Lokal Travel Web
Designed flexible templates for Lokal Travel's 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, GVC, 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, limitations, and considerations
“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. Site just looked like every other.”- Huang, tester who was reluctant to jump into eco-tourism
- There is interest in eco-tourism
- People don't know what eco-tourism qualities to look for 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
Key personas were built from user research findings, focused on those under the age of 40, 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
Yuppie 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 Expressing Interest (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, ease the filtering process
- Adventure product page: Peak excitement and trust, provide detailed trip info and validation through user reviews
- Express interest in trip: Evoke security and confidence, gather user information, confirm booking dates
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 tester feedback on early sketches and wireframes, I pushed to launch a template with the following sections:
- Top image banner and gallery: for full visual impact
- Highlighted info: Bullets of vital info, like how physically demanding the trip is
- Trip schedule and detail: Day-by-day map and itinerary
- About the guide: 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: Direct user toward comparable Lokal offerings
To save engineering and design hours, this was designed to be a template for not only multi-day adventures, but also for 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.