pack your bags
Suitcase was born out of necessity for organization and connection for travelers on the road and at home. I wanted to create an application that would have multiple use cases both during trips and in between them. This case study will outline my process from initial concept to final prototype and the problems and solutions I uncovered along the way.
As an avid traveller myself, often with multiple trips in the works at a time, I wanted to create a product where I could easily store and organize a variety of boarding passes, Airbnb confirmations, reservations, and other important documents in one, easy to use solution. I also wanted to create a travel community where people could be inspired to get out there or gain insight from other travelers and travel writers alike. Think Lonely Planet meets TripIt meets Pinterest with a few key differences.
I first completed a competitive analysis to get a better sense of what was already on the market. I noted features and strengths, visuals and user flows, problems and shortcomings. I then defined who would be most likely to use Suitcase and what needs and goals would be met by using the app. I wanted Suitcase to be something that would be valuable to both frequent travelers, individuals planning their first trip, and those who are just looking for inspiration. From there I crafted three personas ('the travel guru', 'the travel novice', and 'the onlooker') that would solidify who I was creating Suitcase for as well as the features that would make this product stand out among its competitors.
The three main components of Suitcase that will structure navigation and content
UX challenges + goals
With such a wide variety of content and capabilities, navigation and ease of use for new users was one of my biggest challenges. My goals for the project were to:
create a top level navigation based off of the key features
make movement between screens feel natural and intuitive
create a type of 'card' design that would give users a preview of content without needing to fully commit to a specific section
The general structure I created for Suitcase as well as details on design.
Content preview on a section card and in expanded view.
I created swipeable section cards as a way to preview content making it easier to explore without getting overwhelmed with options.
more to explore
Each card is expandable with additional content previews presented once a user chooses a section (itineraries, forums, etc).
Content image, stats, and options remain pinned while user scrolls.
Navigation menu to easily move between each of the four main sections of Suitcase.
Tapping on a preview brings users directly to the information they are interested in with options to save, comment, or like.
Browse photos, explore content by region, or read articles from our favorite contributors. Additionally, you can add your own photos to the daily photos section and comment, heart, or save items to your collection for easy access later.
Find answers and make connections with other travelers in community. Read about popular itineraries or get feedback on your own. Post questions or give your take with forums.
Documents are sorted into 'move', 'do', 'arrive', and 'stay' for easy and quick navigation. Each document is expandable with options to view the original email, explore public transportation or connect to Uber, and view relevant items from your collection.
Swipe to access your documents, collection, or calendar.
View documents based on activity or use the calendar to view all documents for a specific day.
Get directions to your hotel or peruse your collection are both options with documents marked as 'move' or 'arrive'.
Suitcase, although just a concept, manages to meet the needs of travelers, both experienced and novice, while soothing key painpoints. Creating a solution that offers so much in terms of content and features was overwhelming at times but the end product is something I'm proud of. If I could do the whole project again here are a few things I'd change...
initial user interviews prior to any research to further base decisions and solutions in real user needs
further testing/iterations after solution was presented to touch up any additional concerns or sticking points