Junyue Hua

Humpback

A UGC travel community that helps people get inspired, plan future trips, and document travel memories

project type

game, physical object

date

2016

role

product design, prototype development


ideation & problems

I am an avid traveller, I want to capture every moment in my travel. However, it takes so much time and patience to write a travel blogpost and organize photos. Compared with words, the photos go a long way. Hence, I started to think how to document travel memories with the nature of photos.

The minimal viable prototype

Above is a minimal viable prototype that demonstrates the process of generating a travel route by simply uploading photos. It parses the metadata from uploaded photos, then lays out all locations on the map, at last, visualizes the travel route.

However, If we look at the bigger picture, this prototype only addresses a small point. As a saturated area, travelers’ needs have been met by various services. But the problem is travelers still couldn’t avoid jumping back and forth to get things done.

Travel journey

How might we streamline the process for a better experience?

what is humpback

Humpback whales hold the world's record for longest mammalian voyage. Besides, Humpback is also a UGC travel app that inspires people, helps people plan future trips and document travel memories. It is able to parse the meta data in photos and visualise a travel route on the map. Moreover, travelers can feast their eyes on gorgeous photos taken by other travel lovers and save places to a wish list. The last step is to plan out an upcoming trip on the map out of saved locations.

storyboard

After going through traveler’s needs, I decided to focus on three aspects that were most time-consuming and painful yet very crucial for our travel experience, which are get inspired & gather info, plan out a trip, and last but not least document travel.

Get Inspired & Gather Information

A trip overview page could address these needs.

version 1

1st version

In the first version, I thought this wasn’t good enough because the interface was cluttered with too many captions. People couldn’t locate their favorite content quickly. Then I moved on to the second version.

version 2

2nd version

In the second version, photos and captions were restructured as a photo gallery within a timeline, so that people are able to pick out interesting spots quickly by simply skimming through photos. Users can tap each photo to get to the detail view. it shows the travel route of that very day and highlights the geo location of the current photo.

2nd version

Moreover, In order to help users get to know places at a glance, we categorized photos and pins into 3 types: attractions, hotels, and restaurants.

Then I ran a quick usability test to collect feedback. The result showed that there was a lack of connection between the overview map and the detailed map. Participants didn't understand the detailed map was zoomed in from the overview.

version 3

3rd version

For the third version, couple of things got fixed.

1. The map view is more contextual.

2. The hierarchy becomes flat by reducing layers.

3. If people like this place, they can save it to the wishlist by tapping the star button at the bottom action bar. All the data will be stored for the next planning phase.

planning

After gleaning a bucket of points of interest, the next step is to plan out a trip which is also a headache for most of us. In this stage, people need to first book tickets and hotels, second check out the real travel time, third based on the time, plan out a feasible trip.

version 1

My initial concept was to leverage an algorithm that could plan out an itinerary automatically out of all saved points based on the travel time. However, this approach can't accommodate all use cases.

version 2

The second version gets rid of the concept of automation, and gives the control back to users. The planning phase starts with picking where users want to go. In the wish list, users will be presented with a world map. It is intended to visualize all saved places in order to help the them decide the travel destination.

User can pinch to zoom in the map and see all saved locations.

Every pin stores rich information. Tapping the plus button adds the location to an itinerary.

Document A Trip

With a well-organized travel plan, the rest is to enjoy and document the trip. In this phase, travelers want to document travel easily because most of they don’t have a big chunk of time to write blog or organize photos.They also want to be able to trace back to past travel easily because they might’ve lost some memories, they want to restore them.

By parsing photos' meta data, Humpback is able to visualize the travel footprints.

conclusion

Humpback is an organic and a closed loop eco system. Travelers get inspired by other people’s trips, in the meantime, they start building travel wish list. Upon holidays, travelers plan out a legit trip based on data in the wish list. Lastly, they can document their travel memories and contribute back to the community.


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