Creating an easy to use mobile app to deliver access to guides for all types of expeditions and adventures
Mahalo is a startup attempting to reinvent the expedition and guide travel industry. The overarching goal of this project was to establish a mobile-based application that would provide customers the ability to discover, fulfill and manage their experience.
My role was to provide product strategy, user research, user-centered design, creative direction and overall visual design.
Much like AirBnB this application would have to account for a lot of content. The content would start at the local level and delivered based on the users mobile devices location, however, we wanted them to have the ability to search anywhere in the country and worldwide eventually.
They key challenge here was to design a system that could support all the required content in a way that was unobtrusive and would scale as the user requested more.
Understanding User Needs
We performed qualitative interviews with prospective customers to understand the specific needs when discovering and interacting with guide experiences through traditional methods. We spent two weeks interviewing folks, collecting artifacts in the form of imagery (see some examples below) and analyzing the insight gathered. From here we established four key personas to help guide design decisions down-stream.
Once we had a good understanding of our target audience needs we created several flow maps that provided the team an understanding of the core interaction areas. These type of flow diagrams become very useful for the team to understand how each mobile screen will interact together in order to fulfill the task at hand.
Sketching was done early on to iron out some of the concepts and ideas. Sketching allowed us to present ideas early to the stakeholders to get alignment on the overall direction and interaction behavior.
Visual Design & Styling
Design specifications were created to ensure consistency throughout the application. The intent was to off-shore the core development efforts and we needed to have detailed design specs to ensure the design translated correctly.
Full designs were used for prototype testing as well as delivery to development for full production. The team felt confident based on preliminary testing results that our information architecture was sound and that as more-and-more content was added to the system the application would be able to scale effectively minimizing the impact on the user experience.