Travel Companion App
Download (the current app store version was built after I left)
Project Lead: Yours truly / UX Design: Yours truly, Cindy T / UI Design: Cindy T / Dev: Vincent L, Zirui Z
Planning travels can be quite daunting for many people. We built an all-in-one travel companion, a tool to help our users keep track of things like flights and itinerary. When this app was built, I was leading the mobile team at EF's corporate office in Boston. The app was rolled out for multiple educational travel subsidiaries.
Product tension immediately presented itself between the need for a simple user experience and the number of proposed features. To complicate things even further, this app also had to be adaptive enough for multiple business units. This led to the decision to sandbox functionalities that could be plugged in and out for different variations of the app. We also had to carefully design the exoskeleton that held these functionalities, and settled on a three-panel solution. The leftmost panel is the side menu for different functions. The center panel is the main screen running the currently selected function and displaying the most important information to the user. The rightmost panel is what we called the index, a list for other items relevant to the current selected feature. For example, when the next flight was displayed on the main screen, the index panel would show a list of flights associated with the entire trip. Moving away from a design dictated purely by an information hierarchy, this made for a much more intuitive user experience.
One functionality we really enjoyed building was the smart packer, designed to calculate how many items you needed to take with you on your trip. The more we deconstructed what dictates the composition of the traveling bag, the more we realized how complex it was. Factors such as gender, weather and duration of stay all had to be considered when we created the algorithms behind the smart packer. We built a collection of formulas to calculate the count for everything you need down to your socks. At the same time, we created our own climate prediction model from 30 years of weather station data. Not only could we tell you how many pairs of socks you needed to pack, but also how thick the socks should be. We spent way too much time on this and accidentally built the most sophisticated packing application on the market at that time.