Designing a Travel App in the Time of Covid-19
We are going through very weird times. As the virus spreading quickly all over the world we are all locked down at our homes trying to stay safe, healthy and, positive about life.
I have been trying to find the motivation to keep working with my travel app. I can’t stop thinking about how lucky we were that we have been in other places, experienced delicious cousins, met with lovely people and get to know ourselves better. Sad news from all over the world and the fact that nobody travels my app seemed to be very redundant.
When the pessimist moment passed I found myself more motivated because when we beat the virus the world will be a different place and people will travel again like they have never traveled before. So it’s time to build an app for travelers that would be a bucket list.
Needed a reason to chat with my friends
I started to test my propositional prototypes with my friends over the digital meetups. That also helped me to catch up with them and ask them if everything is ok in their life.
After I talked to 4 friends I gathered all the answers and came up with repetitive comments for each option.
For each option, I summarized the comments then came up with some takeaways.
- People mostly get more excited about curated / custom routes, and spontaneous or flexible itinerary (creating lists) options more than connecting with locals.
- People want to see common interests with suggested contacts or the reason why people or experiences are shown as a match. Such as if they stayed in the same hotel before or both have a crush on parks.
- Maps work better for routes than looking for people or advice.
- For routes start-end point, duration, neighborhood, and interest play an important role.
- People prefer to see options rather than giving their information.
- Users get overwhelmed with too many questions in one page.
- Dividing the process into steps works better.
- Story option is mostly understood as stories of other travelers or locals. Not as in Instagram stories.
- Mostly seeing what others do work better than chat boxes on the map.
- Pages need to be filtered and more detailed. Some words such as “match me”, “connect” causes confusion. Each step needs to be very clear.
- Seeing active people makes a difference when people want to reach out to others.
I also dug deeper on spontaneous things that people did when they travel solo. Therefore I asked my friends what was the last spontaneous thing they did when they were traveling. It does change depending on the city and the person but so far I got these common answers: going to events, museums, walking and exploring neighborhoods and trying different restaurants and cafes. I will keep asking the same questions to other friends to understand what people need to be spontaneous when they travel.
For the next week, I will continue to adjust my propositional prototypes according to feedbacks and interviews.
Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy!