what Is TRAVELER?
TRAVELER is a "one stop shop" concept design that was in created for the traveler to book all of their accommodations. I wanted to give users the ability to make all their travels plans and have immediate access to reservations in one app.
Product: Travel App
Time Frame: 24days (Pre-course Project: 19 days)/ (Project 1: 5 days)
Deliverables: Sketches, user research reports, wireframes, mock up designs, InVision Demo, display of iterative process, discussion guide, storyboard, problem statement, hypothesis statement.
Role: User Researcher, Information Architect, Interaction Designer, Visual Designer
I went into this project knowing that I would be learning as I go. I had not had any formal UX training, this made it both fun and scary. There was the constant fear of "am I doing this right" but at the same time I was gaining results and learning new skills. I was on my own, which proved to be a great learning experience. I was given the task of coming up with a product that would improve the traveling experience. I was very excited to solve my own issues with traveling but first I would have to uncover the difficulties of other travelers .
Current travel applications make it difficult for consumers to book a full vacation. The idea of a full vacation would include flights, hotels, rental cars, and in some cases nearby events. Travelers are often redirected to an outside source to complete their travel arrangements.
The solution would be to develop a system that would allow travelers a platform to book full vacations and to have access to their reservations on the go.
Luckily I am surrounded by people who travel. Finding research participants was easier than anticipated. I created a discussion guide for user interviews. I would gather insight on their feelings towards the travel apps they currently use. I would also ask questions to gather what it is they want to get out of a travel app. I had designed the questions to get as much information as possible in the most natural way.
It turns out that Affinity mapping is my favorite exercise during the research phase. I was able to take findings from the five user interviews to determine where the issue lies within travel apps. I was able to discover common themes from all participants. Many would express that they want to access their travel information on the go. Others would express that they just want to do it all in one place.
To get an idea of how the app would work I put myself through a 10 minutes time box. Within 10 minutes I sketched as many screens as I possibly could with the interview results in mind. Due to not knowing how to properly scale the scope of a project I produced 17 sketches that I would late use for paper prototype testing. I was able to recruit 4 participants to test my design. Through these test I noticed that all participants were not taking advantage of the nearby event feature. To sum up a general response, it was because they already knew where they wanted to go and how they would do it. I would replace this feature with a nearby event feature which I would receive similar feedback on. With this information in mind, I decided to cut the feature from my design. I found that these participants had offered invaluable insight that would help me move forward in my design.
After going through all the notes, data collected, and input from my peers I went back to the drawing board with my design. I wanted to create a more simple design. I also decided to save time, I could function on the flight section of the app for the next round of testing. If I were to have success with the design I would implement the same structure to the rest of the app. With the Nearby Event and Trip Advisor features cut I had extra room in the global navigation bar. This was great because I thought that having the menu at the top next to the search icon was throwing off the balance of the visual design. Removing features allowed me to move the menu down to the global navigation bar and fix my balance issue.
While selecting a potential color palette I was using a separate monitor. What I thought were three good choices were actually far from that. I ended up selecting the worst color palette of them all. This would later change along with most design choices. I unfortunately created a Hi-Fi clickable prototype with these colors.
Once I had realized that my monitor had deceived me I decided to stop using it. I needed to quickly find a color scheme that would work for the app. I decided to go with a light shade of blue that reminded me of the sky I would like to see while on vacation. It was during this iteration where I would also get rid of the hamburger style icon for the menu. I was able to quickly put together another clickable prototype that focused on the flight section of the app.
I would like to spend more time selecting a suitable color for the app and design the icons in the final version myself. I think another round of testing with the new visuals would be helpful. After iterative process is complete I would like to team up with some developers to see if this is a feasable design.
This project was full of lessons that I wish I knew before diving head first into it. I learned the value of sketching and how it could save you time, and more importantly it could save you from doing extra work. I had been so focused on giving my test subjects a prototype of high fidelity. I got lost in creating visual designs in tools I had not used before. I became comfortable with these new tools such as sketch and InVision. One of my proudest accomplishments was becoming more comfortable with receiving criticism. I learned how to treat it as a lesson from which to build off of. Most importantly, I got an Idea of what a UX designer is, what's expected of them, and what I wanted my future to look like.