Desktop Web Redesign • March 2014
• Worked on a team with 2 other User Experience Designers
• Project assigned by General Assembly San Francisco during User Experience Design Immersive program
• Timeline: 2 weeks
• Rethink and redesign the trip searching and booking flow of group travel company Intrepid Travel’s website
• Appeal to a broader demographic with a wide variety of travel preferences
• Allow for more fine-tuned searches and more customization of trips
• Maintain the fun/excitement of trip planning throughout the entire user experience
• Distilling what users currently love (and don’t love) about travel planning and booking
• Creating a simple, easy new flow for a complex process that can easily be bogged down by the stressful details
• Finding ways to minimize decision-making for the user without removing anything essential
• Keeping things fun and exciting
One of the very first things we did was perform a competitive analysis of fifteen other digital travel planning/booking experiences. Breaking down these sites and comparing them feature-by-feature was a helpful exercise in discovering conventions and trends in the digital travel market.
After analyzing Intrepid’s competition, we wrote up and distributed an online survey about travel. The survey was answered by a whopping 72 people, giving us a wealth of useful data to call upon during our design process.
• People love: The anticipation of travel, planning itineraries, and when the process is made simple, easy, and fun.
• People really don't love: The more logistical, decision-making aspects of travel -- such as booking flights, being presented with hundreds of options to sift through, and finding good prices.
With extensive competitive analysis and initial research in tow, brainstorming and sketching for our redesign of Intrepid Travel’s website began. We hypothesized that users would appreciate a guided process that ends with a fully-booked and paid-for travel package.
The user flow we ultimately created consisted of three high-level steps: inputting travel preferences, viewing and selecting a trip from customized search results, and actually booking a selected trip. We wanted users to leave the site feeling relaxed and able to focus only on the excitement of their upcoming trip. We wireframed and created a low-fidelity, clickable Axure prototype of this flow to test quickly with a few users.
KEY USER FEEDBACK
• What Worked: The guided approach to trip booking; the simplicity lent a much more relaxing feel to the site.
• What Didn't Work: Still involved too many steps and screens; the prototype didn’t quite exude the fun and excitement we were aiming for.
Encouraged by the largely positive reactions to user testing, and challenged with the decidedly awesome new task of adding more fun into the user experience, we set forth to further fine-tune our redesign of Intrepid Travel’s planning/booking flow.
I built a more high-fidelity Axure prototype (screenshots seen above) of the first two steps of the user flow (inputting preferences and viewing search results) that included more visuals, bigger buttons, a more minimal presentation of information, and a few smart details.