This Project was submitted as part of the course: IMT 535 - Introduction To Information Architecture taught by Prof. Mike Doane. The team size was 6 and team members were assigned different roles but had to coordinate and work together for the final submission.
Design an information architecture for a fictitious online/offline company called the International Travel Corporation and its online presence called TravelNow! ITC is a new specialty travel agency hoping to provide a strong digital and physical store presence across the nation to appeal to a traveler who – knowingly or unknowingly – participates in a form of travel known as “bleisure travel”. Today, TravelNow!‘s online presence is broken. Users are not sure entirely what TravelNow! represents and users are unsure of TravelNow!’s brand. The site wants to be known not only for selling a wide range of travel related products, including booking adventure travel trips, along with travel products such as luggage and accessories, but also as innovators in the emerging area of bleisure travel. TravelNow! aims to provide more than just products to its customers, hoping to build a sustained relationship with individual customers and local communities that provide services for the bleisure travel field.
VISION: "Provide business travelers a one-stop shop for all their leisure needs for business success and personal fulfillment"
MISSION: "Through comprehensive and deep knowledge of business travelers, we optimize their leisure experience through customized traveling plans and leverage of leading-edge technology."
BUSINESS STRATEGY: "The website follows closely with the market trends of bleisure traveling, such as the emerging groups of bleisure travelers and destinations, the new traveling styles, the innovation in service and sales. The leading-edge technology is integrated for better performance and security of the website. In addition, “TravelNow!” aims to provide bleisure travelers with customized plans according to their interest, needs and concerns, and robust service that accommodates with changes in travelers’ priorities, schedules and challenges they run into in the new places."
Currently the TravelNow! Website has a lot of limitations and problems in its design.
- Lack of structure & organization
- Limited and not timely updated content
- Lack of critical functionality
- Outdated infrastructure
* Flat icons designed using Adobe Photoshop
- Lack of personal data privacy
- Lack of website security
- Losing user trust & relationship
- Unable to keep pace with market trends
Our main focus with this project was to maximize the user research. We envisioned that this would help us identify the key shortcomings of the existing system and find user frustrations. We started with a competitive analysis of the other similar websites and discovered that none of them offered the Bleisure Travel option.
We created a user survey to record the responses of the users. The survey was worldwide and covered a varied demographics. Below are a few results from the survey and some insights drawn from it.
Bleisure Survey Total Respondents: 30
Summary: Most respondents “sometimes” take time for leisure activities on business trips. Top 3 activities sought are: local tourist attractions, restaurants, and local events. Almost half of respondent’s companies only pay for business portion of trip 60% of respondents “usually” or “always” visit travel websites when planning trip. About half of respondents seek information for trip and destination research, trip planning and deals, discounts and special offers. Over half were either unmarried and without children, or do not travel with their spouse and/or child. About 73% of respondents like to plan one destination per day or a few destinations per trip, but do not like to plan the rest of their trip About half of respondents use trip planning websites to browse and plan on their own, and about 30% use an online trip planning service About half of respondents would prefer not to give personally identifiable information or financial information. 56% of respondents have between 1 and 3 weeks to plan, 27% have 12 months.
This helped us generate personas based on the user research. We also tried to incorporate the requirement changes with the introduction of AARP Member considerations in one of our personas.
Considering the various scenarios, the extensive user research and the generated personas, we generated the structure of the Sitemap using the process of Affinity Diagramming and clustering the ideas. The process on whole was - "Convergence & Divergence"
We combines the scenarios and the sitemap to tailor user flows based on the generated personas. They give an idea of the overall flow of the website from the points of views of different personas.
Low fidelity wireframes show the overall frame and setup re-design of the whole TravelNow! Website and its proposed Mobile View.
One of the major challenges for us while re-designing and implementing an existing project was to streamline and properly organize and retrieve the existing data from the TravelNow website. The roles specifically assigned to the Content Manager and the Taxonomist called for a team meeting to figure out ways to implement the same. The team came up with a content map to address the situation which looked like this.
The Content Map integrated the elements from the Taxonomy, Sitemap and the Personas with the user flows to seamlessly ingrate all of them together.
The solution that the whole team agreed to in unison to implement the organization of data through taxonomy was - Tagging. We decided to include tagging of our content in TravelNow to address the existing shortcomings and retrieve and present the data much more efficiently.