Research | UX | UI  
Visual Design | Prototyping

Tasked with designing a web or mobile-based solution for travelers using online tools, I ultimately landed on designing a solution for millennial travelers searching for activities to do and places to go in their travel destinations. I sketched, prototyped and tested various solutions before arriving at a design that served the users' needs and incorporated expected features.

The final concept pulled from music discovery and playlist building applications, such as Spotify and Pandora. My design aims to provide users with a quick and easy method for receiving personalized recommendations for entertainment. This is accomplished through the personality assessment feature, category filtering, search, list building, and a few other features defined in the MVP.


Research Goals

Identify how the process and experience of searching, selecting, booking, and tracking a traveler's entertainment agenda for their destination can be improved.

Competitive Analysis

User Interviews

I conducted and recorded six interviews.

"Easy to find, because of all the promoters catering to college kids."
"I'd ask, could you have your friends send me a list of good bars?"
"Someone who enjoys the same things as me will be able to tell me more than a mother of four."
"It was super helpful to get local advice on timing and how to do things."
"Most of the time I just write down the things I want to do on my phone."
"Friends only give you a limited amount of places to go and things to do."
"Sometimes my favorite places are the least reviewed."
"I don't ask some friends, because I know they're into clubbing and I don't really like those kinds of places."

Research Synthesis

Affinity Mapping

I gathered all interview notes and created an affinity map to identify trends.

Affinity Map Insights 

       - Personalization is most important factor into quality experience

       - Don’t always trust that reviewers have similar tastes and interests

       - Often wait until last minute to search for options

       - Don’t have a great way to save options interesting options

       - Seek out recommendations from local sources over all else

       - Usually browse options on mobile 

       - First look to friends for recommendation

Persona Development

The insights from my affinity map and user interviews helped me to design a persona that I could use throughout the entire design process.

Defining the Minimum Viable Product

With the persona as my guide, I brainstormed and prioritized features for my design. To make the scope of the project manageable, I balanced expected features and unexpected features for a differentiated yet function product.

The Unexpected Features

Personality Profile Builder - this feature plays into the personalization that users currently lack in their other tools but value in the experience of search.

Locally Sourced Recommendations - although this is feature is more of a back-end solution, providing locally sourced recommendations, rather than Yelp reviews from travelers, will meet the users' desire to avoid the "tourist traps". 

Music Integration - allowing users to integrate their music, whether it be Spotify or Apple Music, will enable even greater personalization of recommendations for bars, nightlife, events, etc.

Product Design

User Flows

Considering the features to be included in the MVP, I mapped out the path that the user would take when interacting with the product.

Hand Sketch Ideation

I sketched many concepts based on the contexts, tasks, and features identified earlier in the design process. I landed on a combination of conventions seen in dating apps and music building playlists, both conventions being familiar to the target user.

Information Architecture and Usability Testing

I converted the sketches into a higher fidelity paper prototype to run a usability test while simultaneously testing the information architecture with card sorts.
       - Current labeling caused confusion due to feature similarities

       - Dating app convention caused hesitation because of the permanency 

       - City selection did not stand out when first operating the app

Concept and Prototype Revisions

The feedback and observations I documented in the early stage usability tests and card sorts led to my next iteration in the design. 

       - Removed dating app conventions
       - Simplified the information architecture and navigation
       - Using visual design, signaled to city selection function
       - Included a map view for recommendations