Design a tool that addresses the growing changes in the travel industry.
Lower fuel cost and the rise of budget airlines are making travel more accessible.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are influencing travelers and popularizing destinations.
More travelers are opting to go it alone, particularly amongst women and middle-aged travelers.
More travelers are factoring sustainability and personal wellness into their travel choices.
I was interested to find out more about the growth of solo travelers and decided to focus on them as my audience. I reached out to solo travelers through Nextdoor and travel groups on Reddit and Facebook to hear about their travel habits and needs.
"It's pretty liberating, being able to decide on things without having a group discussion."
- Anna, user
Users embarked on solo trips to practice independence, strengthen self-reliance, and improve confidence.
Safety was a top priority, specifically amongst women. Practiced measures included daily check-ins with family and avoiding late-night activities.
Users made an effort to avoid tourist traps in favor of more niche options. They preferred asking locals and other solo travelers for activity suggestions catered towards solo visitors.
Despite choosing to be alone, users expressed interest in meeting new people while traveling. Socializing was just as welcome as other activities.
Solo travelers need a targeted trip planning tool, so they can overcome the unique challenges of traveling alone and make the most of their trip.
I started brainstorming ideas that could meet Andrew's needs as a solo traveler. I sat down with just a whiteboard and marker and quickly sketched out concepts using the 6-3-5 method. After evaluating them one by one, I chose the one most relevant to Andrew's persona and defined the information architecture in preparation for wireframing.
Search for a destination or browse by region and popularity.
Create a new trip after selecting your destination.
Preview your trip destination and see a collection of local activities.
Learn more about the activity through a short summary, images, and visitor info.
See tips and easily-digestible reviews reported by other Roamer users.
See daily calendar events on your dashboard.
Explore destinations, view your dashboard, see your trips, connect with the Roamer community, or view messages.
See calendar events, local emergency contacts, weather forecast, news bites, and track your activity.
See what's going on with other Roamers in the city. Post your thoughts, tips, questions, and more.
See nearby roamers to chat or meet up with.
Showcase your personality and get an introduction to other Roamer users.
Directly message nearby Roamers to make new connections.
For testing, I had users create a trip, plan an activity, and message another Roamer user. What did they think?
Overall, users thought Roamer would be a useful reference when planning a solo trip. Somewhat paradoxically, their favorite aspect of the concept was its emphasis on community. Despite choosing to be alone, solo travelers aren't necessarily lone wolves, and they want the opportunity to make the most out of their experience.
Because this was a personal project, I brought it to a close at this point. This was a fun, enlightening process, and I came away with a renewed interest in taking a solo trip again in the near future.
Got any questions?