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Rocket

Tools

Figma

Type

Mobile App

Role

Researcher & UX/UI

Timeline

10 weeks (part time)

The problem

As a former travel agent, I often had clients who were unsure about their travel preferences. They didn't know where to go, how long they wanted to travel, and sometimes not even how much money they were willing to spend. At the same time, seasoned travellers have disclosed that they either lack the time or find trip planning tedious and draining.

As a travel enthusiast and UX Designer, I want to create a simple solution for all types of travellers to enjoy holiday planning.

The Outcome

I developed an application that enables individuals to access the travel itineraries of other travellers. This creates a feeling of easiness and motivation throughout the process.

Design Thinking Process

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Empathize

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Define

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Ideate

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Prototype

Test

Empathize

Research Plan

To better understand the problem domain, I conducted primary research through interviews with people and secondary research through news and articles.

Research Objetives

Finding out how individuals plan their trips, the main difficulty they have in doing it, and understanding why people don't travel as much as they want to.

Findings on Secondary Research

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INFORMATION OVERLOAD

The amount of information available makes people feel overwhelmed and makes it difficult to make decisions.

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EXPECTATIONS

The pictures on social media might not match the actual experience on a trip.

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TOO BUSY TO PLAN

Travellers confess they know the benefits of planning, but they don't find time to do it.

Hypothesis Statement

I believe people don't travel as much as they want to because they don't plan it in advance, find planning boring or feel overwhelmed by information overload.

Assumptions

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People feel that planning a trip is too difficult and that they don't have time to do it.

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People give up on their holidays because they find the decision-making too exhausting or too boring. 

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People want to travel more and need tools to facilitate their planning to achieve this goal.

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People don't have enough money to travel and assume all trips are going to be expensive.

Primary Research 

Professionals in their 20s or 30s who have travelled before and want to travel more but say they don't have time or don't know how to plan a trip.

Participant Criteria:

Key Insights from Primary Research 

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Even knowing the benefits of planning a trip in advance, some travellers find the process so exhausting and difficult that they tend to postpone it until they never do it.

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Unplanned travel can cause uncertainty and stress. Travellers may spend time and energy deciding activities, destinations, and dining, detracting from the overall experience.

How Might We

How might we make the decision-making process more enjoyable for individuals and couples planning a trip, so they do not give up on making plans for their holidays?

Define

The Persona

I created a user persona based on the results of my research to better understand my users' frustrations and motivations, and guide my solutions and design choices.

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User Stories & Epics

I started creating user stories and epics based on the persona and the experience mapping, and I eventually settled on the epic "Planning and Preparation" because it better fit the need my opportunity required.

As a traveller

I want to

plan my itinerary in advance

As a traveller

I want to

create a list of activities to do

I want to

As a traveller

follow steps to plan a trip

so that

I can make the most of my time.

so that

I can visit all the sites that interest me.

so that

I won't feel overwhemed.

I want to

As a traveller

have all the infos at the same place

so that

I don't need to search everywhere.

Ideate

Competitors

Before moving on to the next step, I have chosen to conduct a competitive analysis of direct and indirect competitors to gain insights into the key features and generate ideas for my app.

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An app that organises your travel plans based on the data from your confirmation emails.
 

Unique feature: 
Allows users to share their itinerary with family and friends.

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An app to help travellers to plan road trips in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
 

Unique feature: 
Helps users to calculate the cost of their road trip by factoring in the price of gas and estimated tolls.

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It's a travel map app that shows you tourist attractions, museums, restaurants, shops and etc.

Unique feature: 
To download the itinerary and access it offline, without the need for an internet connection.

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The app suggests you a trip based on the budget selected on the home screen.
 

Unique feature: 
A "Lucky Find" option, where users can discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations in the city they are visiting.

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It's a travel app for a planning a trip, including road trips and group planning.
 

Unique feature: 
Allows users to import their travel plans from other travel booking sites and apps.

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An online travel agency to book flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruise ships, and vacation packages.
 

Unique feature: has a feature called "Things to Do" that allows users to browse and book various activities and experiences for their trip.

Task Flows

With the tasks, I defined the sequence of steps to begin constructing both a primary and a secondary task flow.

Since my idea was to find a completely different solution from the existing apps, I wanted to start with a traveller profile. When building the first task flow, I noticed this would be long. So I've decided to cut some steps and had the idea to give the ideas at the first steps to the user.

Planning and preparation
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Legend
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During the phase of the interviews, some individuals confessed it would be better if someone could plan the trip for them, so I decided to create a second flow to contact a travel agency after the user chose his/her preferences.

Finding an agency
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Legend
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Sketching

After conducting interviews, creating personas, crafting user stories, and analyzing competitors, I gathered enough information to begin translating my ideas into designs. I fused my previous research with the Crazy 8 process to produce a range of feature and functionality ideas that I intended to present.

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Home screen with options to choose by continent or city to start the planning. 

If the user chooses by continent, a list of cities will appear.

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An option for the user to plan on his own or to choose an agency to help with it.

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If the user chooses to plan on his own, the app will give recommendations of other apps.

Prototype

Time to combine ideas and create prototypes to validate functionalities and research insights. Over a week, I developed three versions of prototypes and incorporated feedback from tests to make the changes. See all versions below:

Version 1: I designed the login page and two task flows. The first on allows the user to choose a trip, while the second task flow enables them to contact an agency to finalize the planning.

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Version 2: Page planning was split into 2 for clarity. Usability was improved by changing designs, and other screens were added to improve the flow.

