I am a big fan of traveling, always love exploring new places. However, planning the trip is rarely as fun as the idea of going to a new place. There are so many things like finding flights and figuring out local transportation that can make the planning process tedious.
So I want to understand what annoys people, and see if I can come up with a solution. Because traveling is exciting, and so should the planning be.
I started off with some background research. I found out that through there are various types of travelers such as leisure travelers, thrill-seekers, or people on business trips, they all fall under Cohen’s Tourist Categories: organized mass tourist, individual mass tourist, explorer, and drifter.
I am most interested in people who fall under the explorer and drifter categories as they tend to plan their own trips. I recruited 5 people, all between the age of 23 and 29, both male and female, and then conducted 1-on-1 interviews with them individually in person. The followings are some of the questions I asked during my interviews:
- How often do you travel (spend at least one night in another city)
- How many people do you travel with, and who are they?
- What’s the purpose of your travel?
- How concern are you with budgets?
- Please describe your planning process for a trip.
- How do you usually get information regarding your destination?
- What’s your biggest concern for traveling?
- What annoys your the most when planning a trip?
- What annoys your the most during your trip?
After interviews, I noticed a few things that were common across my interviewees. I then created an empathy map to create a cohesive and empathetic view of my potential user.
Storyboard – Current Process
Based on the interviews, I created a storyboard to showcase the user’s pain points when planning.
There were actually a few common things that my interviewees mentioned, such as they are usually only opinionated on a few things, don’t want to plan everything by themselves, or being annoyed by local transportations. However, I noticed that they complained a lot about researching. There are just too many results for what to do at their travel destinations when they do a simple online search, and it really annoys them because it can easily become too overwhelming to make decisions.
Therefore, I decided that I'm going to focus on finding solution for one main problem – information overload.
I started to brainstorm solutions by constantly asking myself if I’ve met my key objective:
How might we present Danielle's search results so she doesn't feel overwhelmed?
I initially focused on finding ways to better narrow down and categorize the search results.
But these solutions look boring. And most likely have been done before. So I started to think about how I can make the solutions more fun. Maybe it’s not about how much information I can present to users, but how to show the same amount of information without making them feel overwhelmed.
So I started thinking about this in a new direction and came up with these ideas:
Quick Prototype to Test
I decided to go with the dating-app-like idea. The idea is that after an user enters his or her travel destinations, a card with beautiful pictures and 2 lines short summary for an attraction will appear. After the user likes or discards it, the next card for another attraction will appear.
I was super excited about the idea, but before I invest too much time and effort into it, I wanted to make sure that I’m on the right track. I want to know if potential users will actually like and use my main feature, or if it is just something that does not really work.
So I created a landing page with the key feature, and a storyboard to use to test my idea.
Landing Page (http://trouvaille-0.launchrock.com/)
Storyboard – New Process
I recruited 3 users to test the landing page and walked 2 other people over the new storyboard with the main feature. I wanted to see if the idea is appealing and how the users react to it.
I’m happy to find that people generally showed a lot of interest in the idea. They think it’s interesting and makes the process more fun to have the attraction information in dating-app like swiping and liking format. They also like the map view option to further filter down the options if they want. They also complimented the colour scheme and the modern feel of the site.
There are also a couple of suggestions or things that they wish were included:
Incorporate Google Map in map view to estimate how far an attraction is from accommodation or how to get there (and how long it takes to get there)
Wish the app can recommend them where to go next
Wish the app is not just for attractions only but also have information about restaurants
Still want some sort of filter/categories so they can search for specific things if they want to (e.g. things that are within certain distance)
This is the first project that I started from scratch. I started this just to practice conducting UX research and ideation, but now it actually turns into something I would like to build and complete. There is definitely a lot more work to do such as getting more users to test. However, I definitely learned a lot about what questions to ask, how to narrow things down to focus on their pains, and brainstorming solution ideas throughout this process.
My next steps will be interviewing more people, creating user flows, building wireframes and prototypes, and conducting some more testing with a more completed prototype to show.