largely ignored as a primary navigation tool.

In the end, many participants took over 7 minutes to find a holiday, and showed fatigued scan behaviour – often missing the correct holiday they were looking for.

An improved search

Many recommendations were made to the development team on improvements to the search functionality and site content the based on user findings.

  • A faceted free-text search with the ability to select/filter by region or sub-region.
  • Packages to include more regional and destination information, and destination “tags” which are searchable
  • Promotional content panel to be relevant to the search, and show “featured” holidays based on the search criteria.
  • Eye Tracking

  • Web User Experience




Find out why users were not finding the holidays they were looking for and engaging with holiday information.

Tools and methods

A Think Aloud and Eye-tracking study was performed on holidaymakers between 55-65 with varied internet experience. Data from both methodologies was analysed and compared to present more encompassing findings.


The study revealed specific behaviour insights specifically from the demographic, users struggling to find holidays and engaging with content. As a result, specific recommendations were made to make finding holidays easier and package details more engaging.