WeGo travel app
Trip planning, but make it social
For most millennials, social media is a core part of the travel experience, as it offers a platform for sharing and getting inspired by each other's travel experiences.
WeGo helps users transform their #tripgoals into reality by making it easier to get travel recommendations from within their social network and collaborate on planning trips with others.
The challenge: Design an app to help millennials plan travel itineraries
I completed this project as a student in Pratt’s UX/UI Design program. I was tasked with designing an app to help millennials plan itineraries for leisure trips.
Design proccess: prioritizing user goals
To designing a digital experience that helps users actualize real world experiences, I focussed on understanding users' problems in the context of the broader goals they are seeking to fulfill when they travel.
Identify user goal
Extract design requirements from user goals and scenarios
Map key flows
Secondary research: For millennials travel is a highly social experience
Before talking to users I decided to dig into some online studies about millennial travel trends. It quickly became clear that social connectivity, both in the physical and digital world, is a critical part of the travel experience.
75% of millennials have never traveled solo and 40% say they feel intimidated by the idea.
50% of millennials consulted close contacts when researching for a trip.
56% of millennials say they have posted a travel photo or video on social media during their trip (which doesn't account for sharing after the trip).
I analyzed 3 direct competitors (Trip Advisor, Trippit, and Tripsy), all of whom support multiple users in planning a trip together.
Competitor analysis takeaways
Scheduling flexibility: Trippit requires users to add a specific date and time for plans. Trip Advisor and Tripsy forgo this requirement
Content limitations: Trip Advisor only allows users to add itinerary items from its own database. Tripsy and Trippit, allows users to add plans from elsewhere but have limited in app discovery.
Deterrent Pricing: Trippit and Tripsy require users to purchase a premium plan to access features like adding other travelers.
Based on the demographics in the project brief, I created a screener survey to identify potential interview participants. I ended up sitting down with 8 of 15 survey respondents for in depth interviews.
Have traveled for leisure at least 2 times in the past year
Have traveled for 1+ weeks at a time
I used an affinity diagram to synthesize the interview responses into actionable insights
Interview insight #1: Users get some of their best travel ideas from social media
Although many users consult TripAdvisor and other travel sites during the planning process, most felt that the opinion of one person they trust is worth more than thousands of reviews from strangers. This makes social media a valuable resource.
"I trust the opinions of friends and influencers I follow on instagram" - User
Interview insight #2: Users like to build flexibility into their itineraries
Users typically allow the most flexibility in their schedules when it comes to activities, dining, and anything that doesn't need to be booked in advance. However, they almost always book accommodations and transportation in advance.
“Having flexibility allows us to be more spontaneous" - User
Interview insight #3: Users share ideas and organize plans across multiple platforms, which gets confusing
Users often rely on a combination of Google Docs, email, and group messaging when planning a trip together. This makes it easy for information to get lost or go unnoticed, often leading to chaos and confusion.
“We don't really have a good central repository for information so it feels chaotic” - User
The flow of information throughout the planning process as described by users
Personas: The "Lead Planner" and the rest of the group
Most users described a very similar group dynamic in which one person steps up to lead the planning process and the rest of the group is less involved.
Lead Planner: More control over the planning process, but saddles a disproportionate administrative burden.
Rest of the Group: More likely to be unresponsive or feel out of the loop which can lead to conflict and confusion.
Based on these user types, I developed two personas....
The Lead Planner
The Easy Rider
Shared user journey: Problems before a trip create problems during a trip
Creating a shared user journey map disorganization and miscommunication that occur before the trip often lead to more problems during the trip. This prompted the question:
"How might we help groups keep everyone in the loop, reduce the administrative burden involved in planning, and make it easier for users to get ideas from people they trust?"
Scenarios: Understanding user goals in context
Imagining a variety of different real world scenarios for both users helped me consider how users goals might be different at different points along their journey, which led to more informed design decisions.
Design requirements: Simple, social, smart
I established a set of design requirements based on the context scenarios, which I continually referred back to throughout the design process to ensure I was accounting for the needs and goals of both user types in ideating possible solutions.
Pay it forward
Make it effortless
Real time intelligence
Users need to be connected to others on their trip and they want to be connected to others in their social network for recommendations and tips.
Users want to be able to share recommendations and tips from their trip with others.
Users don't want or need extra administrative work. Where there's an opportunity to automate a process, take it.
Users want to be able to share recommendations and tips from their trip with others.
Keep it together
Support spontaneity & flexibility
Users need all of their trip related information all in one place whether it applies to the entire group or only to them.
Users want recommendations they know they can trust, so that they can feel confident they're making the most of their trip.
Users need a platform that allows them to create flexible itineraries where they don't have to specify and date and time upfront.
Structuring the experience
After breaking the user's experience down into its contextual parts, I had to start thinking about it holistically again in order to arrive at a structure that was both logical and intuitive. The design requirements acted as a guideline for brainstorming potential features and making decisions about how to prioritize them.
The final site map
Visualizing the interface
I used sketching to visualize possible layouts for the interface and experiment with different navigational patterns, before selecting the most successful ideas and translating them into mid-fidelity wireframes in Sketch.
Similar to Pinterest's "Pin it" feature, I designed flows for users to quickly save content from other sites/apps to their itinerary and to create custom itinerary plans.
Prototyping and usability testing
I used Principle to prototype the mid-fidelity wireframes I created in sketch (for later iterations I switched to Invision for the sake of efficiency). Testing the prototype with 7 users revealed several key takeaways.
Key takeaway #1: Users view their itinerary as a place for plans, not ideas
To allow scheduling flexibility I initially separated the itinerary into "Plans" and "Ideas." However, I learned that most users view their itinerary as a place for plans, but not ideas. This required me to rethink the language to better align with users' mental models.
Solution: Change itinerary categories from "plans" and "ideas" to "scheduled" and "unscheduled" plans.
Key takeaway #2: Users quickly forget to recommend things they liked
Originally, recommendations could only be added through a plan's detail page. However, users found this cumbersome, making them less likely to follow through on recommending something. At the same time, they didn't want distracting reminders like push notifications.
Solution: Create an unobtrusive reminder that makes it easy for users to quickly recommend things they've done on their trip.
The best of both worlds
The final design supports users' social approach to travel, from sourcing ideas to creating a real world experience with others.
By providing a social platform that can be leveraged by small businesses and influencers, the app also creates an opportunity for revenue generation models that are more millennial friendly than the subscription based models of competitors its competitors.
PLAN COLLABORATIVELY WITH SHARED TRIPS
Shared trips allow multiple users to view and add plans to itineraries for that trip
Trip updates keep you in the loop about changes made to your trip
CREATE ITINERARIES WITH FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES
Scheduled itinerary plans help you stay on track and on time
Unscheduled itinerary plans let you be flexible
KEEP ALL THE DETAILS FOR YOUR TRIP IN ONE PLACE
Email sync adds reservations from your inbox to your itinerary for you
See the details of your plans plus handy actions like getting directions
RECOMMENDATIONS YOUR TRUST FROM PEOPLE YOU KNOW
See recommendations from friends and influencers in your social network
See photos and comments from people you know about places they recommended