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Version 3: Inclusion of design elements, screens, and steps. It has been further developed to enhance the user experience and provide a more comprehensive journey for the user.

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Tests

In the final phase, I tested the prototypes to validate the ideas and better understand the relationship between the user and the product.

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Rounds of user testing

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individuals each round

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minutes session

In both scenarios, most users could complete the tasks easily, but I observed that a few individuals encountered difficulty comprehending certain aspects. Since the Design Thinking approach is non-linear, the insights gained from testing caused me to take a step back, prompting me to incorporate new concepts and steps into the prototype.

Home Screen

In the initial version, the user was presented with two starting points on a single screen. User testing indicated that this caused confusion, prompting me to introduce a new flow in the second iteration. This new flow allowed the user to first select the type of search they wanted before proceeding with planning it. In version 3, I created a whole new home screen to start the flow.

V1

V2

V3

Itineraries

Different layouts for the itineraries screen among the 3 versions.

V1

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V2

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V3

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Connecting with an agency

In the first version, the client selection process was based on a random agency assignment (inspired by Uber's flow). However, in the third version, the final page was redesigned to feature a list of agencies complete with descriptions and reviews, providing users with the ability to choose their preferred option.

V1

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V3

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Brand Development

The process of brand development involved the creation of a mood board, a list of 'More A than B', a brainstorming of possible names that aligned with the brand, and also the choice of colours and font that would be used on the screens.

Combining this with the information I collected from the research, the analysis of the competitors, and the feelings I extracted from the interviews, it was clear that the app needed to be something that gave the user enthusiasm and excitement.

Moodboard

To build the mood board, I gathered images, colours, typography and other items related to the mood chosen for this app. Furthermore, having a look at other apps (not only the travel ones), I got inspired to use new icons and styles that I didn't think about before.

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The name

ROCKET! It's fast, efficient, and powerful.
Like a rocket launching into space:  the app helps users achieve their goals quickly and easily, much like a rocket helps propel a spacecraft to its destination.

Colour

Coral.
An intermediate between pink and orange, the coral colour invokes freshness and energy. It has elements of orange, pink and red, which makes it energetic and stimulating.

The Final Wordmark
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U.I. Library

While developing the brand and the High Fidelity Prototype, I found it crucial to start building the U.I. Library, to create a pattern of icons, elements, buttons and other items that can be used consistently across all screens. This helps to establish a clear visual language that can enhance the user experience and contribute to the overall success of the app or product.

Colours
Typography
Iconography
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The Final Prototype

The journey to high fidelity prototype

At this stage of development, we are ready to incorporate design elements and colours into the prototype. However, while working with the UI Library, I noticed that the prototype lacked patterns, and even the icons were misaligned. As a result, it required significant changes to improve the user experience.
 

During this process, I realized that I had developed tunnel vision in my approach to designing the product. I was focused on my own vision, and even when guiding users through testing, I was leading them in the way that I thought was best. Furthermore, considering the larger picture of the information and options available to users, I understood that my approach was too narrow.
 

Given the tight timeline, I became aware of the necessity for a more straightforward and user-friendly solution that differed from my previous concepts.

As I pondered how to arrange the information in a more useful way for users, I had the idea: what if we concentrated exclusively on existing itineraries? After all, who hasn't considered recreating a trip taken by a friend or celebrity?

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Marketing Website

Upon completing the development of the mobile application, I proceeded to build a marketing website on desktop and mobile versions that promotes the app's download while providing users with insights into its funcionalities.

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Multi Platform

Users may prefer using a larger screen to plan their trip and view images of their desired destinations, making a desktop version highly useful. It's worth noting that some competitors already offer a desktop version. (And we have to consider that many users would do it during work time, right? 🤫)

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Key Learnings

Challenges

My first (not so) perfect idea was a travel planning app focusing on the person's preferences. It sounded really good to make the person think about every step until I realised this was exactly what would make them feel tired and bored.
 

As a very organised and planned person, everything made sense in my mind, but how could I make people feel excited about it?

​"Embrace your mistakes"

I heard it once during a lecture from a senior UX Designer. At the time, I didn't fully understand the meaning behind this advice. As a UX Design student, I was learning everything for the very first time, and my attention was divided into understanding the techniques and learning the new software at a very fast pace.

I managed to prototype an entire wireframe in Figma from one day to another. We were having classes with new subjects every day at the same time we had to develop an extensive project to submit every Sunday. Time constraints during the process forced me to make quick decisions and add pages and features to try to fix the problems. 

 

Looking back I know exactly what mistakes led me in the wrong direction, but I learned more than if I made it all right. It was hard, but through this experience, I can see that my design evolved, and I delivered a much better project.

Next Steps

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Add more functionalities to the app:
 

  • Edition of the itineraries

  • Interaction with other users

  • Add booking information to the app 

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Two more rounds of tests: 
 

  • One to validate the high-fidelity design

  • A second after the new features to confirm the usability

The Future of the Rocket

Having developed and launched the app, I am confident that Rocket will spark excitement among people to plan their trips, resulting in an increasing number of users.

From the very beginning, I envisioned generating income through affiliate partnerships by providing links to other websites. Another potential income stream would be to offer users the ability to sell their travel itineraries at a small fee. Furthermore, travellers who utilize the plans created by others could choose to donate an amount to the plan owner, with my app earning a percentage of the donation or sale.

I am pretty sure Rocket can help individuals to plan their travels and make the most of their trips. 

Thank you!

Next Project: EasyMed

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