Improving the booking experience
Destinations was created as a conceptual tool for frequent travelers to use and lessen the pain points of other exhaustive apps. After analysis of problems faced by travelers when developing an itinerary prior to the pandemic, the idea for Destinations came about as a tool to use when adventuring is reinstated.
User research, prototyping, interaction design, visual design
June 2020 to September 2020
Our user persona begins with Mandy, an avid traveler whose trips are a way of life. She wants an easier time with the booking experience. Her pain points include her busy schedule and working hours, providing only a small window of time to prepare for any upcoming trip.
The initial concept for Destinations was simple: a fast and easy booking app, taking the user from start to finish with no detours along the way. As depicted above, the user begins on the home page with their destination search and is easily matched with the hotels and experiences recommended for them, before landing on the confirmation page. The confirmation page shows the itinerary so the user can rest easy, knowing everything has been planned ahead of time.
A competitive analysis was conducted, researching other new travel sites' layouts (i.e., Agoda, Hopper) to see how they established themselves as choice booking apps. Decidedly, Destinations' advantage in the trip-booking industry is its ability to incorporate activities and experiences as part of the process, allowing users to view their itinerary after the fact.
Storyboard and User Journey
The storyboard for Destinations' early concept depicts a friend asking the user to join them on a trip somewhere that the user has never been. The user is seen to be flustered, feeling overwhelmed by what they'll need to do to prepare for the excursion. Deciding to get a little help with the process, the user takes to the app store, where they find Destinations. After downloading and going through the process of booking the hotel stay and experiences, the user can now relax and get excited for the new journey.
User journey illustrated above, with the bottom in red indicating a poor experience, and the top in green indicating a great experience. Following the storyboard, this journey was developed with the user's early steps in mind (saving for the trip) and onto the stressful part of planning, delving a bit deeper into the process. In using Destinations, the user is able to easily add new activities to try while taking their trip.
UI and Color Palette
This palette was chosen because of the energizing and positive properties that they evoke; we want our users to feel the excitement of planning a new experience and traveling somewhere new.
Phone App UI Concept Art
Additions after the wireframing include new sections in the navigation bar for favorite places and experiences, and a previous-locations icon for revisiting hotels or experiences in the future.
A user was asked to complete the following tasks:
1. Book a stay and experience in Vancouver, B.C.
2. Find your booking after submitting the order.
3. Navigate back to home during the booking.
The user was asked to give feedback on the experience for each task, reported below:
1. "It was really easy and straightforward [booking a stay and experience]."
2. "That was pretty easy too. I was able to find the calendar icon easily and could understand what it meant without a label."
3. "It was very simple navigating back to home during the booking."
The usability testing was successful overall and accomplished the goal for an easy start-to-finish booking process. Future plans for this app include incorporating flights, as is an advantage seen in the competitive analysis with Hopper, and adding a section in the itinerary that users can easily include additional experiences they decide on later.