Walt Disney World



Lead Product Designer

  • Initial Research
  • Spec Document
  • Prototype

Introducing Cancel Functionality for Rooms

The task was supposed to be fairly straightforward. There was already a precedent for cancellations in the app, and the (initial) task was to simply apply this to room cancellations. As Lead Product Design on this project, I challenged the existing patterns by leading rapid user testing and examining industry best practices. The result was a new flow with benefits for both the Guest and the business.

User Testing Participant

"One thing I pay attention to is the cancellation policies. I get it, this is a business, they want you to make the reservations, not cancel them. The process should still be uncomplicated.”.

The participant then described a lengthy cancellation process where they were required to search for the Cancel function. In comparison, they appreciated our transparency.

Existing Patterns

The Walt Disney World App already had cancel functionality for Mobile Order and Restaurant Reservations. Both used an in-line double confirm which was soon going to be replaced with a dialog. I read numerous UX studies examining the habitual reaction to dismiss these dialogues.

This and the fact that cancellation on both these products was low-risk (easily corrected with no or low cost) prompted my proposal of a new solution.

What We Tested

Early stage, low-fidelity wireframes were used to create basic prototypes. With we tested full cancellation flows with various cancel button placements and methods for cancellations.

We took note of usability problems encountered and gauged participants’ confidence that the room was cancelled correctly.

Qualitative Findings

Finding One

The Double Confirm Dialog can be ineffective.

“I read the checkbox better than I read the pop up. I didn’t read the pop up very well”

Finding Two

The Cancel Button at the bottom of the screen is not the expected positioning.

“I was going to scroll across and look at the options but couldn’t do that so I scrolled down”

“It’s gotta be under here somewhere” (CTA bar)

Finding Three

Simplicity on Confirmation Screen gives confidence that reservation has been successfully cancelled.

“Is this the confirmation number for the reservation, or is this the confirmation number to ensure it has been cancelled?”

Finding Four

Multiple screens can be perceived as more repetitive than a checkbox, even if it’s the same number of steps.

“Checking off the box in order to confirm that cancellation; it eliminated waiting for another page to load or that third pop up where I have to confirm.”

“It’s a whole lot of verification to cancel the reservation”


When it came to room reservations, it was common practice to ask the reason for cancelling before the cancellation

Expedia 0:35

Expedia asks for a reason before the cancellation.

Airbnb 0:27

Airbnb asks reason before cancellation confirmation and also offers entry to flows if cancelling is not neccessary.

Lyft 0:08

Lyft asks for a reason after the cancellation is confirmed.


Tasks with irreversible consequences warrant a moment of pause to help proceed with intention and avoid mistakes

There’s a lot at stake with a room cancellation. If cancelled by mistake, rebooking may not be possible at the original price and the original selection may not be available. There’s also the time and effort, lost FastPass selections and other plans. A Select a Reason screen does more than gather valuable data for the business and direct users into alternative flows that could prevent cancellations. If positioned in the flow before the Cancel Confirmation, the Guest has a moment to stop and think to answer the question. Proceeding is more intentional.

To the contrary, low-risk cancellations, such as Lyft with its low price point, an abundance of vehicles and ease of rebooking doesn’t have a considerable user-need for a Select a Reason screen. The benefit is more geared towards the business. Positioning the screen after the cancellation, in this case, speeds up the experience for this time-sensitive cancellation.


Cancel Room Reservation Flow

The Select A Reason screen is a speed bump where a conscious decision needs to be made. The theory is this solution will reduce mistakes. We need to ensure Guests are totally aware they are performing a very important, full of consequences, potentially impossible to reverse action. When available, alternative options to cancelling are offered. 

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