Uber Design Challenge 2: Choosing dates for travel

Design challenge for Uber Design Internship

Extracted Prompt: Problem

Designing how someone might schedule their trip (both flight and lodging) on a travel booking website. Design the date selection process in particular.


User Stories

Since not a lot of details were given about the users, I thought of the 3 biggest types of users and did personas for them that relate their needs to the design challenge. I highlighted the pain points that relate to the objective of designing the date selection experience. The 3 users are as follows:

User 1: Business Flyer

  • Needs to go on certain fixed dates
  • Preferably cheaper option but not high priority
  • Has airline+hotel preference
  • Wants a quick booking
  • Wants it to be effortless
  • Wants to do it on mobile

User 2: Adventurer

  • Wants to visit lots of places
  • Wants cheap options
  • Might want to live in different parts of the city
  • Wants to find hostels
  • Has lots of different dates and big itinerary
  • Might want a package deal
  • Might want to book everything separately
  • Wants to explore city
  • More likely to do it on web than mobile

User 3: Casual Flyer

  • Flexible dates
  • Cheapest options
  • Wants to see places
  • Mobile/Tablet
  • As few steps as possible
  • Effortless experience

Constraints

  • Quick, easy and effortless
  • Multiple date selection allowed
  • Add multiple flights and hotels
  • Flexible allowance

How does it currently work?

I looked at a lot of travel websites to explore how they were doing this right now. I found on of the better solutions on Expedia which allows users to choose the date range for flights and then choose whether they want hotels for part or whole of their stay and select a date range for that.

Screenshot from Expedia.com

While this is quick and functional, it does not allow people to make trips that are longer and might naturally include multiple destinations and multiple hotels during their stay.


Solutions Exploration

I started thinking about possible solutions that can solve the design challenge. While doing this I focussed on solving the constraints mainly. I came up with two solutions.

The first solution I came up with was like a game/questionnaire that asks people each step of the travel something like this:

Steps in booking a travel package
I rejected the game/questionnaire idea because even though it was personal and different, it would not be quick and effortless which is what most users wanted it to be.

However, I did realize that the steps mentioned in the flow diagram needed to be at the center of the date selection process even when the gamification was removed. I started condensing it to the simplest possible way so that it catered to all the users and was quick and efficient regardless. Here’s the final solution I came up with.

Final Solution

Here are some high fidelity mockups demonstrating the final solution that I thought of.

Initially, the user sees the following screen where they can pick one flight details and one hotel along with the option of adding more of either. The flight has two airports and two dates initially in case its a return flight. The second may be left blank in case of a one way flight. Similarly, the hotel has a location, check in and check out field. A user may at times only fill out the hotel fields and leave the flight blank in case they are only looking for a hotel.

If the user fills the flight section, the dates are pre filled for the hotel in case there’s only one assuming that the user will stay in the same one for the whole trip and the user can change that if that’s not the case.

Adding another flight removes the option for return date and all the flights are single flights and it makes a multi city trip. This allows for incredibly complex routes for adventure travelers and they can remove flights and hotels by pressing the cross next to the items. There’s also a flight number (FLIGHT 1) and a hotel number (FLIGHT 1, H1) associated with each flight and hotel so it’s easier for user to add or remove them and see what their itinerary is exactly like.

So the same screen solves for all three users and meets the criteria determined by their personas.

This solution is quick and efficient while being effortless for the average users and extends functionality for people who might want multi city trips or adventures without having separate screens or links.

So I feel it’s an optimum solution to the design challenge for the users and goals that I prioritized.

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