The Challenge was to build a product extension that would integrate into an existing brand.
The team brainstormed in categories of interest. Suddenly the thought emerged what about Vice News, what about travel, what about safety and how can all these separate items be combined into a digital product? It took us two weeks to find out.
*Disclaimer: Vice is not associated with this project*
Having access to information while traveling is limited to word of mouth – most of the time. Talking to other travelers is half the fun while you are on a journey, but what happens when there is an emergency? Wanting to explore the space between travel preparation and emergency situation, we sought out to discover traveler’s needs while abroad.
Finding adventurous travelers to interview was not difficult. After conducting 10 interviews we found out that people generally feel prepared before taking a trip. When they get to their destination- well that’s another story.
People wanted a way to access reliable information, but didn’t know which resources to use. A lack of resources lead travelers to find out information too late. Sometimes they were left with no time to make decisions. All this uncertainty was a bummer and potentially dangerous. No one wants to feel anxiety while far from home.
Inside the User’s Journey
Before diving deeper into the design process I wanted to create the user’s journey map. Carefully thinking through each stage, activity, and feeling the user would have while interacting with the Vice Voyage App was a helpful design tool. We were able to plan around low points of the journey to improve the user’s experience.
Most people got news through word of mouth while traveling, which was usually inaccurate
Travelers find out vital information too late or just in the knick of time
Most people generally hope for the best and let the universe take care of things
Even if people had researched before hand, they were not aware of breaking news occurring during their trip
Based on what we heard from the interviewees the top concerns were news, maps, notifications, advice and emergency contacts. Taking these insights into the main screen design and navigation of vice voyage.
The visual design strategy began with reviewing Vice’s current apps and their brand guidelines. Following their design conventions Voyage mirrors color direction, black & white Vice logo, user on boarding, head/footer heights, and typography. Illustrations are another important design component which Vice often uses, and we incorporated into the design.
UI strategy to utilize color as an indicator can be seen through out the app. Through color the user is directed to notice differences in the design making notifications and symbols more prominent.
Ideation began with lo fidelity sketches of the onboarding process. These sketches helped in our wireframe creation and main screen navigation.
Through mapping out the main screen navigation we were able to ideate the user flow and create proposed screens for user task completion.
Experience Vice Voyage. See how the research and design came together in a trip to Colombia.
Scenario: A new user is opening the app while traveling to Colombia. They use the news feature to view current stories and notifications. Opening the map feature to learn about a malaria warning and seeking out additional travel advice.
Special features were ideated from User stories. Multiple touch points exist in the app to give the user options in every screen to find necessary details while abroad. Safety advice for women and emergency contacts were must have features.
Every women we spoke with detailed stories of uncomfortable and unsafe situations while abroad. Most of these situations were due to cultural differences and societal norms they were not aware of. Implementing a feature in the advice screen addressed this need.
All of our users stated they needed an option for an extreme emergency. We designed large links on the account page so that in a worst case the user would be able to tap on the link and be lead to helpful resources.
When presenting original project we found the country selector did not give users enough space to tap the country drop down selector. I later updated the layout to include a country selector bar and updated prototype. I also re-designed the filter option on the alerts screen to update the UI icons.
Recently Vice collaborated with AirBNB to create travel experiences, We were definitely on to something with this idea. Voyage was a great school project and if I ever meet anyone who works on the Vice design team I would be glad to show this prototype and tell them all about this case study.