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Travelotl

3rd Place

@ Spring '23

Design Club 

Competition!

Guiding travelers on an educational journey abroad

Duration

8 weeks
 

Type

Completed in team of 6 for Design @ UCI Club
 

Role

UX Design & Research
 

Overview

Travelotl is an educational mobile application targeted towards tourists and business owners. Tourists can scan QR codes at tourist sites to learn more about a specific attraction. Business owners can integrate Travelotl at their respective tourist site, adding descriptions and QR codes throughout their location to further promote their business. 

The Problem

Travelers often experiencing difficulties finding and navigating tourist sites while traveling, which results in wasted learning opportunities for not only the traveler, but business owners as well, as they are unable to share all they have to offer.

User Research

Because we had limited time and resources, we decided to conduct a brief survey to get a general understanding of travelers and what they would want out of an application.

Survey Results
User Pain Points

Our survey results revealed that most participants had difficulties with navigation and finding attractions to visit when abroad. It was also interesting to note that 30% of them expressed struggling with learning about the history of the place they were visiting, a far higher percentage than we were initially expecting. 

Hidden Gems

Most participants expressed an overall  preference for visiting hidden gems when traveling. As researchers, this revealed to us a need to help users discover smaller businesses that may be harder to find as a tourist.

Competitive Analysis

We also conducted market research to further understand the problem space and how exisiting applications  try to solve the pain points we discovered through our user research. We found that many apps support searching for places to visit. However, these apps also lacked the educational and social aspects of travel (virtual guides and social media) that our research participants expressed interest in.

Ideation

From our research, we decided to focus our app's features on curation, exploration, education, and interaction. We brainstormed a variety of ways we could implement these features through storyboarding and sketching, as shown below.

Low Fidelity Prototype

Based on our sketches, we created a low-fidelity Figma prototype of our design. The main features we decided to include are described as follows:

  • Curation: Business owners can curate pages that provide more information about their attraction via a QR code.

  • Exploration: Tourists can search for, receive recommendations for, and review attractions in their area.

  • Education:  Tourists can scan QR codes to learn more about specific attractions at a tourist site.

  • Interaction: Tourists can interact with other travelers through viewing reviews and sharing attractions they have visited with others.

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Final Prototype

Since we were unable to conduct user-testing due to time constraints, we decided to move onto refining and finalizing our final design.

 

Our goal was to provide a minimalistic yet fresh look as we wanted the app to feel modern and fun to reflect the travel experience, but did not want the visual design to distract from the information that would be found on the app. Many of the colors and graphics were created based off of our app's mascot, an axolotl, (hence the name, Travelotl).

Click the button below to interact with the final prototype:

Takeaways & Reflection
  • The research process was one of the most difficult parts of this project. This was the first project I worked on where we had two target user groups: tourists and businesses. It was interesting yet also difficult designing for two audiences, as we were unable to conduct user research targeted towards the latter audience due to limited resources. Understanding the desires and pain-points of tourism businesses would have elevated our design in both functionality and credibility.

  • The ideation phase of our design also posed some challenges. We struggled to decide how exactly we wanted to approach our solution. Working in such a large team also contributed to this, as therre were many ideas being bounced around at once. Through communication and iteration, we were able to reach a mutual consensus on our final design.

  • If we were to do anything differently, we would have spent more time on the user research process. We would have conducted user research to understand the needs of tourist businesses in relation to our app. We would have also conducted user testing on both of our target audiences.

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