Travel App
Project Overview
Planning a trip can be exciting but also a little overwhelming. Where to go? What to do and when? How can I organize all the information I’ve found? Travelers want to experience the world as more of a local and not a tourist.  Part of that experience is planning around their interests and inspirations. 
My Contributions
As the UX Designer, I was tasked with researching and designing an app experience that would help organize a user’s planning and find them destinations and activities that were important to them as an individual/group. 
Urality is a technology focused company building next generation capabilities for travel organizations and consumers. Our mission is to bring travelers and destinations together through strong narrative and interactive content.

The Urality app would deliver a personalized list of places to visit based on other travelers experiences (blog posts) and also organize all the ideas and inspirations for the next trip by gathering the user’s preferences, i.e. food tastes, where they like to stay and where they like to play.


Sometimes you have to hang out with the users!!!
We attended a travel show in Philadelphia to do some guerilla interviewing of the attendees. We decided on that approach because travelers were in the mind set of planning a trip and researching where they want to go. Below are a couple of questions asked:

What is the most challenging part of planning a trip?
“Finding authentic places and cultural destinations.”
“Finding places that cater to our interests.”

Can you think of anything that would improve your travel experience?
“I would love a more personalized experience!”
“We would love something to organize all the content we find when looking for places to go.”

Besides interviewing the traveler that is planning a trip, we wanted to find data that validated our assumptions that travelers wanted to experience “local flavor” and not always feel like a tourist. We pulled a report from Skift, which is the largest industry intelligence platform providing MEDIA, INSIGHTS and MARKETING to key sectors of travel. Below are just a few nuggets of information we found that helped personalize the experience within Urality.

Who are we designing this for anyway?

Traveling Tabitha

Age: 35
Work: Sales
Family: Single
Location: Lancaster, Pa
  • See and explore new destinations.
  • Travel as much as possible.
  • Wants to find adventures off the beaten path.
  • Wants to know where places are and where to find them.
  • Avoid using multiple sites to plan trips.
  • Hard to organize all the trip information.
  • Hard to find information about obscure locations.

Martha is in sales and has a flexible schedule at work which allows her to travel a lot, not only for work but for leisure. She enjoys finding the local places that are off the beaten path. She uses social media and searches to find these places. She is tech-savvy and not afraid to try new things. Martha considers herself as an "avid taster of good brews and food." 


Most people like being taken care of and catered. It feels good and makes them feel important. Examples of this are plenty going back to personalized email campaigns (“Dear Tabitha,”) and exist in a lot of other technology today whether it be machine learning or geolocation.

One aspect of personalization was onboarding for all new users to the app. This would allow the app to deliver specific, tailored information while the user was on the app.

We wanted to take a look at an app that used on-boarding to deliver personalized content.

Because why try and reinvent the wheel!

Flipboard Screenshot

The User is able to select only the subjects that are important to them. The User is also able to add or delete more after the initial on boarding. So we wanted to emulate the on boarding flow for our users by using conversational flow that allowed them to start personalizing the experience.

Sketch of User Onboarding

Here the user lands on the main page and has an option to continue with their interests or skip and go to a Quick Start option that would deliver generic content either based on where they or what they wanted to do. We drilled down to EAT, SLEEP or PLAY. Those were the most common responses of what people wanted to do when they were in a destination. To get the personalized information, the user needed to select a few interests. With the Flipboard example, they only required 3 categories to continue.

UI Mockup of Onboarding

Travel Assistant

Yay! The user received content they liked and they have made a trip. Now what?
Another feature we worked on was providing the traveler with an “assistant” or “concierge". When talking with travelers, we found that, even after all the planning was done and they arrived, saving time was important to them. It takes time to find where the places to see and things to do are and if they are doing it in an efficient manner. After all, saving time gives the traveler time to do more. 

Quote from an interviewee:

“There are a lot of things to do when arriving at a destination (baggage claim, taxi, etc) and if I knew a lot of things in advance (time to hotel, eateries nearby, etc), it could alleviate the anxiety of finding those places.”

So I went to the source of where travelers go for information, local hotels, to see what the most common requests were from visitors. 
“What are the visitors looking for when they arrive?”
“What information do you give them  (pamphlets, brochures, etc.)?
“When are they asking the questions?”

Some responses:
"Questions are asked mostly at check in."
"No information is provided in the rooms themselves."
"The are looking for local things to do and the good local eateries."

We wanted to provide a solution when the user hit the ground.

Use Case

User arrives at a destination, maybe an airport. Urality knows the user has landed an starts the conversation and asks the user if they want to explore the area.

2. The traveler then receives a prompt to let Urality know where their lodging is, if they have lodging, and it can help find optimal routes with the user’s saved location in mind.

3. In this case, the user needs to find lodging. Urality can filter distance, price, number of rooms, etc. to find the best route.

4. Urality could also deliver recommendations based on the user’s interest. After finding the lodging, Urality can suggest that an eatery the user might have saved or shown interest in is on the way.

This feature is all about saving time to do more.