EXCURSION is a mobile app that allows users to create and share travel planS.
As lead UX/UI Designer I worked with the CEO of Excursion to develop the mobile iOS app. I also helped the company work through a tricky pivot from tour booking to social travel planning.
- High-fidelity mockups for mobile and web
Iteration I: A Mobile Booking Tool
When I joined the project, Excursion was a mobile booking tool that connected tour operators with travelers looking to book unique excursions.
Trip planning in the digital age is time-consuming and overwhelming.
English-speaking millennial travelers with smartphones
As a mobile booking tool these were some of things that Excursion struggled with:
- Acquiring and fielding tour operators was laborious, especially ones located in more remote areas
There are already a number of platforms such as Yelp, Lonely Planet, & Tripadvisor that travelers use to research excursions
Friends and other travelers often have great advice, but there is currently no easy way to digitally share and organize ideas.
We decided to circle back to the original problem EXCURSION was aiming to solve. Around that time, Think With Google, Google’s market research team, published an article on what they coined as ‘micro-moments.’ The article spoke specifically of the ubiquitousness of mobile devices and how nonlinear the user journey has become. Companies would better meet the needs of their customers by recognizing the moments where “consumers are demonstrating their intent very clearly—in what have been dubbed as ‘micro-moments’ — and are the most compelling opportunities along the new journey path.”
I identified the following micro-moments of trip planning, specifically when travelers are looking to:
We realized that one of the biggest motivations for using technology when planning a trip is essentially to “consult with others,” regardless of the travel planning micro-moment one is in.
ITERATION II: SOCIAL TRAVEL PLANNING
Based on this insight a minimum viable product would be an app that allows milennial travelers to easily:
Create a travel itinerary
Share the itineary
Receive feedback or suggestions from others
Things I learned
Building and shipping an app alongside a developer helped me focus on how to:
- Refine and simplify the product
Build engagement whether it be through encouraging users to create, share, or use plans
In initial versions the icon of a bucket was used for the tab that contains travel plans saved by users. As we worked to refine and simplify the app we realized that the concept of “bucket list” may not resonate with all of our global users. I removed the bucket icon as well as merged actions with similar functions.
To encourage users to create more travel plans I included calls to action whenever appropriate.
We were elated by EXCURSION’s positive reviews on the app store but I also appreciated getting the feedback that some users had difficulty learning how to use the app. I simplified the process of creating a travel plan so that just one button is used to access the edit, download and share functions. I also refined the onboarding process by making sure that new plans are preloaded with sample data and that users are guided through making their first plan with bold, clear instructions.
Shown below is the user flow of how to edit a plan: