The Voyager app is a traveling mobile application concept that could make a traveler’s life much easier. Based on GPS, users can get the most accurate location of nearby places such as hotels, restaurants, museums, and current or planned events.
Traveling can be a very thrilling and unforgettable experience of our life. However, it can be stressful and unpredictable too. During my short trip to Barcelona, I was really struggling with exploring the city in 2 days. I did not have enough time to prepare a solid plan of places that I wanted to visit. Some of the museums were closed, while reading people’s opinions of places on forums and blogs was really time-consuming. In short, I lost over 4 hours sitting in Starbucks planning for places that I wanted to visit. I had to schedule my plan by putting pins on maps, checking opening hours of the places that I wanted to visit as well as the roads leading to them.
All of this took a really long time and I started feeling overwhelmed and got stressed during my trip to a new place. It was during this time that I wish I could have checked on the map the nearest interesting places that are worth seeing, checking their ratings, getting an approximate arrival time and price, and enjoy my time exploring the city.
I think the best way would be to design a mobile application dedicated for travelers who don’t like to spend a lot of time planning their trips in every detail. Voyager app would offer a possibility to buy museum tickets, read recommendations about the nearby places, take part in local cultural events or just check useful places on the map such as restaurants, hotels, shops, etc. Traveling is about exploring new places, meeting new people, gaining life experiences, feeling a local and being a part of the place for the moment. Why travelers should waste their time planning the trip and checking tons of information when everything could be combined in one mobile application.
People have always been curious about exploring unknown places, especially when flight ticket prices are now really affordable for everyone. We can find a wide range of traveler’s preferences criteria such as:
- long/short distance
- local currency
- cultural and historical attractions
Irrespective of our expectations, we want to explore a new place and enjoy our time.
Understand travelers needs
I created and conducted a survey using SurveyMonkey to better understand travelers’ expectations about visiting places. I needed first-hand information about our users to get to know their profound motivations, opinions, and perceptions about the travel experience. I was able to collect results from a total of 10 participants between the ages 25–45 by asking them a few questions about:
- Motivations, fears, and expectations
- Tools used to plan the trip
- Activities done during the trip
We can find the results of the survey below.
Thanks to the interviews, I found out that the main motivation behind traveling is to have a relaxing time and exploring new places. Almost half of the interviewees travel pretty often (3-4 times a year). One of the most popular activities on a trip is taking pictures (28%), sightseeing (25%), trying local food (20%), and exploring nature (15%).
I was surprised to see how many different mobile applications are actually used to plan a trip and this motivated me to design a single multifunctional app, encompassing the features of all these different apps.
How might I help a traveler to manage their trips by offering unique and flexible solutions?
After running my interview session, I was finally able to synthesize all the information I collected during my research. I defined an archetype, which presents a group of users, with their motivations, behaviors, and fears. I would like to introduce you to Kate:
Based on the interview results and user persona motivation, I gained useful insights into the right direction of design thinking by empathizing, defining, ideating, and prototyping my final project.
To better present an app concept, I used the Storyboard to put a product in context. In five steps, I created a vision of how we could respond to Kate’s problems and needs.
After analyzing the information, I started to build out a list of the most important features which the Voyager app should have in order to fulfill a traveler’s expectations. I put it all together with a product feature roadmap to meet the high-level goals and objectives of this project.
Now, it was time to think about how the users might navigate the app in order to log in/sign up, browse trips, make reservations, and have an access to personal information. It was important for me to keep the information architecture as simple and concise as possible to provide the best access to application features.
My mood board gave me a lot of inspiration starting with color themes, fonts and finishing on accompanying users’ feelings when using the app.
Taking the application purposes into consideration, I decided to pick light green as the main color in my project which is strongly related to life, nature, and energy.
Logo designing is always a time-consuming process, I knew that a logo has to be light, catchy, graphic, and simple in form at the same time. After many iterations, I decided to use a hot air balloon shaped logo. The hot air balloon shape used in the logo shows a possibility to travel and explore from a new angle. Font had to be readable, fun, and consistent with the logo idea.
The next step following the creation of the information architecture maps was to start sketching wireframes. Before I made my digital wireframes, I drew up quick sketches showing some of the key screens that I would need to build out when creating the app.
I started to create the initial wireframes illustrating how the app might look. First of all, creating wireframes helped me to visualize my ideas and also gave me the basic structure for how users would use the app for browsing trips quotes and making bookings. When creating these wireframes, I made sure to keep the user needs from my persona, empathy map, and research in mind.
During the whole designing process, I have learned to always keep an eye on solving problems and also keep digging to deliver the best possible solutions based on my own experiences, solid research, and listening to the opinions and suggestions of others. Application has a huge potential for all travelers who want to discover new places, gain life experiences, and meet new people. While designing the Voyager mobile application concept. the most challenging issue was to design logical architecture information which would be fully understandable by all users and provide all solutions, thus fulfilling everyone’s expectations.
For the next steps, I would like to provide an offline map, navigation features, weather forecasts, and the feature to send the current GPS position to family and friends for security purposes, as well as fast and easy access to emergency contacts (police, embassy, etc.). Moreover, I would like to design an app version for smartwatches.