CANGO is a Canadian travel app that assists travellers throughout the pandemic by providing up to date COVID-19 travel advisory and accurate attraction information to plan and enjoy their staycation.
"Design thinking is a design methodology that provinces a solution-based approach to solving problems"- from Using design thinking
To come up with a user-centric solution, I used the Design council's double diamond framework. This design process is non-linear and guides me to organize my thoughts to improve the creative process. Each diamond represents a stage of exploring an issue more widely or deeply (divergent thinking) and then taking focused action (convergent thinking).
Initial inspirations and establishment of users needs
This project's motivation starts from the challenge of quarantine after my trip forced me to cancel due to a pandemic.
Am I the only one who had to cancel the trip and have a hard time during quarantine? Let's find out!
Due to COVID-19, Canada borders are closed, and international flights are suspended. 97% of Canadians forced to cancel their oversea trips and had to practice quarantine instead. Indefinite quarantine makes Canadians feel depressed. Therefore, Canadians are looking for a getaway within Canada to alleviate their stress.
This product's ultimate goal was to help Canadians visit local attractions safely and discover local interests. This product will provide safety guidelines for spreading viruses and enabling users to plan with accurate attraction information. Lastly, enjoy a safe staycation!
Before I moved on to the user interview, I conducted a short survey to validate my problem space and define my target audience.
Conducted 23 participants with age group in the 20s to 60s.
All participants are willing to visit local attractions or travel to different provinces within Canada.
The age groups around the 60s prefer not to travel unless it's a short visit to a nearby location.
Based on these insights, I decided to focus on the age group, actively planning and doing staycation (Millennials).
After I define my target audience and validate my problem space, I move forward and spent time crafting interview scripts with open-ended questions.
The goal of the 1:1 user interviews was to define behaviours, motivations, and pain points that millennials experience with problem space that I identified. I conducted six people living in Canada and recently cancelled their trip plans due to a pandemic. All the interviews were on a video call.
After COVID-19, people need to do profound research to gain additional information about the attraction. Many people had negative experiences with hype or false information about attractions like opening hours, safety policy, or waiting time.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, people are precautionary about being out. When people are visiting places, it is normal to wear masks and use sanitizer to prevent further outbreaks. Also, attractions with a lack of safety make people feel insecure and hesitant to visit.
99% of the people I interviewed have cancelled their trip due to COVID-19. During the lockdown, they did not go out; however, when the Government allowed businesses to reopen,many people are planning to go nearby locations for a little getaway. Social media had a significant influence on people to decide to go out and visit.
"How might we help Canadians to plan
their vacation within Canada during the
COVID-19 outbreak? "
Interpretation and alignment of findings to project objectives
Persona and experience mapping is an assembled form of behaviours, motivations and pain points of the many actual users I have encountered from the research process.
Personas are archetypical users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users. By using personas, I stay focused and create a design that serves real users.
Experience mapping will help navigate each stage user's experience to show the potential routes to reach a particular goal.
After defining the potential solution area, I focused on delivering accurate attraction information and providing an easy planning platform for the users.
User stories and epic used to define how the products' prominent features fulfill users' needs in short sentences.
I've created 34 user stories with four distinct epics based on my primary, secondary persona and user experience mapping.
Each story narrates our user using a product to achieve a specific goal, and this stage also helps determine the core functionality.
The core value proposition was to gain proper attraction information/COVID-19 safety guidelines to plan a staycation.
Design-led concepts and proposal titrated and assessed
User's pain points and motivation turn in to the solution / key feature of the product
✔️ Provide accurate attraction information
✔️ Allow users to report if the attraction information is outdated or wrong
✔️ Provide up-to-date COVID-19 safety advisory and restriction
✔️ The display peak hour of attraction
✔️ Provide various suggestions
✔️ Tailor-made itinerary to create a custom route
✔️ Provide a pre-made itinerary
✔️ Introduce hidden Canadian gems
After I lay out the key features that I can include in the product, I explore different sketches for possible solutions aligned with significant task flow. Comparing each sketch and choosing one sketch represents the primary functionality that fills users' needs. I made Marvel paper prototypes with my chosen sketch to receive feedback to revise before my mid-fidelity wireframe.
