TRAVELCAPSULE: An app that centralizes all your travel information in one place, available anywhere, any time.

Design Thinking Approach — Case Study

Charlotte Botermans
Apr 1 · 7 min read

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when preparing a trip, because you were not sure about what to pack, what to see/do once there, or because you couldn’t remember if all the bookings were sorted out? TravelCapsule, helps you cope with the stress of organizing your trips. The app allows you to centralize all your travel information in one place and it gives you tips and recommendations to best prepare your experience abroad. It also sends reminders when your journey is incomplete (missing accommodation, booking, etc.).

This project was realized as part of the UX/UI Design Bootcamp of Ironhack. It was spread onto 2 weeks, one dedicated to research and the second one dedicated to designing. Similarly to previous projects, I have used the Design Thinking Framework in order to guide me through every step of the design process. I also planned my two weeks of work in order to ensure I would stay on track in terms of timing.

WHAT ISSUES DO PEOPLE FACE WHEN PREPARING A TRIP?

For this final project, the only guidance we had was to choose a topic for which we had a lot of affinity. Therefore, I decided to focus on the following theme: traveling. That done, I ran some interviews (5), and sent out a survey (50 respondents) asking questions related to the topic in order to narrow down the scope. This helped me in gathering rich insights and identifying major pain points. Indeed, using an affinity diagram, I was able to cluster all the insights.

  • 53% of the respondents stated that they are tired of juggling between multiple travel apps.
  • 42% of the respondents also confessed struggling in knowing what to pack
  • 51% of the respondents claimed that they are often stuck with no Internet connection because of it expensiveness abroad, and therefore left with no access to key information.
  • 60% of the respondents mentioned that they would like more recommendations, tips and tricks on their destination, and reminders to better organize themselves.
User Insights & Potential Features

Having all of these information in mind, I took a step back and started a reflection on how could I potentially address all these issues. That’s how I really realized that people needed a way to centralize their travel information, access them offline and read more general data on the destination (before & during their trip).

WHICH PEOPLE TYPICALLY EXPERIENCE THESE ISSUES?

These insights allowed me to create a user persona representing my target group. In other words, the people for who I would be designing for. Therefore, I have created Claire. Young dynamic and organized Digital Performance Manager. She would like to be able to gather her trips information in one place to best prepare and live her experience around the globe. Moreover, she is tired of using multiple apps and spending too much money on Internet data while abroad.

User Persona

All this in mind, I was able to formulate a clear problem statement that would guide me in the designing process:

Travelers need to centralize and access their key travel information offline, because they are tired of juggling between travel apps that require internet connection.

HOW TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES USING THE BEST DESIGN?

At that stage, I had a clear understanding and view of what I could offer to these types of persons and jumped into ideating and sketching. So I came up with TravelCapsule: an app centralizing all the travel information in one place, and making them available anywhere, any time.

In order to make valid design decisions, I conducted some market research in order to evaluate the opportunities in that field. It allowed me to analyze what was offered already and how it was presented. Then, it also helped me in prioritizing the features I was going to design.

I started with a very basic paper prototype, which I tested and iterated many times. I noticed my design was a bit confusing on paper for the users due to the incomplete flow.

Paper Prototype

Therefore, I decided to jump into mid-fidelity in order to test the whole flow and gather more valuable and realistic feedback. Once again, I iterated a couple of times before jumping into high-fidelity.

Below you can see some iterations on the Home screen, where I mostly played around with the wording, because the navigation turned out to be pretty straight forward when testing on users.

Iterations — Mid fidelity to High fidelity

On the second screen, I tested different layouts to present the offline feature. While testing, users kept telling that the toggle was confusing for them and that they would expect to have the offline feature by default activated and hidden somewhere in the app so that they would still have the opportunity to deactivate it if necessary. I have also noticed that my recurring pattern (somewhat triangular pattern) which actually referred to the logo of the app, was taking a large amount of space on the screen, therefore I have decided to reduce the size and give less importance to it.

Iterations — Mid fidelity to High fidelity

For the next screen I iterated a lot, giving different wording and icon to the users, but it turned out they were better off without these. Indeed, users told me that both, the heart and bookmark icons, were confusing and unclear in terms of actions they were allowing. Therefore, I actually decided to completely remove that option, which led to very minimalistic tab bar (2 tabs) and unusual. That is the reason why I have decided to rearrange the layout to clear out the tab bar, to actually give more importance to the “add” button, fixing it at the bottom of each screens in a floating position.

Iterations — Mid fidelity to High fidelity

For the last screen, I tested different variations for the same card, and went for a more simplistic and cohesive layout, also adding a timeline next to the cards giving a sense of agenda of the journey for the users. Indeed, this gave a better and more understandable visual layout.

Iterations — Mid fidelity to High fidelity

FINAL PROTOTYPE

After testing and iterating many times, I was able to come up with a final high-fidelity prototype (see below).

The scenario used to develop the flow of the prototype is the following:

You are Claire and you are planning your trip to Bangkok. You want to make sure that you have all your bookings ready and gathered in your app. You enter the app and the first thing you see, is a notification on the unlabeled tab. You check it out and you actually realized that one of your booking for your trip to Sri Lanka was not sorted by the app due to the name of the Hotel (Hotel Paris in Sri Lanka, too confusing for the system. You take care of that and move it to the right folder. Then you proceed and go check out if everything is settled for Bangkok. So you go to the Bangkok folder, then through the Booking folder and check the Transportations. You realize you are missing the last booking you made which is a boat booking. So you decide to add it and upload it from your email. Later, after getting out of the app, you receive a notification telling you that you are missing an accommodation for your trip to Bangkok. You check it out, and you actually realize that for that specific day, you are spending the night at a friend. So you dismiss it. Lastly, if you want to disable the offline mode, you can do that going through the settings in your profile.

TAKEWAYS

Considering the relatively short time frame of this project, I have only designed the main features, but I am aware that the app will need further implementations to be complete. Below, I have listed some future features I would like to build in the near future:

  • Add airport information to help travelers find their way easily.
  • Give airlines companies specificities.
  • Add recommendations from locals (off the road itinerary/activities).
  • Add a booking flow to allow direct bookings within the app.
  • Add a rewards/loyalty points tab to gather and manage these smartly.
  • Add an API for reservation/booking websites to connect themselves to TravelCapsule and allow smooth information transfer between the two interfaces.

In short, this project allowed me to enrich my design skills by building a completely new platform using bold shapes and patterns, but most importantly, ensuring the delivery of a good minimum viable product (MVP) addressing the needs, and running on a visually pleasing interface.

Charlotte Botermans

Written by

UX/UI Designer, previously e-Business Analyst in a Data Driven Digital Media Agency

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