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Problem

Relying on recommendations by random people on a website can easily turn a fun night out into a disaster. The main problem with website recommendations is you never know who is actually making the suggestions. It could be someone with a grudge, who works for the company or even a bot. We want to help people have great experiences through quality custom recommendations.

Scope

Create a Mobile Travel app that makes planning trips easier for both the frequent and casual travelers. It removes the frustration of bad dining, hotel & entertainment suggestions with an modern, easy to use interface. This is my on-going passion project. My role was to research, design and test all UIs related to the project.

Process

I began this project by creating a hypothesis on what I thought was the main issues people were having with travel. I reached out to a group of people who travel often for either work or pleasure. I wanted to find similarities in pain points and get a better idea of the direction I needed to head. What I discovered completely changed the direction of the app.

My original hypothesis was way off. The original idea was to create an app that helped user's get to the airport on time without having to wait around for hours. What I found in the research was that frequent travelers all had many different methods to combat this issue and didn't really need extra help. Time to pivot.

When analyzing the data common pain-points came to light. That's when the app came into focus and a primary persona was created.
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“I want to be able to plan a fun trip and
not have a bad experience."

Meet Erin

Age: 31
Occupation: Customer Service Rep

Summary:
Erin is a full time Customer Service Representative for a large manufacturing company. She is single and lives in a major city and usually keeps a very busy schedule between work & her social life.

She uses mobile apps often when planing and going on trips and loves to travel.

Frustrations
• Very busy
• No good resource for good recommendations
• No trust with current website recommendations

Needs
• A easier way to plan travel
• To feel confident recommendations received are of good quality
• To be able to have a trip planned in advance with no worries about itinerary
After flushing out ideas the sketching started. The wireframes helped figure out the user flow and which features were most important and which ones could be possibly added later. They also helped me be able to do some quick usability testing before I got too deep into the design.
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Wireframe Sketches

Following the usability testing I made Hi-res mockups to develop the overall look and feel of the app. I mocked them up in Invision to be able to showcase the full functionality of the app.
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Outcome

This project has been a real eye-opener for how and why the design process works. From conducting early research to completely changing the direction of the app, this project has been a challenge. Overall I'm happy and where it is in its current state. Moving forward I would like to put the app into development and start beta testing to flush out bugs and inconsistencies.
 

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