Travel Noire is a travel company that focuses on creating personalized travel experiences for members of the African diaspora. Their overall mission is to expand knowledge about other cultures through cultural immersion, while calming fears and overcoming unique cultural barriers that black people face with international travel. 


PROJECT OVERVIEW

I booked a trip with Travel Noire to the Amalfi Coast in September 2016. Their site offers amazing photographs and compelling marketing that immediately draws the customer to book a trip. Yet, when it was time, I experienced many frustrations with the online booking experience. After the trip, I spoke with other fellow travelers about their experience and users reported several pain points that complicated the user experience. As part of a design exercise for my UX immersive course, I decided to redesign the customer experience for viewing/booking a trip to make the user experience more streamlined and transparent.

RESULTS

In conclusion, the redesign made the primary user goal, viewing/booking a trip, more transparent and faster for customers. The time it took to locate the booking screen was reduced from an average of five minutes down to 30 seconds, and the entire booking process was reduced from over 20 minutes to under five minutes. Refining the home page to feature visuals and links to the actual trip packages motivated users to complete the booking process on the initial visit versus abandoning the process altogether.

 

PROTOTYPE

This prototype supports a user's journey through booking a trip to Bahia up to the point where the user must sign in or create an account.  Link to Prototype

 

MY ROLE

My role for this project included user research, persona development, visual design, prototyping and user testing.

 

METHODOLOGIES

Brand Assessment, Information Architecture, User Interviews, Persona Development, User Journeys and Flows, Sketching, Wireframes, High Fidelity Comps, Prototyping and User Testing.

 

TOOLS

Sketch, Pencil and Paper, Marvel, Evernote, Canva


RESEARCH & ANALYSIS

After defining the scope and assessing the brand, I began my user research to identify customer behaviors, expectations, pain points and overall mindset when booking international travel.  


PERSONAS & SOLUTIONS

During my interviews, two types of customers stood out as the most prominent:  first-time international travelers and seasoned travelers who preferred not to travel solo. My solution centered the needs and expectations of these users through creating transparency and clarity to encourage confidence and trust in the brand by offering trip information upfront, and streamlining and shortening the booking process -- the primary user goal.


 

SKETCHES AND WIREFRAMES

As I began my sketches, I thought about a user excited about upcoming travel and also needing a break from life’s stressors. I imagined how to reflect that feeling visually and spatially. I wanted the feel to be light, clean and less cluttered. Visually appealing and stress-free. 

After initial reviews, I updated the wireframes to include user feedback.

  • I reorganized the Information Architecture to reflect content most important to the user
  • Added a home button to make returning to the home page easier from any page.
  • Added more travel packages on the home screen as users wanted to see more trips immediately
  • Moved the blog posts further down the page rather than removing them to communicate that the brand is a knowledge authority within its industry. 
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CURRENT USER JOURNEY/FLOW

Charting the current user journey helped me to empathize greatly with users. It was very circular and contained a lot of dead ends. I found it extremely important to find a good balance between providing enough information while also reducing the amount of time to complete this process.  


REVISED USER JOURNEY/FLOW

I redesigned the journey for "Marcus," my first time international traveler persona. I focused on a linear and clean journey without too many competing distractions.

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PROTOTYPING & USABILITY TESTING

I designed a responsive web prototype for a tablet in order to begin usability testing of the site with high fidelity comps. One key outcome from my first round of testing was that users found the trip information too long and wordy (32 pages). I kept the most important content and added links to content within the page, overall making discoverability easier without having to scroll.


 

FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Travel Noire aims to become a top competitor in curated travel experiences for a niche market. Future considerations for the site could refine the focus on their travel packages by featuring past customer experiences to align the site with the branding, as well as primary user goals. If time permitted, I would design a Customer Relationship Management tool that includes an accounts management page where users can access their personal profiles, manage travel preferences, access pertinent travel documents, and access their payment information instead of having to contact customer service or scour emails searching for this information. This tool would also allow for the customer support team to see user accounts and statuses, send marketing and individual correspondence, handle billing and payment, and manage documentation.