UX Research • Wireframes • Branding • Information Architecture • User Interface • Prototyping • Presentation​​​​​​​
Project Brief
There is a lack of tourism apps that are culturally relevant and responsive, particularly in South America. For this hackathon my team's task was to ideate and design an app focused on travel to South America. 
In this three week team project I had the opportunity owned the ui design, branding, research, design system, prototyping and presentation and worked in close collaboration with the team on the wireframes, flow, competitive analysis, information architecture, and presentation script. 
To define our problem, we conducted discovery and evaluative research, starting with a competitive analysis of other travel apps and websites, interviewed people who love to travel, and talked to people from South America (Ecuador, Peru, Argentina) to uncover insights about tourism and travel in their country.

In the Discovery research phase, we focused on exploring how people think and make decisions about travel, budget, and what they care about. The goal of this research was to uncover opportunities in building this South American tourism app and see where gaps may exist, where we may be able to innovate new solutions to meet the needs and goals of people we interviewed, which should have impact on the greater people we serve. 

Aligned with Discovery research was our Evaluative research, which we used to see responses to the initial interface designs and experience. 
From our research we uncovered problems and crafted insights based on findings that helped drive our product forward; people will primarily be using this on their phone to book flights, packages, or tours-this will need to be available in multiple languages. 
By conducting both Discovery and Evaluative research, we were able to identify big problems and gaps to solve, and also craft insights from the research findings to help inform our future solutions. We used qualitative interview methods based in ethnographic and field studies, rooted in ethical and liberatory research approach. 
This type of research helped us to see every aspect of participant engagement like verbal responses, actions, body language and reactions, which helps us to better understand preferences and mental models, and also uncover the potential 'why' behind choices and behaviors.
From our research, we uncovered opportunities for people to learn more about culture, provide access to safety and environmental information and areas people may want to visit. 
Other research recommendations that were implemented; more expansive amenity selection and filtering, support for multiple languages, easy sign up with phone number, and favoriting of locations. 
Some key components of this app that emerged from research feedback was the inclusion of cultural education and insights, safety information as a high priority, and encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to find their adventure in South America include cultural education and insights, safety as a priority and encouraging users from diverse backgrounds to find their adventure in South America through marketing channels. 
The education component (specifically cultural) was a key differentiator between competitors and helped people to connect on a more meaningful level with the people and area they visit when traveling abroad. 

Learning outcomes
We communicated on several platforms, and so information was fragmented, and we learned by centralizing our interactions, we could be much better synched.
We had different schedules and time zones which led to difficulties finding time to collaborate, and we learned that clarifying that up front at the beginning would make it clear to everyone how we can collaborate effectively.
Two of our team were new and we learned that having a laid out plan for how the process was going to go, and who would be responsible for what, would help them understand how things work and make it easier for them to follow along.
We had many great ideas and perhaps got a little distracted, and we learned that defining a clear scope limit would help us stay focused on what’s most important.
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