Tony Goins
UX Professional / Content Manager

Marriott Bonvoy

A master's degree project on hotel loyalty programs

Testing a hotel loyalty program

Problem: Hotel business wants to gain more loyalty members, driving bookings and in-app reservations.

Solution: Adjust reward levels, engage with third-party booking sites, identify new personas to pursue.

Tools: User testing.

This was a fun project I did for my master's degree in UXD: I was assigned to look at Marriott's loyalty program, Bonvoy. I did user interviews with three of my friends and extracted some insights.

This assignment also required me to think deeply about Marriott's business goals, and how they intersect with user desires. I also defined the research goals (what questions were in and out of scope).

And I got to make a video.


  • Bonvoy seems to require a lot of points before you get to the good rewards. Bonvoy could be reconfigured to provide smaller, more attainable rewards.

  • For better or worse, Marriott should stay active on third-party sites like Kayak or Expedia. Seek out ways to convert third-party bookers into regular Marriott customers.

  • Develop "deal seeker" and "sports traveler" personas and identify strategies to meet these segments.

Read the report (.pdf)

Next Steps

  • Review of website usage logs to determine where people drop out of the shopping cart.

  • One-on-one user tests to evaluate the usability of and our mobile app.

  • A survey to determine how common our interviewees’ opinions are.

  • A review of service calls to our helplines and local hotel properties.

  • Explore potential target markets of “deal seekers” and “sports travelers.” Possible personas and strategies?