Intrepid Travel: Designing a MVP Mobile App for Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel recently created a new product line of comfort trips aimed at a more mature market segment. The company also wanted to create a mobile presence and had been hearing from customers that it was difficult to search for trips by dates. Our team set out to design a mobile app that would allow users to efficiently search for and book all aspects of a trip.

My Role: Competitive Analysis, User Surveys, Ideation and Sketching, Wireframes, Prototype, Usability Testing, Mockup
Tools: Typeform, Whiteboards and Markers, Omnigraffle, Axure
Team: Jeanna Kim, Sheriff Jolaoso, Erica Manrique
Duration: 2 weeks
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Competitive Analysis

The team started the project off by conducting a heuristic evaluation of the similarities and differences between five competitors: GAdventures, Trafalgar, Adventure Center, RoadTrippers and Hipmunk. We checked to see if the competitors had a mobile presence and studied the features they were incorporating into their apps or responsive sites to find opportunities for Intrepid to distinguish itself.

Key Takeaways:
  • Searchability and a sequential user flow are important
  • Competitors are either in the same space (group tours) and lack a strong mobile presence or in a different space (travel planning) with a strong mobile presence
  • Available features should be kept to a minimum to create an efficient shopping process

User Research

We used both interviews and surveys to capture data from people about their travel planning and booking behaviors. The people that we interviewed and surveyed came from a wide range of age groups and had varying spending power. After collecting all of the results from the surveys and interviews, we wrote the information down on post-it notes and conducted an affinity mapping session to group together similar results.

Key Insights and Pain Points:
  • Most important factors in decision making were price, dates of trips, site authenticity/transparency (no hidden fees), and flight availability
  • Some users want to have their entire trip planned beforehand while others only plan out the basics (flight, accomodations, etc..) and leave the itinerary for when they arrive at their destination
  • Users find it to be tedious having to search on many different sites and leave multiple tabs open to compare deals


We created personas based on our user research to reflect the needs and goals of the wide range of users that we interviewed and surveyed. This helped us create user scenarios and map user flows of the trip purchasing process from searching to booking.

User Flows

We mapped out user flows for our personas so that we could see the activities that would have to take place for each user to get from start (searching for a trip) to finish (booking a trip).

Key Takeaways:
  • Our design must address the pain points of our personas while still being broad enough to have mass appeal to a wide user base.
  • Because of the broad user base, we need to be careful not to add more confusion by adding too many features .
  • One constant that we encountered was that after the user identified a trip that he/she wanted, they all shared a similar user flow.

Creating an MVP

Due to the wide range of user needs, we focused on the one pain point that was a commonality amongst most of the users we interviewed and surveyed: having to search multiple sites and keep open many tabs in order to find the trip that best fit their needs. We posed the question, "would people book a complete vacation package on a mobile app?", and set out to create a minimum viable product that would prove our hypothesis that people would if we provide them with a travel service that allows users to organize and book vacation packages, flights, lodging, and transportation components in one place.

Sketches + Wireframes

We started off with each member of the team doing individual sketches, which led us into spending the day doing a design studio to narrow down our ideas. Since we didn't have much time for the project, this was a great way for us to reach consensus about our designs quickly. After several rounds of iterating on our previous sketches, we were ready to start creating wireframes.

Prototype + User Testing

Once we felt that our designs had been more fleshed out, we moved into prototyping and user testing. We started off by creating a low fidelity prototype in Axure so that we could do some user testing. After testing our prototype on some users, we quickly realized there were some problems with our design.

Key Issues to Address:
  • Lack of context - the cart page did not provide noticeable context as to what was and could still be added to the cart
  • Unclear interactions - the menu on the home screen was challenging for users to figure out and users fumbled with adding items to the cart because the interaction was inconsistent for adding a trip versus adding a flight.
  • Unclear information hierarchy - due to the length of the some of the scrolling pages and the low-fidelity of our prototype it was difficult for users to understand where one section ended and another section started


With our findings from the user testing, we went back to the drawing board to figure out how we should address the usability issues that we observed. After some discussion, I began adding a higher fidelity to the prototype and implementing the changes that we discussed as a team.

Changes Made:
  • Adding an onboarding screen to let users know how to change menu items when they first open the app.
  • Making adding items to the cart consistent throughout the app
  • Using visual design to establish information hierarchy and grouping
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I look forward to speaking with you.

Jeanna Kim

Washington, DC

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