Updated Feb, 26th 2013
The last time you planned your own trip, did you have to go to at least 20 different websites and books to figure out what to do, where to stay, eat or how to get from A to B? Information is scattered and trip planning is time consuming. Did you find yourself taking a sneak peek at what tour companies have in their itineraries or asking your friends for their old itineraries? Wouldn't it be easier if you could be inspired by the itineraries of others that have been there and done that?
For the enthusiastic do-it-yourself traveler, Find My Itin is a one-stop-shop web platform to inspire, create and share itineraries so you can build a trip of a lifetime you can be proud of while having half of the work already done.
Lesson 1: Designing for the Right Customer
Q1 - Fill out Validation Board
A1 - See upload
Q2: Is the customer who you thought they were? Did they have the problem?
A2: Wow interviewing potential clients (travelers in my case) was a lot more challenging than I thought but once I found out there was a Travel Expo in Toronto last weekend, I went out there and it was WAY easier to do interviews with a targetted audience vs my experience approaching random people at the mall. I think I have a good understanding of the regular traveler in that it ranges in spectrum from the hardcore backpacker (minimal planning) vs. the anal ADD traveler (extreme detailed planning. Everyone else (probably 80%) fit in the middle somewhere. There was definitely a common sentiment amongst the users that there is a lot of work involved in the research stage when planning for a trip but it seems to be a variable level of pain where some are okay with the existing resouces/solutions out there while others feel the same pain as I do in terms of having to go through dozens of resources and then going through the pain of putting it all together like a puzzle.
Q3: List the 5 key learnings from interviews
Lesson 2: Storyboard Your User's Experience
Q1: Update Validation Board
A1: See upload
Q2: What goal is your user trying to accomplish?
A2: My targetted user is someone that is frustrated with the challenge and difficulty of planning an itinerary for a trip. They observe that information is scattered and it could take 1-2 months to put together a plan (to varying degrees of detail granted) which is a lot of brute force Googling and searching on some well known sites/blogs to cut and paste information which then eventually comes together. As a result, this user is looking for a better alternative and knows that if he/she could work off of existing itineraries, it would save them half the work.
A3: See upload
This is my first crack at doing a storyboard before watching the Office Hours. This is more of a storyboard about a typical persona/early adopter that we'd be looking for (let's call him Tom).
Here's my second crack at a storyboard
Lesson 3: Wireframing and User Testing
1. User Testing - I've done some surveys with friends in the past on the first version of this mockup and I've made changes to it since which is what you see in the uploaded wireframe of the search page. I think one of the biggest things I learned from my first round of surveys is that simplicity is key. I got numerous comments about how things were too complicated and that things weren't clear on the purpose of the page. I've tried to make it less "busy" and to the point. This is definitely a work in progress and will need further testing down the road.