Hipmunk, the online travel booking and planning site, has just rolled out a host of changes and redesigns to its website aimed at making the planning process of your next getaway as painless as possible.
The company has announced the launch of three new features. The redesigned map will now allow users to drop a pin at the location of their upcoming business seminar, lemon party, local attraction, or family reunion to have the system return results for nearby accommodations. Hipmunk is also rolling out a customer review system where travellers can trade tales of their stays as well as expanded booking abilities so that users won't have to click through to another website or exit the Hipmunk app to book a room. Popular existing features like Tonight Deals and Heatmap will remain as well.
Gizmodo took a quick spin through the pre-rollout site yesterday and, all in all, the new redesign is definitely a step up from the last iteration. For example, now that the map sits next to the search result list on the screen — rather than behind it in the browser history — you can more easily see where each room option is in relation to both the others and to where you actually want to go. Combine that with the Heatmap filters and you've got an easy way of finding the hottest spots in town — or avoiding them entirely. And the review system should prove helpful for first time visitors, assuming it doesn't devolve into reviewers just indignantly ranting. Check out the redesign for yourself over at Hipmunk.