Research // User Experience // User Interface
JTB is the largest and most popular travel agency in Japan. The brief was to redesign their existing Travel Navigator app. The app allows tourists to view itineraries and events in their area. These are currently created by JTB. The goal was to better position it to non-Japanese users by rethinking the user experience and some existing features. Also to rebuild the app as an iOS, Android and web-app.
The team for this project was made up of 1 project manager, 1 developer and myself as UI/UX designer. The project was split into the following phases.
Our research phase lasted 2 weeks and involved the team talking to JTB agents and foreign visitors to Japan. During this phase it was discovered that roughly 80% of visitors talked about their wish for a unique Japanese experience. Finding information about popular tourist attractions wasn't very hard for them but they found it difficult to know where to go to have a unique experience.
I created a customer journey based on the conversations with visitors. It was during this phase that the core problems and opportunities came to light. We had the idea to allow users to book attractions such as museums and restaurants ahead of time, directly in the app.
From JTB we found itineraries were created by a central office and therefore they lacked the information needed to create unique itineries for each location. We decided to let users create their own unique itineraries, which can then be shared with other visitors. Therefore creating these unique experiences.
I mapped out the user flows based on our analysis and started to put together some basic wireframes. We discussed and iterated these ideas together. Working within a small team took away a lot of barriers when it came to making decisions and exploring new ideas.
During this process we shared ideas and prototypes with JTB until we had a solution we were all happy with.
Due to the fact that we wanted to change a few things with the API and how data was used, I also leaned heavily on the expertise of our developer to make sure it was possible to achieve what we intended.
After discussions with JTB they also decided that itineraries would be curated by JTB agents based in the associated locations. Giving the official content more local detail.
I enjoyed designing and building together, it’s good fun and I find it can give better results. You can make decisions quickly and problems can be raised early. Everyone is responsible for their own tasks and you avoid the ‘too many cooks’ scenario.
However, it does increase the workload and turnaround time and you can fall into the trap of only seeing something from one point of view. In the end I think the project was a great experience and it was useful to see how a Japanese company does business.