Process and Reflections on project #1

Brief introduction into project #1 (Travel)
The is so much good learnings in this first project that I really enjoyed. Time was the only factor of consideration other then that it was really fun. So the topic I was task to work on was Travel.

Travel is a really generic and vast topic, it is also something that many of us are familiar with, yet there is so various aspects of it that we may or may not have paid attention to. As I was doing some ground work, I realised the deeper I dive into topic, the more I learnt and I also getting lost in the sea of knowledge and information.
So there is no better way to know then then to ask the the “travellers”.

User research:
I started by coming out with sets of questions and I tested those questions. To my surprise, I didn’t get much info out of it. I repeated that process over quite a number of times and realised that interviewing a person was not easy as I imagine it to be. There is actually an “art of asking” when we interview people. I ended up with numerous questions and a dozen more interviews.

Try various approach when interviewing, there is NO “sure-fire” way.

One thing I learnt from Joe was to do a voice recording during interviews, that helped me to not just picked up on what I missed out but also to re-evaluate the way I conducted my interview. (Thanks Joe!) This encouraged me to try different approach on the same person and it worked wonders.

Despite spending a lot of time talking to people but I also manage to a lot of information from them, especially when they open up.

Formulating a series of questions (over and over again.
The findings from my interviews.

After 4 users 8 interviews and 3 days later:

So after 3 days of intensive interviews, I must admit I still have not clear direction of what I was going to do or design. (According to some people, its normal!)

Common trends in my 4 users. They all enjoyed; authentic local food, the culture, talking to local people and embracing new experiences. At the same time, they have similar concerns such as; safety, dangerous places, budget, getting scam, etc.

Affinity Mapping: Thanks Joe, Rebecca, Yan King and Theresa for your time. Thanks to Wendy Ooi for your camera and photo of me.

I begin synthesising all the data I have collected. Writing down each point on to a post using a color for each user and started grouping them into similar content and there I got a better understanding users pain points, pleasure points, context/motivation and behaviour.

“I” statements

This process lead me to identify the problems of travellers which lead me to see an opportunity and it gives me a better idea of what could be done.

Travelling allows us to embrace new experiences which we all love but as travellers the lack of info can make us insecure and as a result we might not enjoy our trip.

Juxtaposing the pleasure + pain = opportunity (solution)

My proposed solution:

During my interviews, I found out that most of their memorable and elevated travelling experience was through interacting with a local.

•Most authentic local food •Saw less touristy locations •Avoided danger •Took a shorter route, saved time & money

So thought to myself, what if we could have a platform which allows travellers to connect with a local of that country they are visiting ahead of their visit, this way they gather more information and plan.

Presenting to you “The Local”, where everyone is a local. An app that allows you to connect with another local.

Solution: The Local App

User Flow:

As I have used most of my time on gathering and synthesising the data, this left me very little time for execution. I begin working on my user flow with pen and paper (like all great ideas), I drafted a few user flow with features like rating and feedback by travellers, potential tour guide services, newsfeed, followers, etc. and it got more complex as I went along.

At this point, my best advise is to brainstorm. After all UXDI is not a one person’s job. In my case, I approached our friendly teacher’s assistant (Fariz). This saved me some time and helped me simplified my user flow further.

Essentially, my objective is to get travellers to connect with locals for them to learn more about the country they are intending to visit.

User Flow 1 & 2
User Flow presented

Wire framing & prototype:

Wire framing is another important of the process, it gives you a rough overview of what the number of pages you need to create and it allows us to to plan the animation you want to use in advance.

Getting user’s feedback and stimulate how they would interact with the sketches would help us improve the design of the user flow and interface.

Use pen and paper to plan as it is quicker to to make changes
Adding Images, colors and buttons for a better guage.

The Local Travel app, my first prototype of this course. And admittedly as “finished” as some has commented it to be.

There is still a lot of room for improvement. The user interface, typography, and certain elements could have been better design.

Adding functions like a translator to break the language barrier. Adding reviews and ratings by other users to enhance the authenticity of the local’s profile.

Future opportunities:

Apart from connecting like-minded travellers and locals with this app. I feel that there are future opportunities to create jobs, whereby a local would get paid to plan itinerary or plan a guided tour for travellers.

Or even get popular locals to contribute articles and publish a series of travel books.

In conclusion:

It was a really good start into the course, a lot of learnings and more importantly for me, there was a strong sense of collaboration between the course mates. There was a lot of communication and we helped each other a lot when we ran into problems.

Overall, I there were a lot of great energy and ideas going on in the class, even thou I do hope a few individuals would open up and interact. During presentations, there were a lot of feedbacks and suggestions on how to improve each others work which I feel is great for learning and growth.

My Reflections (Glow and grow):

There are a few things I wished I would have done better; 
1) Despite the short 5 mins presentation, I could have greeted the audience 2) Set up the presentation and break ice instead of diving in
3) Practice typing and spelling too slow and unproductive
4) Need more practice on Sketch, Invision, Axure and explore other software

Allan’s feedback (Glow and Grow):
•Presentation flow and timing was just right
•Like side 11 of my presentation, idea is sharp.
•Very cool look and feel and would want to try the app
•Might hesitate to key in profile details before knowing more
•Propose to the menu bar can be design better

Theresa’s feedback (Glow and Grow):
•Detailed research •Trying to simplify •Authentic Idea
•Manage to solve a very large user problem but feels that it would help if we could have a connecting app that can provide SOL. for both ends.

And it’s a wrap for the first week! Cheers Maelstrom! Photo by Wendy Ooi.