Role UI/UX Designer
Deliverables User Stories · Wireframes · High-fidelity Prototype
Tools Axure · Sketch · InVision · UsableNet
Timeframe 6 months
The design produced by Tauck’s former design and development partner was beautiful, but not entirely user-centered. Frustrated luxury travelers struggled with an unintuitive search experience, cumbersome filtering functionality, and product pages that didn’t meet their expectations.
"How do we help our customers find trips and better understand our travel products?"
To understand Tauck’s audience, I consumed customer research conducted by another firm and interviewed stakeholders to fill information gaps. We learned that Tauck’s primary users were generally older and not tech-savvy, but there was an opportunity to attract a younger, techy generation of wealthy travelers.
I worked with stakeholders to understand user pain points and motivators that emerged since launch. A competitor landscape analysis helped compare how other hotels and travel companies handled product searches. I translated these insights into user stories, which the team used to define the project’s scope.
I wireframed several concepts that optimized search and product consideration journeys to demonstrate critical interactions. Wireframing helped identify content gaps and optimize user task flows.
Before: Users struggled with unexpected and unwanted effects, such as the confusing upward animation of the search bar and disappearing search terms. A predictive autocomplete component also appeared, but the call to action to view all results fell below the fold, causing users to think there were no more trips.
After: I removed the animation and live search component, strengthened the search call to action, and aligned the experience with user expectations: search by location or travel type and departure date.
Before: Users had to work hard to navigate their search results because all filters stayed hidden behind a fly-out menu. Making filter changes on the fly required a lot of work, mainly because users couldn’t combine more than one filter per category. Not to mention, poor color contrast posed critical legibility issues.
After: To make filtering more useful, I use analytical data to drive the decision to move the filters to the search results page. I proposed moving less popular filters to the fly-out and removed disabled filters from view. I a similar filtering experience to the product page.
Before: Users struggled with itinerary navigation because the configuration and flow of the trip’s schedule and map forced users to work hard to view the entire itinerary.
After: To optimize the itinerary navigation journey, I proposed a solution that enabled users to scroll through the schedule at their own pace and toggle between a map view and a list view.
Before: Originally named “Hotel Highlights,” this section didn’t present a chronological view of where travelers would stay in context to their travel itinerary. Customers are sometimes on a boat and sometimes in a hotel or may have multiple options to choose from. Therefore, “Hotel Highlights” was misleading.
After: Renaming the section to “Overnight Accommodations,” I redesigned this section to order the stays in chronological order, based on the trip itinerary. The struggle to understand upgrades and extending one’s stay warranted other design changes, such as the green ribbons and labels that appear on the overnight cards.