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TRAVEL BUDDY

an independent trip planning solution for millennials.

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Client

Course Project

Mobile Computing | CSE 535

My Role

Interaction Designer

User Researcher

Duration

4 months

August 2018 - November 2018

Team Size

4

Context

MOTIVATION

Travelling to any place requires a lot of planning. With the current trend of solo, short-term travels, it's important to have the flexibility to plan quick trips. With limited time, it's cumbersome and time consuming to Google all places to fit in a tight schedule. Most people don't prefer travelling with travel agents as they are expensive and follow a strict schedule.

THE SOLUTION

Travel Buddy aims to tackle these problems by providing a personalized travel itinerary. It generates a travel plan based on location, travel duration, popularity etc, and the approximate time required to cover all the places.

$7.6 trillion contributions of travel and tourism industry to the world economy.

1.4 billion international tourists in 2018 as estimated by UNWTO.

The Design Process

STEP 1: RESEARCH

Online survey to understand the needs of travellers.

Contextual Inquiry to dig deeper into user behaviour patterns.

STEP 3: BUILD

Low - fidelity prototypes based on the CI findings. 
Medium - fidelity prototypes based on task analysis.
High - fidelity prototypes based on usability testing.

STEP 2: IDEATE

Problem statement based on findings from the contextual inquiry.
Design concept to solve the problems faced by users.

STEP 4: TEST

Think aloud testing for low fidelity prototypes.
Task analysis for medium fidelity prototypes.
Usability testing for high fidelity prototypes.

01 Research

We first conducted an online survey to understand what is the needs of travellers aiming for low-budgeted trips.

Next, we conducted a contextual inquiry with 10 participants to dig deeper into the habits of the travellers and gained insights to formulate the possible solution.

Contextual Inquiry
(CI)

Done on users who are:

  • solo travellers with low budget.

  • group travellers without travel agents.

  • travellers who use travel agents.

Existing Apps &
Features

  • Transport & hotel booking. Eg: Expedia.

  • Organizing travel documents. Eg: Google Trips, TripIt.

  • Finding discounted deals on various travel bookings. Eg: Trivago, SkipLagged.

Problems in Exsisting

Apps

  • Only book or organize travel documents.

  • Don't provide a travel plan.

  • Currently, plans are made through travel agents which are costly with no flexibility in interests, time, etc.

Importance of an

Itinerary

  • Maximize the time.

  • Manage the expenditure.

  • Easier and faster travel from one point to another.

  • Helps prioritize your wants.

  • Helps pack travel essentials.

02 Ideate

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Based on the insights from the contextual inquiry, we came upon the following problem statement - 

          "How do we create an itinerary for the user based on their interests, current location, and time at hand?"

OUR SYSTEM CONCEPT

The user plans the itinerary by:

  • Entering the start location.

  • Entering the date and duration of the travel.

  • Selecting one or more interests based on personal choice.

  • Selecting the various places displayed based on their interests.

The system:

  • Generates the most optimal itinerary based on the duration. 

  • The user can see their current and previous trips on the home screen/dashboard.

 

Technologies Used:

  • Proto.io, Invision, and Photoshop used to design the application.

  • Android Studio, Google Places API, and FireBase used to develop the application.

03 & 04 Build and Test

LOW-FIDELITY PROTOTYPING

1. Home Screen

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2. Enter location, date, duration Screen

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3. Interests Screen

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4. Place Selection Screen

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5. Itinerary and Route Screen

The homepage allows the user to look at their previous trips and start a new one. The user selects various details to generate a personalized travel itinerary. The app generates a route based on the places selected. The app also suggests a packing checklist to the user.

Think Aloud Testing was carried out.

Users were asked to think aloud their experience and expectations while interacting with the app.

MEDIUM-FIDELITY PROTOTYPING

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Task analysis consisting of easy, medium and hard tasks conducted to test the prototype.

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Based on user feedback, included an information page that gives user the detailed information about a place to enhance the interaction with the app.
The user can access this information by tapping a place card on 'SELECT PLACES'

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Included a map view. User is directed to Google Maps when the view is tapped.

FINAL PRODUCT

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High-fidelity prototypes with visual language that helps the user associate the app with traveling.
More emphasis on the images of locations to give the user a wholesome view.

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The application fetches data of places using Google Places API.

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Usability Testing conducted using Lookback.io

Visual Design

LOGO

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COLOR SCHEME

Primary: #26A69A
Secondary: #00796B

My Reflections

Looking back, there are few things I'd do differently -  

  1. Rather than having a completely different page for selecting interests, I'd create a filter tab to allow users to filter out locations/places/agendas based on their interests. This will help reduce the number of clicks and give a better user experience. 

  2. The current design does not include a sign up/ sign in option. I'd like to include a sign up/sign in option while onboarding the user on the application. 

  3. Following from the above suggestion, I'd like to also help users synchronize their personal calendars like google calendar or apple calendar with their trips planned. Along with notifications from the app, this will help the users keep track of their upcoming trips.

  4. Another area I would like to focus on would be improving the information architecture of the application. I'd specifically like to conduct more usability tests like card sorting to help determine the labelling and organizational schema of the application. I would also like to explore controlled vocabulary with respect to this application. 

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