A Travel Application Case Study

Introduction

Everyone loves traveling but doesn't always have the ability to make those trips happen. The application that I created is called S.I.C.C.U.D. an acronym for Savings In Cash and Coins to Uplifting Destinations. S.I.C.C.U.D. is a traveling application with a twist, this application helps users to save toward future trips over time.

The Problem

Evey one loves to travel but some have a problem with creating a budget for the trip.

My Role

UX/UI Designer and Researcher

Time

4 weeks

Programs

Adobe XD, Invision, Google docs, Google Forms

User Research

Target user and market

As it was a four week project, I made it a point to create a design with a simple solution. The information from the survey and interview processes provided more specific information.

Scope

User: People aging 20–40 years old are interested in travel and savings toward travel.

Market: Anyone wanting to travel and save toward a trip.

Hypothesis

People travel as much as possible but aren’t able to go as often due to scheduling, planning, and budgeting.

Survey Results

The surveys revealed that the primary issue for people and travel was creating a concrete budget.

A screenshot from the survey results.
A screenshot from the survey results, click here to see all results.

Interview Plan

From the data collected in my surveys, I established a list of questions asking users about how they plan their travel, their travel frequency, and desired travel frequency. Asking the user questions geared toward how they plan, prepare, and save for travel gave access to the root of why people don’t travel as often as they desire. Discover the blocks that they encounter that either stop, postpone, or stress them when it comes to planning a budget for travel.

My concerns:

How did users plan for travel?

If they were able to save effectively would they travel more?

A Screenshot of my initial interview questions click here to read an interview transcript

My key findings:

  1. Users love to travel but often cannot due to lack of funds or no time off
  2. Users tend to buy things separately instead of bundles for travel
  3. Travel agencies aren’t very popular, most people plan themselves
  4. Group trips are frustrating because of people staying on track with payments.

Solving the problem

Now that the problem has been narrowed down to users not being able to travel as often as possible due mostly to budgeting, I decided to create an application that would be able to help users save toward future trips.

Affinity Diagram

The user interviews provided more specific feedback toward the users needs and gave insight to potential features.

The affinity diagram provided categories to use to begin allowing me to begin brainstorming on the travel application.

Breaking the data into these categories allows me to formulate a more realistic thought on how the application will help users travel more.

From the responses in the interviews the Affinity Diagram has the following categories:

I’d like to travel…

Blockers from travel…

Planning Timeframe…

Reasons for travel…

Scheduling…

Pains…

Influence…

Last trip…

Travel buddy…

First iteration of sketches

Design principles

After the research and user interviews, I have come up with a set of design principles to incorporate into the applications design. It was important for me to include features that were revealed in the interviewing process and in the UI design.

1. Simple

The background of this app is simple to use. The users need not learn a new pattern.

2. Group Travel

By adding the feature of group travel it allowed users to interact with one another and keep up with payments and deadlines. This way groups will know what changes to make in a proper time frame to meet their travel dates.

3. Auto-Saving

We found that most users are likely to use the auto-save option as long as they are able to control the frequency and amount to be saved. Doing this allows for users to blindly save toward their trips. The users can also make manual savings toward individual and group trips.

Onboarding from the first wireframe design

Empathy Map

After the interviews, I mapped the response and thought of the user to understand their environment and emotional connection. The map determined the following about our user:

Thinks: checks social media for destinations, asks around for places to visit, checks sites and apps, checks scheduling

Feels: stressed, excited, overwhelmed, anxious

Does: creates plan and budget, Connects with travel buddies, get a dog sitter

Says: will love peace and quiet, relaxation is near, will read a book, experience new cultures that’ll impact students

User Persona

From the research this is the data of who would typically use the application

Ideation + Validation

  • The original name of the travel application was Frugal Traveler from User Research we discovered that the name appeared misleading to users and decided to give it the acronym S.I.C.C.U.D. in today's digital world siccud is an urban term used by the millennial generation to express that they are tired of something in life and need a positive change.
  • Problem Statement
  • User Insight Statement
  • Feature Prioritization Matrix
  • Value Proposition Statement
  • The application was tested via mobile application and desktop. During the testing the users were encouraged to be open with their thoughts while completing the tasks. Click here to view user tests.
First wire frame iteration, click here for prototype

Competitor Analysis

Store payments in the app for quicker savings

Other products that solve a similar problem are travel apps such as hotels.com, kayak.com and indirect competitors are the Digit app and the Tip Yourself app. The travel apps show prices and different deals on destinations including flight, hotel, and or car rental. The S.I.C.C.U.D. application is designed to assist users in saving for those trips. The financial apps (i.e. Digit & TipYourself) are platforms where users can easily save toward various goals. The S.I.C.C.U.D. application is a combination of its competitors (both direct and indirect).

User Flow Analysis

From research, I found that users prioritized saving while traveling. By creating a way for them to save overtime it lowers their stress toward travel and increases their travel frequency.

Final User Flow Iteration

Wireframing

From the wireframe testing I learned not to include keyboards without the typing feature, It confused many of the users and was a consistent stopping point. The set up of the wireframe was simple, yet the onboarding was confusing and allowed the user to discover its functions yet was not as visually attractive and the menu options weren’t clear.

Creating another prototype to view if the design was more functional proved to be successful. The name was changed to have a more creative feel and appeal to millennial travelers.

Redesign of Frugal Traveler to S.I.C.C.U.D.

Design Critique

  • The initial concept meant to get users to easily sign up and start saving toward travel.
  • The original design had a crowded design and confused the user.
  • The change in design made it more modern for users and more appealing.
Last iteration Features for the application

Journey Map

With the accomplishments from the newer design I was able to create a more effective journey for the user.

Journey Map

Final Prototype

Conclusion

In conclusion, I created an application that allows users to save toward future travel dates regardless of if they have a planned date or just want to save for a future trip. Adding features for groups to keep track of the payments and participation increases successful trips, and allowing users to make auto deposits makes it easier for them to reach their goals faster.

What I learned

User Research taught me how to listen to the user. During the testing I found points of confusion in the design that effected its usability. From wireframe testing I learned to make more functional changes to the design and created a different version improving the applications functionality.

This project gave me an understanding of what touch points to consider when creating the design of an application. I have enhanced myself in understanding the broad spectrum of design, thinking about the limitations and asking the right questions.

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Charlie-Nicole

Janiessa Charlie-Nicole Norice is a freelance copywriter UX/UI designer and creative.