Find, Book and Manage travel experiences through a single app and keep the customer within our payment ecosystem.
During my time working at the fin-tech startup Tripcash, we decided there needed to be a way to funnel users (and ultimately sales) into the Tripcash payment ecosystem. If you have not viewed my portfolio entry for the Tripcash mobile wallet, follow the link here.
Envisioned to be the ultimate travel companion, Travelfree was designed to offer users meaningful and tailored experiences at their travel destinations.
It all started with a meeting, like most products do, where the CEO of Tripcash explained he wanted a way to drive traffic to their payment ecosystem. We talked through a few ideas and ultimately settled on the concept of offering users a way to purchase their travel experiences, as Tripcash was a way of transferring money between currencies for use on overseas trips, there wouldn’t be a better way to capture payments.
We spent hours talking through the possible functionalities and features for this product before I went away to begin the discovery phase of the project.
I started by creating a personas, taking into account our target market and ideal demographics. These personas were used throughout the design of the platform and were of great use when choosing usability testers in the later stages of the design.
I then conducted competitor analysis on the market, knowing full well we would be entering an already saturated market, it wasn’t so much an endeavour to find a niche or an opportunity zone, but more to find weaknesses and strengths in existing products and utilise this data to make our product as strong as possible.
This research led me to 3 major competitors that I considered to be market leaders: Expedia, Viator and Triposo.
Analysis of these platforms was conducted, data was gathered regarding their offerings, mobile app and user journey and the findings were presented to stakeholders along with research documentation and video.
We found that ‘travel experiences’ as an industry (activities, eating, etc) was worth an estimated $150 billion and the platforms that served them were growing exponentially as more and more Gen Y and Z enter the workforce. The rise of YouTube and Instagram, specifically Travel bloggers/vloggers, led to a surge viewership of these genres by those that use these platforms and subsequently a rise in worldwide travel, and travel experiences, through the middle of the 2010’s.
Following the Discovery phase, I began conceptualising how Travelfree could look and function. At this point I was working through individual sections and not giving much consideration to the interaction between these sections, it was a brain dump.
Following this I created some rough wireframes showcasing the key screens and sections of the Travelfree mobile application. These being the Home, Search, Filter and Booking screens.
This was presented to the stakeholders along with my reasoning for these design decisions and sign-off was achieved to progress through to next stage.
Proof of Concept
Following the Conceptualisation phase, design began on a proof of concept version of the Travelfree mobile application. Created in Sketch, I created what I envisioned the mobile application to look like and function like in it’s POC form.
The design of the proof of concept was done so with input from the CTO of the company who would be overseeing the development of the product. This ensured that there would be minimal redesign required due to coding limitations.
This was presented to stakeholders via the prototyping tool Proto.io and was conducted online, as some of the stakeholders were in Shanghai at the time of its completion.
Wireframing and Prototyping
Following approval of the POC, I began designing the high-fidelity versions of the product. This would end up going through numerous versions as usability testing was conducted and input was recieved by stakeholders.
Wireframing was conducted in Sketch and prototyping took place in Proto.io and Invision.
Login & Registration
The login and registration section was designed to allow users to register via email or WeChat, utilising text message 2FA in order to verify the customer.
A design decision was made to onboard customers in order to build a user profile and tailor experiences to this profile. This was done through a simple toggle button based system, where the user would select their ‘Interests’ and this along with their location would be the basis of their profile.
The home screen would be the first screen the user sees when logging into the product and would display either featured experiences or tailored experiences. This screen would would house important navigational buttons, directing the user around the app.
A lot of time was taken with the FAQ’s section of the product as, I believed, this would be the difference between a travel experience purchasing platform and a travel companion app. Being able to deliver relevant information to the user about their current city was key to user retention, according to our case studies and usability testing.
By tapping into the WikiVoyage API we could pull down, and categorise, data on their current location for our end users. This would allow act as an on-hand concierge service and would remove the extra steps it would typically take to make an online search and find the relevant information.
This is where the users would search for experiences, filter results and is the launching off point for making a booking. Extensive time, research and testing went into this screen to ensure that users were flowing through from initial search to making a booking as efficiently as possible. We wanted to reduce our loss rate (booked experience / viewed experience).
This section was my most scrutinised section, requiring multiple workshops and thorough testing and I am happy to say it is something I am very proud of.
This screen is where users could see their booked experiences, past and future, so the can review them, make changes, cancelations or organise travel.
A design decision was made to link into the Uber API and feed locational data through to the Uber app (assuming the user had an Uber account), reducing the steps for the user to travel to their booked experience and offer as seamless a UX as possible.
This would change depending on the country (ie: DiDi in China for example) however as a business those discussions were still in progress at the time of the design. It was also a place where you could share your booking with your social media accounts.
The profile screen is where the user would manage their profile (obviously) but there is one important part to this section and that is the lite version of the Tripcash mobile wallet.
As Travelfree would live within the Tripcash payment ecosystem, the users accounts on both platforms could be linked utilising SSO (single-sign on) to handoff the credentials between the two applications.
The lite Tripcash wallet would have basic functionality including currency exchange and wallet funding.
Following the completion of the final version of the Travelfree prototype, a final usability test was conducted and tweaks were made the to design. This was then presented to the stakeholders for final approval and then sent off to the development team along with all user interface assets and the functioning prototype.