Hoteliers are known to be visually-oriented people. For as long as we can remember, they have selected hotel management software based largely on the look and feel of the product itself. This make sense. After all, the hotel staff never have quite enough time for a thorough training. Plus they have to jump from task to task based on the whims of the guests. So any software they use must be intuitive, fast and easy. In short, hotel software needs to have an excellent user interface.
With a new generation of mobile hardware now commonplace in hotels, hotel technology vendors are challenged to keep pace with today’s expectations of a top user interface.
So which hotel software products have the best user interface? Hotel management research firm Software Advice recently surveyed today’s offerings and selected the seven best user interfaces. Interesting, though perhaps not surprising, is that most of the long-standing market incumbents did not make the cut. The list is dominated by newer companies that have emerged just as tablets and mobile devices have become prevalent in hotel lobbies.
Heading the list is hetras, a German-Austrian company which has made a name for itself serving some of today’s most innovative chains. Taylor Short, analyst at Software Advice, explains his decision for hetras. “We chose the hetras Property Management System as one of our favorite UIs mainly because it looks as if anyone could pick it up and figure out its functions without much training. This intuitiveness makes it a top pick for design.”
The standard-bearer in hotel software user interfaces of the 1990’s was undoubtedly Fidelio Software (later Micros). Fidelio founder Keith Gruen is also a founder of hetras. “At hetras we are redefining what it means to have a top user interface. What worked on PCs does not work on tablets or mobile devices. In general, we are looking for inspiration from top apps from other industries – even games – and applying it to hotel software.”
A good user interface is by no means driven by the visual impression alone. “Another reason we feel the hetras UI stands out is because of its simplicity and efficient features, such as the fast post transactions and auto-fill for quick payments” added Short.
Other hotel software products making the top include Clerk, Loventis and WinHotel. For the complete list, see the full article.