2019 • App design • 10 weeks • UX Design + Research
Solo student project, submitted as part of General Assembly's User Experience Design course.
As someone who enjoys traveling, I've noticed that group travel seems to be broadly difficult to plan and stressful for myself and my peers. This led me to the question- how can I simplify the group travel experience to be more collaborative, organized, and less stressful for millennial travelers aged 24- 35?
The result is a mobile application, “Wego,” that consolidates the functions of multiple platforms into one, centralizing collaborative planning and communication, with the aim of making group travel simpler and more enjoyable.
“Wego” is a mobile application that aims to create a shared sense of connection and harmony for users by simplifying the more stressful aspects of group travel, such as decision-making, communication, and information management, in order to allow users to stay in the moment and enjoy their shared travel experience.
White paper research
"Technology is not something new for the millenarians. They grew up with smartphones in their hand and benefited from innovative applications that make life seem a little easier. Hotels need to keep up with the times and technology. Consideration needs to be given to developing facilities to meet the expectations of this category of customers...” (Sofronov, 2018)
Comparative Analysis + The Gap
I compared the 3 most popular travel applications according to the Apple App Store- Hopper, Vrbo, and TripIt. In order to focus on existing resources to manage and plan travel, I didn’t include other resources that people mentioned in the interviews such as Facebook Messenger, Excel spreadsheets, and text messaging.
I snowball sampled 10 avid travelers for interviews and directed storytelling. The goal was to understand how people traveled, what services they utilized to plan their trips, and what pain points existed for them. I asked the questions below to find trends in their experiences and organized my data through affinity mapping.
The Young Traveler Persona
The main insight
Travelers reported using a range of tools including Excel sheets, Google calendar, Google docs, Hopper, text messaging and Facebook messenger to plan a single group trip. Adapting the functions of each into one platform could streamline and simplify this process.
Travelers consider themselves bad planners and experience stress during group trips as a result
The responsibility of organizer falls on one person and creates an unequal share of work
Planning feels disorganized and hard to track of across multiple platforms
Ongoing communication and timely responses are difficult to maintain for group trips
Lack of committment and last minute drop outs create frustration leading up to the trip
Decision making is difficult and time consuming
Travelers want to maintain a vacation mindset, make memories, and experience challenges to their perception from immersion in a new culture
There is tension in groups between a desire for spontaneity and structure
A good group is very important, as those who are too demanding or unable to relax can bring the mood down
User research was applied to inform design decisions about the information hierarchy and essential functions for the prototypes of the application. Then with feedback and multiple iterations at every stage, I created a layout for the Wego mobile application using Sketch and InVision.
Low Fidelity Sketches
These are the low fidelity sketches of the various screens in the Wego application.
Using Sketch, I created cleaner simplified versions of the home screen, trip boards, and selected trip view.
And finally, I created a landing page and further built out the selected trip screen using InVision. The additional organizational tabs were added at the top to separate the lodging, expense sheet, and notes.
Lessons Learned + Future directions
This was my first solo UX project, and it's a thrill to complete it and get to add it to my portfolio! I'm proud of the user-centered and ethical approach I took in the research process. At the same time, this was completed in 2019 and my UI design and proficiency with design tools had a long way to go. I am including the screens as is, rather than redesigning them now in 2023, as a form of transparency in my process and where I was at the time. During the course of this solo project, I gained valuable insights and skills that have significantly shaped my understanding of user experience design and problem-solving. Here are the key reflections and lessons I've learned:
In retrospect, this voyage illuminated both my strengths and areas primed for refinement. Armed with these reflections, I eagerly anticipate channeling these lessons into future undertakings, fortifying my commitment to user-centric innovation and design excellence.
Building on the foundations of the "Wego" project, there are several exciting directions to explore:
These future directions not only align with the initial goal of simplifying group travel but also open doors to innovative solutions that can further enrich the travel planning and exploration process for millennial travelers.
Farah Zia Ⓒ 2023