Ishan Sain
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Giant Steps

A crowdsourced, community based mobile app platform for Solo Travelers.

At its core, the platform provides tailored contextual information and insights to support solo travelers. It leverages the power of the community of travelers by facilitating the flow of information and highlighting useful information.

 
 
 
 
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Overview

Giant Steps is a mobile platform for independent travelers, who feel the need to be more aware and informed, this platform supports the solo travelers' community and empower travelers by gathering and facilitating the flow of discoverable information.

Unlike platforms such as Facebook Groups, this platform tailors information and insights from the community based on their location and context.

OBJECTIVE

Experience Design – A case study on how the presentation and flow of information can affect the experiences of Solo Travelers.

Tools

Sketch, Principle, Photoshop, Illustrator

Duration

8 weeks

Advisor

Federico Villa

 
 
 

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”

– Wendell Berry

 
 
 
 
 
 

Research

To understand the space of Solo Travelers, I initiated my approach with detailed Desk Research about the current travel industry, Surveys and Qualitative Interviews with solo travelers to understand my end-users. I studied the Competitive Landscape and mapping journeys of User Personas to find opportunity areas before ideating for a concept.

 

Qualitative Interviews

Missing out the subtle hyper-local information sometimes lead to unfavorable experiences while traveling.

That was the over-arching finding from all the six interviews I did, along with the survey responses online. Moreover, it was interesting to hear some personal stories to get a better sense of how different people have different approach to planning their trips and dealing with uncertainty.

 
 
 
 

User Personas

To drive my approach further, I derived two personas based on the people I interviewed. As the target audience can include anyone who travels, It became essential to consider a few personas to proceed from this stage of the project.

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Competitive Audit

After studying the platforms available for travelers today, I found there was a disconnect between the platforms that hosted the community of solo travelers and the platform that were efficient and helpful for a traveler on their journey. Additionally, I evaluated those platforms based on the kind of information they hosted and how efficiently they presented it.

 
 
 

User Journeys

To finally seek for opportunity areas, I mapped out user journeys based on the personas derived earlier. The user journeys helped me to understand how current platforms served the needs of the user personas in different phases of their trips and how the gaps can be filled by iterating on them.

 
 
 

Insights

Community holds the key.

Solo travelers value reading, interacting, and therefore learn from the experiences of other independent travelers.

Organization and accessibility of information can be improved.

Platforms that enable the community of solo travelers to share their experiences don’t entirely succeed to organize and efficiently present the insightful information.

 
 
 

Opportunity

How might we make solo travelers more informed about their destinations by leveraging from the experiences of other solo travelers been to the same place?

 
 
 

Ideation

 
 

I began by mapping out the stakeholder goals on the pre, during, and post journey phases. Building on those goals and deriving what works best from my competitive audit, I also mapped out the potential features of my platform on a typical traveler's journey from their planning phase to the end of their trip.

 
 
 
 

System Model

Crowdsourcing insights for the next traveler

The key aspect of the platform is to crowdsource experiences and learnings from travelers at a destination to synthesize insights from them and finally empower the next solo traveler coming to the same destination. I mapped the following system map to demonstrate how the platform tries to accomplish that at different phases of a journey.

 
 
 
 

1.

Gathering impressions of individual activities and experiences from every traveler to create a data-warehouse for analyzing big data.

2.

Supporting a potential traveler in planning their trip by providing needful information in discoverable form along with a space to discuss with other travelers already been there.

3.

Providing activity based contextual information and connecting with other travelers when needed.

4.

Staying connected even after the trip with travelers who might be stepping in your shoes.

 
 
 
 

Key Screens

 
 
 

local Guides and categorized insights

 
 
 

Read about the curated experiences and guides to the places around you.

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Get categorized crowdsourced insights in detail on money expenses, local transport, emergency contacts, etc.

 
 
 
 

Activity based heads-ups and prompts

 
 
 

Receive contextual heads-up information based on your planned activities.

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Prompts on the opportune moments for you to contribute personal experiences and impressions of the activities for a richer community.

 
 
 
 

Connect and share with other Solo Travelers

 
 
 

Engage in discussions with solo travelers around the world related to the destinations.

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Access itineraries shared by other travelers to save them for later references or share your own to receive feedback from others.

 
 
 

Reflection

As this project takes an iterative approach to the industry, designing platforms that focus the impact on the broader audience are done better in teams as there is constant feedback without delay.

Additionally, as the future of the travel industry is expected to be disrupted by the development of Blockchain technology, I look forward to re-iterating this project with a much deeper market study. The next iteration would consider various touch points for a cohesive service for travelers.