Website Design


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Being able to save and share trips and itinerary with their travel partners is important. They are young or young at heart and looking for tried and tested experiences that are sometimes off the beaten track, cultural and quirky.

Use Cases

A teaching assistant from Edinburgh University wants to visit either the west or east coast of Scotland during an upcoming Spring break. He buses to and from university daily and browses the Themes and suggested Itineraries. He shares his preferred plans with his friend who is able to start his booking process from the itinerary details page using the off-site URL's noted. A Edinburgh is expecting a visit from a friend travelling from USA. She wants to show her friend around town but it would help to get a sense of her friend’s travel ideas and interests. The Scottish host asks their friend to use Explore Scotland to look up some ideas by Searching the app or browsing the Themes and Itineraries pages, then create a trip and share their preferred activities. The host then can get started on booking and planning the itinerary.

User Research

Survey: 59 Responses

Type-form Survey Responses

Starting my research with a Type form survey, I gathered some useful information such as the age of travellers, what they like to do when travelling, how they prefer to use their mobile phone for travel, and what their travel pain points often were. The two pain points that lead to Explore Scotland’s Most Viable Product (MVP) features were ‘experiences are not inline with reviews’ and ‘managing itinerary’. I thought this question “How likely are you to plan your next trip within Scotland” was interesting as it indicated to me that Scotland is under-travelled and often not a first choice when choosing a travel destination. The question “What kind of experiences and activities do you like to do when travelling” was useful as it helped me understand that most respondents are interested in exciting, memorable and culture-rich experiences. Survey Questions Asked:
  • What is your age range?
  • What is your current employment status?
  • What type of mobile apps do you use on a regular basis?
  • How do you use your mobile phone for travel?
  • What kind of experiences and activities do you like to do when travelling?
  • How do you prefer to share your travel experiences and memories?
  • What are your biggest pain points related to travel research?
  • How likely are you to plan your next trip within Scotland?
  • If you had only one travel app, what should it be able to do for you?
  • Overall the survey gave me some useful answers but it should be redone with more pointed questions that support the app’s current MVP features.
  • Although the customisation potential is huge, I found Type-form was restricting as it only allowed 10 questions max with its free version. It would be useful to spend some time and money crafting and sending a great survey.

Interviews: 5 Interviewees

5/5 interviewees will not be planning their next trip within Scotland. Interviews followed my survey with four recorded in person and one over the phone — all had different travel styles and goals. I found all my interviewees to be very forthcoming and happy to talk about their experiences. Although I know my interviewees think Scotland is a beautiful country and would love to visit more of its cities, none mentioned it as a next spot to visit. Their answer to the question “Where are you most interested in travelling to next?” indicated to me they didn’t consider Scotland a top choice to be included into future plans. Interview Questions Asked:
  • How old are you?
  • Where have you lived most of your life?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • What are some of the apps you use on a regular basis?
  • Tell me about your role at your company.
  • Where have you travelled in the past?
  • Where are you most interested in travelling to next?
  • Tell me about the kinds of experiences and activities you like to do when travelling.
  • How do you use your phone for travel?
  • While planning travel, or travelling, what do you want and need your travel apps to do for you?
  • What is your biggest pain point related to travel research?
  • What are you currently doing to make your travel research easier?
  • Where and how do you like to share your travel memories?
  • What apps or sites do you usually go to for travel info/research?
  • What do you like or dislike about these other apps?
  • What locations do you tend to do most of your research? Ex at home on couch, on the bus/train, at work
  • How much time do you usually spend planning a vacation or trip?
  • Final questions, comments?
All my interviews lasted from 25–30 minutes. I found them enjoyable and I was able to gather so much more useful information than from my survey. Being able to read a person’s body language and expressions really helped me to recognise when I could continue down a line of questioning or know when I hit a dead end.

Personas

Using my survey and interviews I combined my findings to create two personas that would be typical users of Explore Scotland. Freya: mid-twenties, highly social and enthusiastic. She prefers to travel to historical European cities and visit bustling popular cities like London, Zurich , Berlin, Barcelona and Paris where she can immerse herself in the local scenes with focus on fashion, music and cuisine. She’s interested in travelling to Edinburgh. Primary Person: Mike Stewart Charles: a family man in his early 30's. He loves nice things and values highly-rated activities, good food and family-friendly warm destinations. Secondary Person: Kyle Must Haves
  • Offline access to itinerary and maps
  • Suggested itineraries with access to local info, maps and external links
  • Push notifications for nearby place of interest
  • Pain Points
  • Accessing directions without WiFi
  • Managing itinerary
  • Experiences are not inline with reviews
  • Star ratings are too general
  • Info is out-of-date
  • Reviews can be misleading
  • Price conversions are confusing
  • MVP Features
There are travel behemoths such as Google and Google Trips, TripAdvisor and AirBnB, that already do many travel tasks incredibly well such as navigation, and user submitted content. Explore Scotland needs to show travellers unique, memorable and trusted trips ideas and allow them to create their own itinerary that can be saved, shared and downloaded. All the people I surveyed or interviewed currently use the giants mentioned above and are happy to continue doing so — that is until something can beat what they offer. I’ve identified that Explore Scotland must include the following features before all else to be functional and useful:
  • Save Places and Activities
  • Create and Share Itinerary
  • Itineraries are Accessible Offline
  • Reviews (not yet included in current app design)
  • User flow & wire-frames
  • My surveys and interviews revealed that users of this travel app were looking for ideas of what to do, where to go and what to eat — plus they highly value what others think so reviews are extremely important in deciding on an activity or restaurant. Another must-have feature is offline downloading of places and itineraries for when an internet connection is not reliable or available.

User flows

Since I now had an idea of what users needed and wanted I could begin creating their flow through the app. Working through the user flows helped me to map out the paths a user would take but I soon found it to become messy and didn’t seem exactly right. My first user flow was bloated and not very good. I started to recognise many faults when I began the wire framing. Trimming down to focus on my MVP was now vital to the completion of this project.
  • User Flow #1
  • Flow 1 shows my scope bloat!
  • User Flow #2
  • Flow 2 reduced to one key task: Plan a Trip

Wire frames

The wire framing process was where things began to fall into place and become more tangible. Initial paper sketches were a nice start, but really not ideal given my short timeline. I quickly transitioned into Sketch and got busy framing. After linking up the Craft/In vision plugin I discovered I could link up art boards within Sketch — which I thought was a useful exercise for me to move through some more realistic flows. This helped me identify gaps and issues like missing steps, useless steps and unclear call-to-action buttons. I later learned this wasn’t a good move as it further complicated the prototyping process. Next time I will leave the linking to the prototype software like In-vision or Principle. Initial paper wire-frame sketches

Digital wire frames

  • Digital wire frames when I discovered you could link your boards in Sketch
  • Usability testing
  • I designed and performed three navigation tests with usability website.
Test 1: View and Include a British Columbia activity in your custom travel itinerary saw good success rate for the first four steps and then the failure rate was approx 50% thereafter. Two testers got lost clicking the hamburger menu and even the home page’s description — I believe it was due to unclear instructions or testers’ failure to comprehend the instructions before taking the test. Five testers made it through to step 5/7, the others got lost in the segmented navigation and hamburger menu again. These problems could also be due to testers being asked to complete too many tasks. A total 17% of participants completed all steps in an average of 52.1 seconds. Drop off started at Step 4. Test 1: Step 4/7 — Users are asked to further drill down into BC to find something to add to their itinerary. “I was done selecting BC as a province, and I was now looking for my custom trip to include it in. I don’t know at this point which city/area I wanted to add. I guess the whole province can’t be added :/” Take the Test: Fast User Testing: Five Second Test, Click Test and Navigation * Usability Capture design feedback quickly and easily with our online usability tests. Test 2: Create and Share a custom itinerary had immediate failure on the first screen, I believe due to an unclear wire frame and call-to-action ‘Add Trip’ button. No participants completed all steps. Only one participant had a chance to take it before I ended it and started over. My wire-frames and instructions may have not been clear enough. Test 2, Step 1/12 — Users are asked to Create and Share a custom Itinerary. The call-to-action is not visible enough. Take the Test: Fast User Testing: Five Second Test, Click Test and Navigation * usability Capture design feedback quickly and easily with our online usability tests. Test 3: Create and Share a custom itinerary — Take 2 This navigation test was based on Test 2 A total 11% of participants completed all steps in an average of 1 minute 10.2 seconds. Drop off began steadily after Step 5, then again at Step 9. Test 3, Step 5/12 — Users are asked to add something to their empty Trip Itinerary “I wanted to see again the way the dates were selected.” Test 3, Step 9/12 — To add this activity to their Trip, users need to choose ‘Add a Trip’ “Actually wanted to add to activity but there didn’t seem to be an option. So I pressed share” Take the Test: Fast User Testing: Five Second Test, Click Test and Navigation * Usability Capture design feedback quickly and easily with our online usability tests. All three of these tests were performed using my first set of wire-frames. The results revealed to me that my layouts weren’t all that clear, but using bland wire-frames probably didn’t help the matter either especially coupled with more than one task to complete. After these tests I started a redo of my wire-frames based on my MVP's. High fidelity digital wire-frames based on User Flow 2 The wire-frames above are based on my second version of the user flow. I reduced the scope to just my MVP tasks identified from my user interviews and survey. The top tasks users wished to perform were 1.) place and activity ideas, 2.) create, save and share itinerary with friends and family and 3.) have access to offline data. User testing has not yet been performed on these new screens.
  • Prototype
  • Evolution of the Home screen
  • Four themes and curated lists reduce clutter
  • Sample flow from Vibrant Cities, Sign in, Add Trip, View Itinerary and information

Conclusion

I found this project to be a spring board for learning the basics of UX design. My biggest take away is to take care and time with user research and user flow mapping as it’s vital to the integrity of useful app or site. Also, really understanding users’ needs, tendencies, human behaviour, universal UI graphics and layouts along with current technologies and practices all play significant roles in the success of a great UX/UI design. I expect to apply everything I learned in this RED UX Essentials course to my current career and onward. Although this was just a glimpse into UX, the skills I will take away will be very useful to my future projects.
Website Design Website Development

Website Design

The mobile and web app Scotland City is a travel guide focused on highlighting exciting, unique and memorable experiences around the country — not just the typical travel spots which can be found across other apps and competitive sites. Its primary purpose is as a promotional tool to help entice travellers to visit Scotland vs other out-of-country destinations and businesses.

Task

Potential users of this app are British and International travellers who are looking for verified, unique and interesting things to in Scotland. Typical users will be looking for suggestions and don’t have a lot of time to spend on research — information should be easily accessible from mobile devices.

  • Date

    September 1, 2018

  • Skills

    JQuery, HTML5, CSS

  • Client

    Codebees

  • Tags

    City Guide Website, edinburgh guide, Scotland City, scotland guide, Scotland Travel, Scotland Travel Guide, Travel Guide Website

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