Feb 2018 - Mar 2018
Team of 5
Planning trips and vacations is very time-consuimg and requires a lot of coordination. When planning a trip, people need to take budget, time, location, and group size constraints into account, and this is often a multi-tab or multi-browser window task.
How might we design a platform that improves the travel planning experience by streamlining and automating the process of discovering activities to do.
A survey was sent out to different stakeholder groups to understand their mindset before and during travel. We found that not only are there lots of different logistics to figure out, there are a lot of choices and services to pick from. Additonally, there are a lot of factors to weigh when making a choice.
Surveys can't tell a whole story, so we conducted user interviews of different user groups to gain a deeper understanding into the problem space we were addressing. We found three unifying themes:
Money & Quality are at the top of the list.
"Everything adds up. I want the highest quality trip for as cheap as possible."
Different websites have different information.
"I really hate it when every site I look on has different information."
Vacation should be fun!
"Vacation should be decompressing. I don't want to stress about de-stressing."
There were several pain points that we identified from our research, so we ideated several different design solutions that could tackle different problems. Each solution was meant to undertake the different kinds of concerns a traveler may have when planning or going on vacation.
We identified several needs of two user groups: those who travel for leisure and those who travel for business. We then used two questions to help frame app ideation. How might we maximize travel experience (in terms of time, money, location, etc.) for those with limited resources? How might we increase the comfort level between a traveler and their environment?
In the end, we decided to proceed with an application that helps users save time during the planning stage of a trip.
The traveler inputs their travel information and the application generates activities that fit within the travelers' constraints. They can then review the displayed activities and either keep or shuffle to display other activities.
As a traveler selects and locks in activities to keep, the cost of the activities are accounted for and refelected in the remaining budget. After the user's remaining budget cannot cover other activities or if they are out of available time, the user can then see available package deals or discounts that their selected activities offer.
They can then purchase necessary tickets that are subsequently sent. This helps reduce the number of hours it takes to plan an itinerary and helps users avoid ticket scams.
Traveling is exciting and fun, so we wanted to select a color scheme that reflected adventure, discovery, wanderlust, and exhilaration. We decided to go with a green and blue color palette because it represented the Earth and the different possible destinations a person can travel.
We tested this original idea with a paper prototype. We tested with 6 individuals from our stakeholder groups. We looked for comprehension, ease of use, and interaction types. Overall, we saw that people understood how to use the application and enjoyed the simplicity of the two-step process: input basic info, get attractions. Additionally, it will be important for us to know how to handle “lazy” or “carefree” users who trust the app with doing all of the work for them.
Balsamiq Mid-Fidelity Prototype
Sketch High-Fidelity Prototype
There were a lot of small inconsistencies in the high-fidelity prototype. The activity images were stretched out, there were functions that were not apparent, and the general aesthetic was not where I wanted it to be. After further testing, the experience design choice with the "lock" function was, while easy to understand, was something that was unnecessary. So, in the redesigns, I made button functions more obvious, added in features that supported undo/redo, and allowed people to view their selected activities whenever they wanted.