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SeeCurrents

A travel blog that focuses on finding culturally immersive experiences on island nations globally for travelers.

UX + UI DESIGN | RESPONSIVE WEBSITE

 TIMELINE

2.5 weeks

THE TEAM

Abe Galva

James Lim

Jordan Kolb

Miles Rodriguez

MY ROLE

UX Researcher

UX Designer

TOOLS

Miro

Figma

Zeplin

Google Slides

THE PROBLEM

SeeCurrents was noticing that their users wouldn't stay on the site for long. Upon visiting the website, users had difficulty navigating the site. Certain categories didn't make sense which confused the user and the links within the site would lead users to an external website causing the user to not return to SeeCurrents.

OVERVIEW

SeeCurrents’ motto “Go Beyond the Beach” sums up exactly what the website entails. It is a travel blog website that focuses on travelers finding culturally immersive experiences, local food and events on Island nations globally. They attract between 2,500 - 3,000 visitors each month. Additionally, SeeCurrents wants their users to have the “power of the pen” by contributing to crowd-sourced reviews. 

THE DISCOVERY

The team and I started our process by creating a screener survey to extract users that travel and also look at travel websites to help plan their trips. The survey ended with 32 responses and helped the team and I extract 7 interviewees.

User Interviews

In order to understand SeeCurrent’s userbase, we conducted interviews with 12 users to find what their pain points are while navigating through the website. The users interviewed were a mixture of participants supplied by SeeCurrents and others extracted from a screener survey that was created. Some questions we asked them were:

  •  How much effort do you put into their travel plans?

  •  How often do you travel?

  •  What information do you look up before planning a trip?

  •  How do you decide what attractions to visit on your trip?



 

Screener Surveys Completed

32

Interviews conducted

12

Current Site Usability Testinig

The next step after completing our user interviews was to conduct a usability test on the existing SeeCurrents website. The UX team and I needed to gain insights into problem areas with the navigation, home page, and inner pages throughout the website. We had participants complete 5 tasks during the test. Some of the results were that the participants were confused as to why they were led to external sites, the use of stock photos made SeeCurrents lose its credibility with users, and a category called Insights in the main navigation was not clear in meaning to the users.

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SeeCurrents Home Page

THE SYNTHESIS

After performing user interviews, and conducting a usability test on the present SeeCurrents website, we synthesized the data we collected.

Persona Development

The team came together after we completed synthesizing our data to create our persona. Our Persona is based on the insights we discovered after gathering and grouping our data. Ellie Espiñal is a representation of all the users we interviewed and tested. We keep her in mind every step of the way as the team and I continue to embark on this journey of creating a better experience for the users.

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Our Persona Ellie Espińal

      (Click to Enlarge)

Journey Mapping

Next, The team and I created a journey map of our persona to represent the high and low points of our persona’s experience while navigating through the SeeCurrents website.

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Ellie's Journey Map

  (Click to Enlarge)

The Problem Statement

With so many things to consider (logistics, local culture, activities), our persona is having a hard time consolidating information while planning to travel for her limited vacation time.  Some key low points are:

  • Credibility is lost because of the use of too many stock images.

  • The lack of information on cultural activities is frustrating for Ellie.

  • Links that take Ellie to an external site frustrate her and she doesn't return to Seeurrents.

How might we help Ellie easily synthesize the information she finds in order to figure out and organize her travel plans?

Competitive Analysis

After addressing Ellie’s problem, our team went on to conduct a competitive and comparative brand matrix and analysis to analyze and compare the characteristics of multiple brands within the travel market.

 

We evaluate these brands to identify the differences, strengths and weaknesses of these companies in order to help uncover a competitive advantage for SeeCurrents.

The team discovered that SeeCurrents surpassed its competition with supplying information specifically related to island nations.

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Competitive Brand Matrix

User Flow

THE DESIGNS

Once the team and I discovered where SeeCurrents excelled versus their competitors in the travel market, we took the next step and created a user flow to help the team visualize the potential paths that users may take while on the website.

During this process the team discovered paths and pages that were missing from the site and needed to be designed.

P5 SeeCurrents User Flow.jpg

SeeCurrents User Flow

      (Click to Enlarge)

Mid-Fi Wire Frames

After the team completed creating our user flow we went on to start our initial designs. We conducted two rounds of Design Studio where we sketched by hand, critiqued, and collaborated our future designs.

Then, the next phase was to create our Mid-Fi wire frames and prototype using Figma app. The team used the hand drawn sketches as a guide while creating our Mid-fi wireframes of the new SeeCurrents site.

During the design process we also kept our persona Ellie in mind so that we have some direction and understanding of what problem areas to concentrate on while designing to potentially improve certain areas of SeeCurrents.

Homepage.png

Mid-Fi Home Page

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Mid-Fi Arts & Culture Page

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Mid-Fi Dominica's Popular Page

Hi-Fi Mockup

Next was to move into creating out Hi-Fi Mockups of our Mid-Fi designs after we conducted usability tests on the Mid-Fi designs.

Changes made in our Hi-Fi mockups were mostly just small edits in adjusting image sizes to be identical in size and the team also went through the navigation to make it look more elevated and so that users will clearly understand the categories within the navigation.

Homepage.png

Hi-Fi Mockup Home Page

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Hi-Fi Mockup Arts & Culture Page

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Hi-Fi Mockup Dominica's Guides Page

NEXT STEPS

Some next steps the team and I would like to take are to change the search bar to say Destinations. We noticed that this would help users with their search to be more precise and quicker if the user is able to search by destination.

We would also like to incorporate a Save or Favorites feature so that the user does not have to go through the entire search process again. The user can simply click on an icon that signifies that the have saved or favorited a post. The post will then be saved in their profile under the category called Saved or Favorites where the user can go back to as a reference tool to find the article or post quicker and easier.

TAKEAWAYS

The team and I addressed the problems with the website by keeping in mind our persona Ellie who represents the user. After conducting our research, we realized that users are leaving the site because of links that take the user to external websites. By getting rid of these links that lead to competing sites, eliminating stock photos, and creating a clearer navigation, the user will be able to find the information they need on SeeCurrents without having to visit external websites.

The client was very satisfied with our final designs and found the insights that the team and I discovered on why users were not staying on the website highly valuable.

Our point of contact who is the founder of SeeCurrents plans to go forward with our redesigns. After handing over our deliverables, she is expecting the new and updated website to be live by the end of 2020.

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