My Role:UX & Design Manager
Persona:Group-trip Planners & Participants
Jetaport was a travel industry startup with a focus on group travel booking.
For a group travel event to be successful, many things need to happen in a specific order. First, there’s the “idea” of the trip, then a destination is selected, people are invited, tickets are booked, hotel rooms reserved… and finally, the payoff! Jetaport disrupted this flow by building a platform where all of these steps could be easily visualized and checked off in a single app.
The high level goal for Jetaport was to create a centralized tool that allowed travelers to share their bookings and planned itineraries with their groups.
To date, there was no platform that allowed for a socialized travel booking experience, which meant most people had to deal with cumbersome, multi-layered email threads and analog note taking to get the job done.
I joined Jetaport as a very early hire, which meant there was no product design legacy or design process in place. It was exciting for me to have a clean canvas for the solution, but there was a lot of discovery work that needed to be done before any UIs would materialize.
My first step was to formally identify our primary and secondary Users, and understand how they were currently solving their group travel problems. Anecdotally, we knew that participants in bachelor/bachelorette parties, sporting team outings, and spring break vacations would likely represent our user base, but little was known beyond that. I built a SurveyMonkey survey with some qualifying question logic to kickoff the discovery process. We distributed it through our family, friend and professional networks, and encourage those individuals to send it to theirs. With 10 or so questions I could identify our primary and secondary Users, based on their role in the group travel experience. The takeaway personas became “Leading Lisa – the trip initiator”, and “Travelmate Tom – the accompanying friend.” Follow-up interviews were conducted with the strongest survey respondents, for further qualitative insight.
My general framework for approaching any design challenge:
- Establish the project Goal / Outcome
- Identify the Constraints
- Identify the Primary/Secondary User
- Segment the Users (personas)
- List the critical User tasks
- Chart the User task flows
- Establish the MVP feature set
- Wireframe the UI
- Test the wireframe prototype
- Explore Visual Design
At Jetaport, my team worked through every step of the framework, at one time or another. We created journey maps, conducted affinity exercises, and performed regular user testing. Quantitative metrics were captured with MixPanel, and A/B testing was done via Optimizely.
The Jetaport solution successfully enabled users to plan, share and book their groups itineraies. The website allowed for flight and hotel searching (powered by Expedia) and automatically integrated bookings into the “Trip Planner” feature. There were many successes, but also some failures, as we invariably met with the constraints of time and budget. After some pivots and a rebrand (Skipper), Jetaport eventually closed it’s final chapter. This was my first experience in a proper startup environment, and I’m appreciative of all that I learned and of all the intelligent people that I was able to work with.