. Intrepid

Role design iteration, interaction design, research synthesis, User research

Timeline 2 week project

The client

Intrepid is a travel agency that specializes in tour-based services.
Currently, primary customers of the company are travelers in their mid-twenties. Through market research, Intrepid has identified a huge market for an older demographic. They wanted to create a new offering of “comfort” trips designed to attract this demographic.

The business challenge

There are also several problems with their website. For example, it is difficult to search for trips and it is hard to choose destinations based on the customers vacation time availability.

The task

On this project, I worked in a team with two other designers. Our responsibility was to create a user experience for the company’s new target audience.

My role Deliverables Duration
User Researcher
Content Strategist
Research Synthesis
User Interviews
Design Iteration
Interaction Design
Competitive Analysis
Content Strategy
Digital Wireframes
2 week school project


During this stage at first we had to identify our persona, persona’s preferences, pain points, and motivation.

We started with conducting street interviews. We identified the three most common types of behavior for travelers while planning a trip.

Our next step was to test these hypotheses.

Our team conducted a survey and interviewed travelers. We interviewed people who were maximally similar to our probable personas.

The obtained results allowed us to adjust the data about the personas, and to identify patterns of travelers’ behavior.


But, my team members and I still had doubts about the persona we created. I did additional research and found metrics from the national travel surveys. My previous background in law was very useful since I have strong experience doing research in order to summarize and categorise information.

What we discovered

Based on what we’d discovered thus far, we were able to finalize the persona and persona’s pain points.

Meet our persona – Audrey.

Problem #1

Audrey can’t find tours with authentic cultural experience.


Deliver authenticity via local reviews by:

  • Implementing an interactive map with reviews into the trip booking process.
  • Creating an interactive gallery that featured varied travel experiences with inspirational quotes and reviews from previous explorers or locals (home page).
  • Creating the description box where a user can explore the food and culture of that particular city.


My design partner with impressive graphic design skills was responsible for development of Intrepid’s redesigned website wireframes.

Reasoning for the solution

We learned that 90% of travelers read reviews while planning a trip (Online Travel Review Study, 2007). 58% read reviews every time they plan a trip. A majority uses them to narrow down choices (65%).

Over 80% agree that it increases confidence in making a decision, makes it easier to image what the place looks like, and helps reduce risk/uncertainty.

Our initial solution was to provide reviews from other travelers. But from user interviews, we learned that travelers don’t trust random reviews and ratings. They are more likely to trust like-minded people’s reviews or reviews of the locals.

To solve this problem we used the “Design Studio” Method. And I’m very proud that I came up with the solution my teammates found most efficient.

Problem #2

Audrey is confused when using the “Search for a trip” feature, she feels the search bar was too broad in the scope of options.


Redesign the search option based on the person’s priority – destination.

Reasoning for the solution

The survey we conducted showed that destination is the highest priority for the persona (“9” on a scale from 1 to 10).

While user testing, we learned that travelers with a destination in mind start booking a trip by going to the “destination” section or inputting/typing a name of the desired destination in a search box.

Problem #3

Hard to choose a destination based on vacation time availability.


Prioritize navigation based on persona’s preferences.

Reasoning for the solution

Based on the survey the second most important factor for the persona while booking a trip was the schedule. From the National Travel Survey, it was shown that mostly people travel with an additional person (33%). This means they need to consider their own and another person’s time availability. 30% of travelers plan their trips 2-4 months in advance. We also confirmed that information during travelers’ interviews.

Problem #4

Lack of detailed information causes distrust and doubt about hidden fees.


List package details up front, show everything that is included in package items with its cost.

Reasoning for the solution

This design decision is based on three factors: the metrics I found (55% of interviewees found detailed information important); a usability testing during which we learned that users wanted an in-depth description of the selected location, and user interviews when we learned that travelers don’t trust tour packages because they think these are overpriced or have hidden fees.

Problem #5

Wants to escape from everyday life and relax.


Provided a comfort tour style option.

Reasoning for the solution

Based on the National Travel Survey (2009), people with higher income travel more often (80k+). Considering the persona’s motivation and approximate level of income, we decided that she will most likely opt for a premium experience.

Problem #6

Audrey feels restricted if she buys a tour package.

The solution

Provide an option to alter her packages at a later time.

Reasoning for the solution

During user interviews, we found that people avoided tour packages because they couldn’t customise them. From the survey, we learned that activities are the 4th most important factor for the persona when she books a trip (“7” on a scale from 1-10). By providing an option to customize activities, we eliminated the feeling of restriction.


The biggest problem was identifying the primary persona.

Another challenge was to find a balance between not overwhelming a user with many calls to action and providing enough information on a webpage.


After the usability testing we learned that our initial decision to have both “Package Styles” and “Activities” was confusing for the test participants. We decided to separate them into two distinguishable steps.

What I learned

During this project, I learned that:

  • Your first most obvious and logical decision is only a hypothesis and most probably will be disproved by yourself after you get more data.
  • Test your hypothesis at each step of your research process by comparing with newly gotten data.
  • There is nothing wrong in being wrong.
  • Trust your team members – you all have one goal – to make the best product possible.