an app that allows users to explore/ discover hidden gems shared in the wanderers’ community

BRIEF: Define a problem based on the selected topic chosen by your partner— Travel. Design a solution that can be solved simply and effectively with a mobile app.

In order to come up with a good product: We need to first identify real need or problem that users have. Then, can we design a solution to fix that.

What is User Research?

Summed up, in theory, this is what User Research should be:

‣ Collecting behaviours, not opinions.

‣ Resisting bias.

‣ Probe past the surface.

Knowing this is one thing and applying it was another. Resisting bias was probably the hardest part that I had to unlearn. There were so many times where I had to stop myself from skewing questions.

As designers we must remember that if something works for us, it doesn’t necessarily work for our end users.

‣ Don’t assume you know their problems

‣ Don’t assume they will behave as you expect them to

‣ Don’t assume you’ve thought of everything

User Interviews- Ask, but ask what?

Interviews are tough. I was supposed to be asking people questions and yet I found myself asking questions: Where do I start? Who should I ask? How do I ask? I was lost AF.

From Left to Right: 1st draft of scripting interviews to my revised and digitised version on Evernote
  1. It’s ok to not know what to ask at first. Go with the flow. The initial questions I drafted are were all over the place and messy. But I guess this taught me to be able to filter out questions that weren’t relevant.
  2. Be genuinely interested and don’t focus too much on the questions. Let the user take the wheel. As I went about with interviewing more people, I found that I got the most when I asked them about a specific experience they had. This was when their eyes lit up and they were able to comfortably share their stories.

Synthesising the data

Key points from the 2 rounds of interviews were added to an affinity map, which allowed me to distill the results:

I first organised quotes from users which had resonance or were rich by their names.

I was lost (even panicky) once again as I stared helplessly at the data. “How am I supposed to do this????” I was so tired from the entire day of interviewing and being interviewed, my brain was flat lining.

I decided that since this was going no where (I was also hangry). I packed my bags, went home, had dinner (brain fuel), took a nice warm shower and then hit the restart button.

This worked like magic. It was as if the fog had been lifted and I was able to see things with so much clarity. Slowly, but surely, I begin to see a trend or pattern with my my interviews.

My Affinity Map. Ran out of post-is so I went digital with Trello.


‘I’ statements

  1. “I become more adventurous when travelling.”
  2. “I rely on people’s past experiences when it comes to recommendations”
  3. “The freedom to explore and at my own pace is important to me.”
  4. “I document my travels in pictures for myself and to help others.”

So yes, I found a trend but I still struggled with actually finding pain points that my interviewees had. I saw it more of an opportunity where my solution could provide people with an avenue on another platform but not necessarily solving any prominent or outstanding problems.

Problem Statement

“ I enjoy exploring the unknown because it makes me feel adventurous but such places are hard to discover…”

Solution Statement

“I need a way where I can story tell through visuals and share unique travel gems (with others).”

Mapping out a User’s Journey

User Flows

User Flow: Shows how users go from point A to point B


Alas, something that I was familiar with! Would have liked to try out Sketch but unfortunately, my Mac was acting up and didn’t have the OS to support it. Also, the clock was ticking and I didn’t have time to experiment with a new tool.

Quick Wireframe Sketching before I translated them into visuals on Illustrator

The Prototype

Decided on a Facebook login method to better authenticate users. So as to avoid paid reviews.
Discover places by keying in a location and results magically appear! Users can use the location tag to map out the place.

To Wander- roam, rove, or stray: to wander over the earth.

Wanderful, as it’s name suggests is an app that allows users to explore/ discover hidden gems shared in the wanderers’ community(aka real users). Think Travel Instagram. After all, Visuals help us tell our stories quickly with impact and emotion.

“The more you wander, the less you wonder.” — unknown

You have a taste of WANDERFUL’s prototype in the link below: https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/KTASF96Q3#/screens

*note: link might not work. Will update it as soon as I can!

Design never ends

But of course, design is a continuous process. I guess that’s the beauty of it. In that, there’s always room for improvements and making things better.

After this exercise, I was lucky enough to receive feedback, both encouraging and constructive- from my more than willing to help classmates. (I’m often used to designers being catty and really competitive, and not open when it comes to sharing resources… But surprisingly, I’m surrounded by an amazing bunch of creatives who are all so nice????)


  1. Most of the general feedback I got was that my product seemed very much alike Instagram- both features and interface.

So I guess I have to figure out how to differentiate the two.

My initial reasoning was that this would be a travel focused and would filter out content such as excessive amounts of selfies and ootds. Instead, it would focus on the places instead. But I guess that’s not a very convincing reason that I can use to urge people to use my app.

Future Iterations:

Feedback from classmates allowed me to come up with possible iterations.
Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Rebecca Tan’s story.