WorkAbout
Aeolus trip data screenAeolus dashboard screen
Aeolus logo

Overview

Aeolus, a mobile app concept named after Greek mythology's Keeper of the Winds, is designed to help travelers plan, organize, and maximize their trips, all on one platform. This concept was designed as part of my coursework at Auburn University.

The Problem

Planning a trip can be very stressful and it is often difficult to find activities that everyone will enjoy.

Target Audience

Young adults who like to travel but who don’t have a lot of travel experience.

My ROle

Team Lead / Product Designer (Delegation, Strategy, Research, Visual Design, Prototyping)

Tools Used

Figma, Protopie, Illustrator, Qualtrics

Time Frame

February - April 2020

Research

survey + user journeys

We began our research by looking at current travel planning apps like Yelp and Trip Advisor, comparing the services they offer. We found that each app effectively tackled a specific aspect of traveling, but few reputable apps had a wide feature set like we were imagining. With this in mind, we conducted a survey to gauge our audience’s travel habits and how they use existing apps to plan their trips. The results helped us define a list of important features our app should have, which we then compiled into user journeys based on the overarching user tasks.

We also created three personas to help guide our design decisions by keeping the needs of our target audience in mind. Designing for these different users and their respective scenarios helped us make sure that our app would be useful for a wide audience while still meeting specific needs.

Personas created for potential Aeolus users

ideation

sketches + wireframes

Wireframe sketches in different styles
Working independently on sketches helped us develop diverse ideas.

The team split up to complete individual sketches of the screens that would be required to offer the diverse features outlined in the user journey. We came back together to present our ideas, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each sketch until we had a unified direction to pursue through mid-fidelity wireframing.

Mid-fidelity wireframe of the app's home screen
An adaptive home screen shows users the info critical to where they are in the trip planning process.

We wanted to provide users with easy access to the critical information they would need during each part of the trip planning process, leading us to design to an adaptive home screen. In the Trips tab, users could view and manage their past, current, and upcoming trips. The Profile tab would allow users to view their travel stats, add friends, and more.

One of the most important aspects of Aeolus was the trip planning itself. We wanted to make the process as straight forward as possible, allowing users to quickly build the structure of the trip before having to add in all the details.

Mid-fidelity wireframe of the trip creation process
We boiled down the complex aspects of planning a trip to 5 primary variables: destination, date, members, budget, and activity preferences.

Implementation

Final Design + Prototype

Onboarding

The onboarding process was designed to be easy and straight forward, allowing users to quickly create a trip.

Create a trip

To create a trip, users only need to input the basic info: destination, date, members, budget, and activity preferences. To allow for preliminary planning, even these basic items can be skipped.

Pre-Trip Dashboard

In the time leading up to the trip, users can add to their itinerary, packing list, transportation plans, or housing reservations. Actionable progress indicators help ensure travelers are ready for their trip.

Add an activity

Activities are the heart of any trip. Users can add itinerary items by searching, choosing from curated lists, or by creating their own custom activities.

View Trips and Profile

The Home tab displays pertinent information on the soonest upcoming or current trip. Users can also view their past, current, and upcoming trips in the Trip tab, or more information about their traveling in the Profile tab.

Retrospective

What I Learned + Final Thoughts

This was my first experience working on an extensive UX project as a part of a larger team. As the team lead, I was responsible for setting project goals and delegating work. I learned how to better manage a small team while ensuring that I upheld my own responsibilities. Shortly after we started on this project, all work was transitioned to a remote format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing us to adjust our project expectations and process while working in a new environment.

Designing an app concept in such a saturated market like travel presented its own challenges and opportunities. With a lot of existing apps that provide similar features, we chose to consolidate the features people depended on from other apps into a single interface, ideally making the user experience of travel planning much more efficient and painless. Were we to develop this concept further, we would conduct multiple rounds of user testing and revisions to ensure that our solution is effective and desirable for our target audience.

check out another project

A responsive website redesign with a focus on improved marketing and usability.
A scalable app prototype that builds and fosters community through mentorship in college programs.

Don't be shy, introduce yourself!

Copyright © 2020 Jake Martin