I conducted two rounds of user testing, each round with five testers. Then I synthesized and observed the feedback that I received. Usability testing was to determine areas that needed to be changed to improve the product's overall usability.
After conducting usability tests to arrive at Cango's latest version, I began thinking about the visual identity to create hi-fidelity products. Based on my personas, I wanted the brand to reflect the feeling of relieving quarantine stress and healing.
After using a list of adjectives to describe the product, I created a mood board. The product also displays various image contents, a clean and modern design that will help users focus on the product's main subjects.
The colour that I choose is a soft and delicate colour scheme to display relax and friendly. Also, the injected colours have adjusted after WCAG and AAA contrast testing.
To develop the product name, I wrote down adjectives and concepts that reflect the brand value and then combine them. I choose 'Cango' for the product name to reflect positivity and engage the user to plan a staycation.
After I decided on with product name, I explore different types of wordmark by sketching. By conducting feedbacks from peers and friends, I choose Montserrate for the final wordmark.
Using wordmark as a logo is to portray the brand's personality and minimalistic design language (Calm, Relax, Friendly, Airy).
Finalize outcomes and implemented
After all of the visual identity elements were ready, I began injecting these into the high fidelity wireframe. Designed as per iOS Human Interface Guidelines, below is the latest hi-fidelity prototype.
Now users can explore hidden gems and build a tailor-made itinerary with accurate attraction information and COVID-19 travel advisory.
Test the final prototype👆
To explore how this application can be integrated into other platforms, I began thinking about my persona and the core value proposition.
My primary and secondary persona is millennial, and both are very comfortable using tech devices. Also, most interview participants said they use social media and mobile applications to get inspiration/planning. Some said they use a desktop to create a detailed itinerary.
While travelling, users can’t carry the desktop to check their itinerary, so I decided to create a Smartwatch to view their current itinerary and check attraction information.I tried to target a simple task and enable quick/glanceable interaction because the smartwatch provided quick and easy interaction to the users.
I designed a responsive marketing website to give potential users a tool to evaluate the app before downloading to try the product.
Also, to excite the users about the product by highlighting the values the product has to offer. The tone of voice was friendly and straightforward. The site offers users insights into the product features and allows them to download the app.
The indefinite quarantine brings challenges to Canadians in both physically and emotionally. I hope that 'Cango' would deliver positive reinforcement to ease the stress. Also, the accurate attraction information and COVID-19 restrictions will help our users to enjoy staycation safely. Moreover, I hope that users discover and enjoy Canada by featuring a hidden gem.
However, the second wave of COVID-19 is coming and that it might be worse than the first. If I have a more time to work on this project, I would like to explore virtual reality or online travel experience so that the users also can enjoy staycation at their home.
With the help of the Tarot cards of Tech, I began to think about particular future possibilities and other scenarios. Tarot cards of tech is created by Artefact Group to help designers to gaze into the product's future and consider the impact of the product.
The worst headline might be:
''Cango' is motivating people to expose themselves in danger.'
When I first started this project, I had the assumption that people don't want to travel because of health risk. However, most users said that they already planned for a staycation to elevate their stress. This insight led me to design a product that helps users to plan the staycation accordingly with safety advisory.
Nonetheless, to overcome this app's critical scandal, I would include an online travel experience feature.
In 10 weeks, I experienced the full design process while learning more than I could have imagined in a limited time. Applying design thinking principles allowed me to solidify the problem solution and explore a wide range of methods to deliver a solution.
Furthermore, I learn that every decision has to be reasonable and rationale. UX / UI design is not just designing a beautiful product but also building a design solution based on the user empathy. Every decision and process has to be done with thinking of our end users and their experience with the product.
Lastly, I also learn that never marry with the idea. Through user testings, I realize that sometimes I think specific designs or ideas will help the users, but users believe differently, and it guides me to choose the best solution for the users.
📸. All stock images are from Unsplash and Pexels
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