Travel with Trace

How might we help travelers to better document and share their travel stories? 

I designed a mobile travel app that helps users preserve their travel experiences into a storytelling journal for easy sharing and looking back on.
3 months
User Research
UX/UI Design

One of the biggest mistakes in travel is assuming you’ll “never forget” a particular moment or feeling.  Especially for solo travelers where there is no other person to remember with you. Properly document and preserve important details, memories, and experience can allow your travels to stay with you long after you've returned home. However, it can be hard to keep track of all the things you see, hear, and experience all at once, and also preserve and share in a way that makes the most sense. 



I started by doing desk research on potential competitors as well as interviewed 7 users who are frequent travelers in order to access the initial user assumptions. In addition, I observed how potential users document their travel and concluded common patterns into the flow below that helps me identify pain points.


Summerizing interviewees' backgrounds and interests as user personas helped me define who I am designing for. Emma's persona represents a common type of user who takes documenting her travel seriously, but have difficulties come up with the best way to store all the informations as well as share it afterwards. 


Through synthesizing my research and interviews I gained some important insights to the problem:

When looking for a certain memory, users tend to use “location" as a point of reference to look back on.  
Not able to organize photos or write down words in the moment creates frustrations for the future.
Having files and documents scattered in different apps or physical location makes it hard to review. 
Social media like Instagram or Facebook only capture fragmented stories when travlers share their experience. 

Now that I identify centered information and sorting by location were the main issues I want to address, I began to map out the process of the app. 


I started the prototyping phase by drawing out a low fidelity wireframes of my key screens. Using a simple interactive paper prototype allowed me to do testing and iterate easily without spending too much time on refining details.  


After I have a concrete idea of the user flow, I moved to a high fidelity wireframes. I created a clickable Invision prototype for user testing. The prototype shows the main home page as the map, users are able to add new spots on top of the map. To solve the problem of scattered information, when a user creates a new spot, they will be given options to add words, media, weather, and moods onto the spot, so it becomes a single page digital map journal.  From the public dashboard, users are able to view other people's maps and filter them by location or user profile.  By testing this prototype with four potential users, I was able to observe where within the user journey they encounter confusion while interacting with the product. I then made a further decision to design an experience of corresponding view mode between the map and the post. 


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