We all love to dream about travel. We have these ideas about going to Paris and eating baked goods with beautiful women while sipping espresso at a sidewalk cafe. Or about going to Rome and immersing yourself in some of civilizations most significant innovations. But how many of us could really plan that trip? Travel planning is a lot more complex than just hopping on to Kayak.com and unchecking the “2-stop flight” checkbox. You’ve got to know what you’re doing if you’re going to get the most of your time and Utrip has this covered.
When we first began talking with Gilad and Edan, the company’s co-founders, they told us about their unique approach. They had a process for letting visitors build a personal profile that would inform the recommendations the site provided – it just needed a little TLC to make the profile selection something people could do easily. Then, they showed us their content. Nutsville. They had write ups and photos from a crazy amount of venues and activities from all over Europe. So our task was to take those profiles and blend the recommended activities into a fluid experience, which gave visitors the power to imagine the trip of their dreams with a very real itinerary to match it.
Scheduling activities for a trip is no small feat. It’s hard enough to choose which Pub to visit, much less on which day (though it’s best to play it safe and visit them all, as many days as you can). We looked at the specific challenge as one that breaks down into a couple of flows. First, you’re likely to be focused on a single day at a time because that’s how we Utrip’s magic sauce delivers the first set of results. Then, you are likely to want a more holistic view of your trip where you might rearrange activities based on the general flow of your trip. For this situation, a week-view makes a lot of sense. So, our two planning modes help visitors get the most out of Utrip’s recommendations no matter what stage in the process they are in.
Our process moved quickly from sketches to rough wireframes to more refined wireframes to visual designs of the UI, including standard UI components like buttons and typography, as well as iconography which plays a very important role throughout the site. Within four rounds of review and revision, we had a look-and-feel established for the site and were handing off comps to their development team to build from.
Once the site had launched we knew it was time to go back and have that conversation with the developers about all the stuff the fell through the cracks or the just didn’t have time to implement. Screen shots were annotated, and development iterations were explained so that we understood what they were deferring and what we could do to help their development solve the most critical challenges first.
“We got Design Commission involved when we were at the most critical point on our way to launch. David and his team help us focus on the most crucial UX elements to ensure that not only we launched on time but that our product was simple, elegant, and delightful to our users. Since our first project with DC we have worked with them many times and they have been a key partner in our product development and continual improvement. I would recommend DC to anyone.”
Gilad Berenstein, Co-Founder, Utrip