Lokal Travel Web
Designed flexible templates for an eco-tourism startup. Worked closely with founders and developers.
Deep dive into Lokal travel designs
Goals of Research: Uncover how travelers approach eco-tourism, including motivations, hesitations, and fears.
Moderated remote and in-person research methodology: Led over 30 remote qualitative interviews over the phone, Google hangouts, and in-person, with physically active people living sustainable lifestyles.
Also worked with Lokal Travel's co-founders and developers to unearth key business objectives and constraints.
“When push comes to shove, I'd rather support local economies. If I knew it was a family-owned business, that would sell me.”- Dave, tester new to concept of eco-tourism
“We can go to different travel agents and review sites, but it's tricky to figure out who has real insight into local travel.”- Jen, tester who looked into eco-tourism options in the past
“One place I found was called Eco Tours, but it wasn't clear to me what made them sustainable. The site just looked like every other.”- Huang, tester who was reluctant to jump into eco-tourism
There is interest in eco-tourism, but people don't know how to determine quality and they are wary of green-washing
People are looking for clear differentiators from, and benefits over, established brand name competition
People need an easy way to discover trips that fit their unique needs (financial, physical, time)
Building personas: Key personas were built from user research findings, focused on those under the age of 50, college-educated, and well-traveled.
Cindy and Joe
Couple in their late 30s with kids, works in pharmaceuticals and engineering
Single man in 20s, location independent designer
Jennifer and Derek
Professional couple in their 30s, grad school student and film producer
Values: Conscious consuming; authentic, culturally-aware experiences
Needs: Budget friendly accommodations and food; travel that fits inside restrictive schedules
Motivations: Making the most of time without kids; checking items off bucket list
Concerns: Staying within budget; staying off the beaten path
Research was used to develop a simple user journey from discovery through booking. From this we selected four core steps to focus on: Homepage > Search results > Multi-day adventure > and finally requesting specific dates for the trip.
Because of the demanding and unique nature of Lokal trips, the company wanted to vet each traveler prior to confirming bookings. The site flow allows users to express interest in tour dates and the rest of the booking process is guided by a Lokal employee.
Empathy goals for each page:
Home: Evoke excitement and sense of anticipation, demonstrate domain expertise and trustworthiness
Search: Maintain excitement around discovery, through speedy filtering options
Adventure product page: Peak excitement and trust, provide detailed trip info and validation through user reviews
Express interest in trip: Evoke security and confidence when gathering user information
Ideating and Sketching Process: Inspired by non-traditional travel companies (Airbnb), cause based organizations (Kiva), and companies known for their travel packages (G Adventures)
Based on stakeholder and user testing feedback on early sketches and wireframes, I designed a template with emphasis on:
Top image banner and gallery for full visual impact
Highlighted vital info through bullets, like how physically demanding the trip is
Trip schedule and details through day-by-day map and itinerary
Tour guide background and reviews
Ratings and reviews from people who have gone on the trip
Expressing interest in trip dates and social sharing: Ability to share over social media to invite friends on the trip, and ability to express interest in specific trip dates
“Other suggested trips" to direct user toward comparable Lokal offerings
To cut down on engineering lift, this was designed to be a flexible template for multi-day adventures, lodging options, and activities less than a day long.
Information hierarchy: After narrowing down the necessary sections for each adventure page, I card sorted the information hierarchy, which revealed the order that users responded best to.
This design presents the image gallery and vital trip info up top, allowing users to quickly vet without scrolling down the entire page. If users get more than halfway down, the page goes into more detail and validation, including tour guide info and reviews.
A/B testing: We didn't have a chance to run A/B tests with Lokal's limited site traffic. When it's possible to get some statistically significant numbers, I'll want to test the ordering of sections and the CTAs.
Hone in on personas: Lokal needs more travelers and feedback before we know if we're targeting the right personas. It's possible that there's missing personas who we could be targeting with different ad landing pages or booking flows.