Local Guide

Mobile App
 

Overview

By using Design Thinking methodology, I created a travel app that provides information regarding a particular area that a user is in or will be traveling to.

The app offers a search function to explore establishments in the area. There is additionally functionality to look specifically at nearby hotels and restaurants and see reviews. Additionally, the app allows users to view 'things to do' in a location, such as festivals, sporting events, and more.

Research

To understand areas of opportunity for a travel app, I began by parsing through interviews from individuals' travel experiences. Interviews were conducted with family oriented individuals, business travelers, couples, and various others. Reading through the interviews provided important insights on what current travel pain-points are. Below are the key insights drawn from interview synthesis.

Insights:

Due to time constraints, business travelers need trips to be organized and hassle-free.

Planning vacations is cumbersome and time-consuming.

"Local” knowledge of an unfamiliar area is desirable.

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Personas

Based on interview synthesis, personas were created to get at the heart of our target audience. Wanting to focus on both business travelers and vacationers, Brett and Karen embody the two very different users; with Brett being a more spontaneous traveler, while Karen is a more structured, pre-planning individual.

Main Insights From Personas:

Accessing the search functionality should be a straightforward and readily available upon entry to the app.

Saving and accessing locations should be simple and straightforward for later reference.

App features and graphics should provide users with context clues in order to make decisions.

Accessing saved items easily can promote nostalgia and encourage users to revisit certain locations.

Providing filter options can help narrow down a search and relieve frustrations from the process.

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Sketches

Utilizing user journey maps for personas Brett and Karen, I moved into a phase of rapid sketching and paper prototyping.

Prototype

A lo-fidelity prototype was created using Axure. Prototyping allowed for quick iterations and the ability to user test the functionality.

The Design

Local Guide truly came into fruition when brainstorming and executing design mockups based on the prototype. The process of styling the app started with exploratory research by examining what already existed in the wild. From there, I saw an opportunity to create a minimal design that embodies the idea of discovering and exploring new things. The color scheme is meant to have the feeling of environment, creating a soft and inviting interface.