During a UX research course at CMU, I worked with a multi-disciplinary team to explore an itinerary planning feature within Google Maps. I designed and tested prototypes for trip planning, including features for exploring, customizing, and sharing travel itineraries, thereby improving the overall group travel experience.
Sep 2022 - Dec 2022
It's tough enough to plan a trip for just one person, let alone a whole group of people with different preferences and needs. Researching things to do, coordinating schedules, trying to gauge different preferences and gaining consensus needs while keeping a track of knowledge spread over different tools is a hassle.
As part of a classroom project, my team and I worked on taking the effort and stress out of group travel. For this, we worked on a conceptual new feature in Google Maps: Plans.
While planning travel, users experience various challenges in decision-making and getting consensus.
Balancing diverse preferences and financial considerations when planning group trips.
Difficulty in accurately estimating travel time and distances between activities for effective itinerary planning
Time-consuming search for personalized travel recommendations across various websites and blogs.
We understood what people prioritize while planning travel by interviewing people and observing them as they planned a trip.
Based on the interviews to understand the different ways in which people plan their travel.
To identify pain points and opportunity areas in the travel planning experience
Helped in early testing of the concepts and to understand what worked, what kinda worked and where I was waaaay off
Our research revealed user frustration with fragmented information across various tools during travel. With Google Maps being the predominant travel app, we aimed to enhance information collection and facilitate discovery within the Maps ecosystem. Our focus centered on improving itinerary creation for a more seamless travel experience.
Discover plans created by local guides in the Google Maps community and save places that you like.
Easily customize existing plans or create your own from scratch, efficiently organizing your days with itineraries.
Effortlessly share travel plans and collaborate to collectively make decisions with your fellow travellers
Integrate your travel information across the Google ecosystem: flights, hotel reservations and more
Plans is meant to be that app within an app that Google Trips could have been. Create travel plans, share them with your friends and plan your next adventure together.
Lists is a great feature within the app but discovery of curated lists by others is hard to find. I brought lists to the fore in the Maps feed. With Material You, lists feel authentic, personal and increase visibility of local guides.
Lists are great to collect all the places you like and want to go. They're not enough for planning. With Itineraries, you can draw from all your saved places, filter by lists and then just drag and drop them to your day-wise plan.
A plus plus: Using AI to automatically order your items based on distance.
Plans change fast. Using a drag & drop interaction, you can easily move places and see changes in transit time.
The process included understanding how users plan their travel through research methods such as interviews, directed storytelling and usability testing travel planning apps. The process was cyclic, had multiple iterations of prototypes.
Reach out to learn more about the project. Here are some glimpses of the project.
This is only part of the story, for the feature length - hit me up.