Anywhere isn't just another holiday App, it's a solution for groups of travellers to seamlessly manage the tedious process of going on holidays together, as well as attending events. With an increase in millennials booking trips using their smartphones and even more utilising solely their smartphones for research, the app acts as a perfect resolution to pain points identified.
Travel with friends or family has always been an exciting period for many, but the process of getting to the exciting point has never been as glamourous, which is why I found this to be a very interesting challenge to take on. Communication is a vital part of our everyday lives. We almost don’t even have to think about it. With social media and our devices as prime tools, we’re constantly finding new ways to stay connected. Instant messaging — a quality example.
Today; despite the rise of social distancing, we get to share our thoughts, ideas, and information all across the world within split seconds on different platforms.
On this project, I aimed to improve the user experience of booking holidays for groups of people — with a focus on improving user experience by encouraging engagement/communication from all parties of the group as well as reducing the pressures on the group leader. My design offers potential users a solution in the form of an entirely new application.
With these improvements, I developed a tool that is usable, accessible, and efficient; meeting users needs for a straightforward solution. First I will research to better understand the users and the opportunity, based on insights I will begin to create wireframes to help develop the solution, then evaluate my findings through usability tests, before then approaching high fidelity designs.
During the brainstorming phase, several goals were developed to implement into the final designs based on initial assumptions. However the UX process was helpful in identifying wether or not these goals were valid and worth approaching.
While initially brainstorming for this project, I discovered several guides that stated how to manage f booking holidays; many of them were useful. However, a large number of these guides worked around the problems that people had. To understand the issues more, I examined the positions individuals take on in groups and how they often manage situations.
The first action of this stage in the process was to observe 5 individuals as they went about organising a group holiday. Despite being done virtually and users solely screen recording their processes I was able to understand the difficulties and see where there were faults in specific apps ability to cater to groups.
Another useful tool in helping me better understand the difficulties users encountered was through carrying out competitor research.
In total, I examined 14 various apps, with a specific focus on their approaches towards group organisation and management. Many of these applications did not allow for groups to be managed on their apps, which from the earlier examination of individuals using some of these apps to book a group holiday, had shown was a big omission.
Many travel agents offered users the opportunity to book and manage group holidays, but no further assistance in managing the group or holiday beyond hotels, flights, and insurance. However Apps and sites such as Trip it, Travefy, GroupMe Kayak, and Lyfshort offered users additional features to help ease the stress of managing booking, but still had gaps and flaws in their ability to satisfy consumer's needs.
Some specific problems with competitor applications:
Following researching into competitor apps and websites. I decided to survey in total 15 candidates through the use of survey monkey. These individuals had either, led the process of booking a holiday or had been a member of the group. Key finding from this process can be seen below.
Of those surveyed 3 individuals opted to be further interviewed. I carried out interviews as a way of better understanding the target users. Was their current solution not so difficult that they were comfortable with it. I needed to know more. But, after having completed interviews, I put together my notes into themes, and extracted key insights to confirm my findings.These insights were valuable in helping me develop personas.
From user interviews carried out, I noted down pain points and areas for improvements in the current user flow.
The current user flow presented several issues, such as the constant need to swap between apps, making the process longer than needed. causing users to often give up midway or postpone certain aspects of the flow. The new flow offers users an easier way of gathering friends, discovering locations, voting on options and chatting about options all within a simple app, which ensures users attention is never lost during the flow.
Rapid ideation sessions were utilised in order to come up with creative solutions that could meet the user needs identified by our research and user flows and experience mapping. Before developing the final designs for this new app, initial sketches were done based on solving the pain points, from this point, Sketch was utilised to develop medium fidelity wireframes taking into account collated pain paints from the user personas developed. The crazy 8s ideation technique was used to develop key screens for the app.
Specific features were tested with users at various stages, to ensure the idea and features were still satisfying users needs and solving pain points, I decided to run multiple rounds of testing (amongst colleagues at Circular, guerrilla testing, and virtual testing with friends) where I assessed:
- How users perceived and used processes.
- What features were most used.
- How the process of suggesting hotels, locations and flights could be done.
- How different iconography performed/how intuitive it was.
- How users responded to the interactivity of voting.
This was done to evaluate the new app features and the new user flows/ journey. Although there was positive feedback and users felt the process was alot easier than what they would ordinarily do, users commented on the with money management sections of the application. Feedback such as this was taken on and further developed. In addition it was reveled that the voting system was found to be alot more straight forward than competitior applications.
Work on the product is still ongoing as this started out as an MVP solution. However, now I wish to further identify the strengths of the solution and building out the flows and interface further. The aim is to develop this utilising no code tools and carry out further testing on users.