Digital nomads struggle to find a home away from home, longing for local experiences.
Trave iT offers an easy way to create and save local recommendations in a 100% customized bucket list.
As a solo UX/UI designer, I was tasked to design a new travel app for digital nomads to be launched on iOS.
My job was to conduct a research, gather insights, quickly prototype a key flow of the app and develop a visual identity.
How many times have you heard the
“Haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my bucket list” quote?
But also…how many times have you started a travel bucket list in a notebook, phone or laptop and never found it back?
UNDERSTANDING DIGITAL NOMADS
WHO are we designing for and WHY is it important to understand users?
User Personas are vital to the success of a product because they drive design decisions by taking common user needs and bringing them to the forefront of planning before design has actually started.
After conducting 5 interviews with digital nomads in diverse industries, I could clearly see some common points:
ON THE GO
NEED TO FEEL
LIKE A LOCAL
I learned that digital nomads are always on the go, busy trying to figure out where their next destination will be, a nice accommodation in a good neighborhood to feel like home, co-working spaces to get a good internet reception, and so on.
It’s difficult to have a routine. Things constantly change around them and makes it hard to plan and properly organize their trips.
They have a strong need to socialize after a long day on their laptop, so they always go out to reach expats from all over the world to have a chat with.
But what seems to be more important: they believe they are in a grey zone of not being a tourist but neither locals nor residents.
So let’s meet our user persona, Matthew:
Digital nomads need a way to sort their travel recommendations so that they don't always end up in crowded tourists attractions.
Let's ideate solutions
My goal for this project is to build a travel app where users will create their own bucket list based on local recommendations, digital nomads they meet along the way, spend time with and share travel experiences.
The lack of time for planning won’t be a problem anymore. Users will always have their notes organized ready to check in one single place, in a visual layout which they will easily browse through preferences: countries, cities, neighborhoods, restaurants, co-working spaces, etc.
Since the bucket list will be based on places and activities given and recommended by the travelers they meet around the world, it will help our users to connect closer with the new destination and its local culture. A home away from home!
Now..Do you remember our user persona Matthew? He is currently living in Singapore with his girlfriend Jane, she is also a digital nomad.
After a long day working on their laptops, they decide it’s time for a beer break, so they get out of the co-working space and go to the expats bar around the corner. They spend the evening meeting new interesting people and sharing travel experiences in amazing destinations. And while all this is happening, Matthew notices that Jane is adding travel recommendations to their favorite app. Thats his girl!
Back home, they decide it’s time to seek for a new place to move to. It’s then when Matthew puts his phone out, opens Trave iT and starts browsing their saved travel recommendations.
As final result does not come at first sight, I want to show you some of the iterations done based on test with real users that helped me improve the user flow and consistency of the whole process.
PAPER PROTOTYPE — First user flow's attempt.
1.Users got confused having two screens to filter their preferences
2.Users were expecting to find a list of destinations they could browse through.
mid fidelity prototype — Combining 2 home-screens in 1 + Adding a grid.
1.Users were overwhelmed and confused with the amount of possible actions found on the first screen.
2.Confusing navigation. Users didn't understand what was the logo's icon for
3.Last minute, I decided to turn it into a social media platform and made my testers confused since there was no other feature related with contacts.
HOME-SCREEN'S ITERATIONS — There was definitely a need to improve the screen.
1.Mixed Tab Bar. I decided to remove it from the home screen to relieve the users from having a mix of action buttons and navigation.
2.Same buttons' design, different importance. I needed to keep the user navigating through my app instead of redirect them to an external link.
3.I added a personalized message to help testers understand there was an already created profile with some bucket lists saved.
Navigation BAR on grid — To enable navigation through a series of hierarchical screens.
1.I moved the action button + away from the navigation menu. And let the users browse by locations (countries and cities).
2.I removed the logo as a tool for navigation and added 'categories'
to facilitate the users find their interests by categories. (must-see, restaurants, co-working spaces, ...)
3.Since the app will be launched on iOS and following the Human Interface Guidelines, I added the icons’ label to each one.
For the purpose of making Trave iT a truly end-to-end tool, the ideal next steps would be:
· Keep working on the categories layout to better display the users' notes.
· Implement social media platform— allowing travelers to add and connect with their contacts to follow, check and share travel recommendations.