— Martín Centurión —

Case Study:Travoge

As an early stage startup with few months in the market there were some constraints in the amount of quantitative data and the limited time for user research. Therefore, I based my exploration on existing market studies, analyzing competitors websites and visiting travel forums to learn about customers’ experiences and their needs.

My role.

I was hired to rethink the entire customer experience to prepare the website for a big industry event and online paid campaigns that were going to run once the project was ready to relaunch, so the tasks involved were: User Research, Interaction Design and Visual Design.

Knowing the market.

During my initial research, the sources used for qualitative and quantitative information were mostly studies about the adventure tourism market, since they present relevant demographic data, providing me with an impression of who are the users of websites like Travoge.

“Adventure travelers are typıcally savvy tourısts who spend tıme researchıng and plannıng theır ıdeal experıences. They are more lıkely than non-adventure travelers to prepare for a trıp prıor to leavıng.” [1]

Based on that, I analyzed tour operator reviews from customers in competitors sites (ie: Safari Bookings, Go2Africa and Viator) to find out their biggest concerns when booking a safari vacation, and visited travel forums, like TripAdvisor, to identify travelers' experiences in Africa, as well as learn about their planning process:

“There are so many options with regard to itineraries, location and standard of accommodation and additional activities. So get an idea of what you want to do and the standard of accommodation you would like and get an idea of the sort of questions you need to ask your tour operator (TO) to get the best trip for you. Then once you have done this contact a selection of TO's to get their thoughts on your trip and the prices. You will find that you will then start to get a feel for which TO best suits you. Then ask further questions about the company, guides, vehicles, etc, take up references from previous clients and finalise your trip.”, said the user ShepofBristol in a TripAdvisor review. [2]

From research to pixels.

My assumption was that those reviews confirm the results in existing market research about travelers doing extensive planning before their trips and the use of reputable tour operators for getting anwsers to questions regarding safety, travel gear, obtaining visas, flights, etc.

This allowed me to prioritize design elements, write effective copy to handle common objections and present the information customers need at the right moments of the user journey in a visual way that is concise and understandable. Below are a couple of examples of how I structured some blocks of information in the homepage and tour details section:

The tours were categorized by type of activity in a way that assists the users when looking for a destination: they may not know the differences between the tour options, but they do have an idea of the activities they would like to do.
Getting to African parks can be confusing, more so to inexperienced safariers.
Displaying the months with different colors helps the user quickly know when is the best time to visit a determined park.
All tours are multi-day vacations so showing one day at a time makes the page easier to scan and read.
Destination guides: I created the thumbnails featuring the main attraction that each place is best known for.

Happy CEO.

“I just can’t say enough how much I appreciate you working with me. You understand my business, have very logical and also artistic mind and are very open with new ideas. I would really like to continue working with you.”

Gunjan Murarka, Travoge