A Redesign of
The Hoptale App
Creating Features to Simplify Trip Planning
Role: Project Manager, Client Outreach
Project Type: Consulting
Duration: January - May 2021
"Inspiring travelers to seek inspiration, plan their own adventures, and document their journey."
Hoptale encourages travelers to remember their adventures through their social sharing feature and inspire others to go out and go. Trip planning became a natural step for Hoptale as travelers wanted to not only document the trips they had taken, but also plan their next trip.
Before beginning, we faced the following three challenges:
1. Figuring out how an app that focuses on trip documentation capitalize on their current product suite to take the burden out of trip planning?
2. Through user testing on Hoptale's current iteration of a trip planning feature, it was addressed that users were overwhelmed by the number of steps and amount of information they were faced with when planning a trip.
3. Users did not see any clear direction on how the inspirational content they saw on the rest of the app could serve them when they were beginning to plan their next trip.
From these challenges came a goal:
Simplify the trip planning feature and build clear workflows so users don't feel as though trip planning is a hassle or a burden.
Conduct user and competitor research
Implement user testing
Create high fidelity prototypes to present to Hoptale
Miro for ideation and team brainstorming
Adobe Illustrator for icon creation
Adobe XD for prototyping
Figma for collaboration
Serve as a project manager alongside team of four other UX designers and researchers.
Facilitate all communication between team and client
Built project schedule and determine prioritization for tasks
Create MVP presentation to show to client
Work alongside team to create high fidelity prototype
Identify user needs and motivations in order to define effective solutions
Create User Personas
Create Journey Maps
Perform Competitive Analysis
Create a style guide to create brand aesthetic and identity
Create Low-Fidelity Prototypes
Test to ensure the discovery and design phases were effective
Research was first conducted in order to get a better understanding of the type of user we would be designing for.
Visual signifiers which would direct users to the trip planning feature weren't clear enough
Users had difficulty pinning things of interest to refer back to later
Users were overwhelmed by the amount of information presented in trip planning and wanted more customization options to simplify the experience to fit their needs.
Two unique personas were created to help guide design and were kept in mind throughout the rest of the design process.
“My favorite part about traveling is taking pictures that I can take home with me. By capturing those moments I can relive my adventures anytime I want.”
I've taken many business trips throughout my career which makes me confident when it comes to planning my next vacation. I know the type of destination I like and take a trip every summer.
Document my adventures
Share my experiences
Learn more about new places
“There’s nothing better than exploring new places with my friends and planning trips that the whole group will enjoy.”
Ever since I was young my friends and I loved spending time outdoors. Now that we’re adults who can afford to spend money on trips, we’ve made it a mission to backpack in as many countries as we can. As the planner of the group, it’s my job to scout out our next destination.
Discover new places
Plan worthwhile trips
Share plans with my friends
A user's journey was mapped in order to understand the workflow of using the Hoptale app.
The Journey of Trip Planning
What goes through a user's mind when planning a trip:
Where am I traveling?
When am I going?
What is my budget?
What are my interests?
Have I been there before?
Could the dates change?
What does it include?
What is the place known for?
Am I going with anyone?
Can my travel partner come?
Does everyone have the same budget?
What do others want to do?
Three competitors, all involved in trip planning were analyzed in order to identify feature segments, market gaps, and trends. The following were our takeaways:
Keep the design of the workflow simple and cohesive between each step
Include tutorials and onboarding to introduce users to trip planning
Show maps to help users understand the distance between the things they are planning
Allow for easy collaboration between those embarking on the trip
It was a priority for our team that after conducting research, we'd all play a role in creating paper prototypes. The value of this was that our own unique perspectives would play a part in the design process adding more value to the solutions that would later be drafted through the mid-fidelity prototypes.
After paper prototypes were tested with users to ensure the information architecture made intuitive sense, medium fidelity prototypes were created to start developing the functional elements that would be used in Hoptale's mobile experiences.
Getting to High Fidelity
Developing a Style Guide
The current Hoptale style guide was used as inspiration for our designs. It was also important for our team to support both light and dark mode as Hoptale adjusts based on their user's systems settings.
High Fidelity Prototypes
Below are high fidelity prototypes for the mobile app experiences. Screens shown represent the Hoptale trip planning dashboard, map view, and the process of adding an activity to an itinerary.
1. The value of user research
This project provided an opportunity for our client to see the value of user research, especially user research which engages real-world users. At the beginning of the project, this value was not realized and there was hesitance to conduct research. However, by showing videos of user interviews, the client began to realize the potential insights that could be delivered only through user research and provided Hoptale users to interview for the second phase of our project.
2. The importance of clear workflows
In creating an experience which empowers users to plan their next trip or vacation, the importance of providing a clear workflow was realized. Through this project, it became evident that it is necessary to first diagnose every step a user looks for in planning and then provide these steps so there are intuitive and easy to work through. In addition, customization is another important element as not every user wishes to plan in exactly the same way as their fellow users.
3. The power of storytelling
In drafting presentations for our client, priority was given to creating a story in which we could detail our work. This element of storytelling was pivotal in onboarding our client and demonstrating the value the UX design process and user research could have on developing products which best serve the user and business goals.