Role: Lead Designer
My team partnered with a high profile publishing company to help augment their current print offerings. The client had a foothold in hotel room literature that helps travelers discover new points-of-interest while in town, but wanted to improve their reach in the digital world. The product needed to be able to give personalized recommendations for user’s search queries.
Discovery & Research
I began by researching their current product and listening to the client's concerns and goals for success. Their current product offered a listing of paid placements for points-of-interest (secured by the ad sales team) as well as blog articles.
Since the initial audience for this proof of concept was hotel guests searching for points-of-interest in an unknown city. I also researched traveler's mindsets via quick “guerrilla” user test sessions with friends and family. Leveraging user feedback sessions and competitor research I began abstracting core user personas and motivations.
I began to notice that a traveler's preferences depended greatly on a few key factors:
- Who they were traveling with
- The purpose of their travel
- What activities they were interested in
Ideation and Execution
After getting a sense of traveler's motivations I began writing basic user stories and creating wire frames that met those basic user needs. Our ability to give recommendations improved the more we knew about a user so it became critical that the team capture implicit and explicit user signals. I developed UI strategies to elicit feedback from the travelers about their interests, who they were traveling with or the purpose of their trip.
After nailing down the key views I then worked with the engineering and product teams to develop a product structure in the form of an app map.
User Testing and Refinement
Once the initial prototype was built I immediately began constructing user tests via UserTesting.com to identify points of improvement. Did users enjoy using the product? Did they appreciate the personalized feed of recommendations? Were users more likely to browse for their interests or search?
After rounds of feedback from users and internal stake holders the team began finalizing the MVP for a large scale test. I began the task of developing a visual language that married with the existing brand while updating it to a modern travel discovery product.