Travel Curator


Challenge: Create an AI travel planning tool that helps the next generation efficiently complete the menial steps of planning without losing enthusiasm.
(This is my thesis project of MFA degree in Interaction & UI/UX design)

Solution: Integrating all travel needs in one place to provides a productive way of creating inspiring planning. AI hyper-personalization plan generation and mobile edit anywhere and anytime. (Both for web and mobile)

Outcome: Delivered 40+ cross-platform UIs based on 5 rounds of testing and iteration. 100% usability testing conversions rate. 96% task completion click-through rate. All stakeholders(28) responded that they were eager to download this productively planning MVP from the Apple store.

MVP design to help accelerate the tourism industry's economic recovery after pandemic.

My Role

Target Market


Solo Designer
UX Research
IA Map
Interaction Design
User Testing
Design System

The next generation of impatient travelers seeks a time-saving and inspiring plan way.

16 weeks, 2021
MFA Thesis, AAU

Design Process

Problem Statement

Travelers spent incredible time planning ahead to get everything organized. However trivial platforms and complicated information accelerated the depletion of their enthusiasm.


After analyzing the problems through the research, journey map, wireframes, and 5+ rounds of testing and iteration (design process section below). I defined ways to help my users in the following areas. If you want to try the clickable prototypes first

User Flow 1

Easy add anything you love in one place

User Flow 2

Gain your next perfect itinerary in 5 minutes

User Flow 3

Seamlessly edit your plan everywhere and anytime


"Immediate travel to make up for pandemic time."
- people's appeal

COVID-19 Impact: as many as 72% of Americans intend to travel in 2021. It will be a year of renewal and reconnection. The world's appetite for travel is as strong as it has ever been. Unique experiences were the most impactful element of their favorite vacations.

Millennial Appetites: the highest proportion is millennial who reshape their personal plans by absorbing content from social media or AI-generated. What’s more, all of these new trends are done directly from research to book. Instead of traditional travel plans, they are looking for creative experiences.

Initial Research & Problem Validation

Don't let exhausting planning dominate your following trip.

In 2021, people's wanderlust will be stronger than ever because they want to make up for the lost time. It will be a year of renewal and reconnection. However, people will be more conscientious about how they travel. What's the problem I'm finding and trying to solve:

User Survey

Motivations and profile of the creative tourist:
What do they want to experience?

Narrowed the scope of target users by conducting guerrilla research (48 responses).
I surveyed high-frequent millennial travelers current travel preferences and feelings.

Travelers usually prefer a short trip of 3 to 7 days for next travel.
So: I should mostly create the easy-to-use, comprehensive, and intuitive content editing planning flows.

100% of people have had short trip experience in the past which shows short-days trip has a larger user base.
So: I decided to go on to study the pain points of planning and user behavior analysis in short trips.

29/48 people selected plane as the main transportation in past travel.
So: I planned to set booking flights as one of main user flows to help achieve user' more potential needs.

Top 3 triggers are release stress, culture, share with others.
So: I should focus on how to help relieve stress and experience natural culture as main design considerations.

Interviews Synthesis

Breakdown Millennials’ planning pain

Built interview scripts and collected key quotes. (meeting 10) Considering the time constraints of this project, I decided to quickly interviewed the target audiences who have high requirements for travel and like to explore travel plans, while the second group is looking for travel inspiration and is open to recommended plans.

View more details on Miro 📝 🔍 🧐
Learning Goal - Interview Scripts

Travel Behavior
Q: How often do you travel?
Q: How many days per trip? Travel trigger?
Q: What’s transportation do you usually use during a trip?

Tools They Use:
Q: What do you usually use to book flights, hotels, etc.?
Q: What are the first factors when making travel plans?
Q: Frustrations have experienced while using these tools.

Planning Experience:
Q: What problems you encounter while making travel plan?
Q: Has this problem been solved? How to solve it?
Q: Good experiences when making travel plans. How's it?
Q: Order or preference for custom travel plans?

What planners are going through?

I'm lazy about planning. I wish there was 🤖️ an assistant who can help me do all the management of the reservation. Then I can 🍵 easily view and adjust it .
- Kiwi, 27, Marketing, travel each month

Using a normal tool like Google Calendar to plan isn't exciting 🥱 only because it includes many in-demand travel books. This seems to be a daily alarm ⏰ setting.
- Yuzi, 25, Student, travel 3-5 times/year

I need to click 3+ times 💤 to find the correct content while using Tripadvisor to make a travel plan. Overloading irrelevant information 🤬 is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
- Kate, 35, Engineer, travel 8-10 times/year

I gradually 💔 lost my passion and enthusiasm when using a bunch of tools to book and check each part of 😵 what I should do before/during the travel.
- Safa, 30, UX Designer, travel 7-9 times/year
Meet with Persona - Tessie Traveler
Empathy Map & User Goals
User Journey & Opportunities


Pain points

1. Need to cross-use multiple software or websites. It takes too much time to find and view travel related contents to plan a travel.

2. Before the trip, the tedious browsing and screening to make a travel plan reduces the enthusiasm and kills
the inspirational aspect.

3. Usually have no time to check all booking information in the email, and there may be a risk of missing the flight.

1. Arrange everything together in one travel application. Show the users most care things first: name, price, nearby.

2. Create vivid visual elements and fun contents to excite planners. For example, photos of real travelers can be used as backgrounds to evoke more creative ideas.

3. Seamless cross-device design experiences make it easy to track and management multiple reservations. Add more intimate functions such as flight alarm clock.

Risks I should avoid

Polarized Planning Ways
Some travelers spend an incredible time planning a trip. They always arrange all of things in travel. Others almost don't create plans by themselves at all and prefer ready-made plans according to their travel preferences.

Obliteration of Enthusiasm
Most travelers use daily scheduling tools to plan a travel. The lifeless forms and endless process are gradually draining their enthusiasm and interest in travel planning. They even felt stressed and exhausted before departure.

Multi-party Platforms Rule
Users are very likely involved in editing plans on both web and mobile during the entire journey. Flexibility and brand consistency are key factors of cross-platform experience. Empathetic and founcational features can help users miss details.

Competitor Analysis

2 tools users commonly used

Google Travel allows users to plan for upcoming trips with summarizing info about the user's destination in several categories such as day plans, reservations, and things to do.
Tripadvisor provides reviews and suggestions from travelers around the world. These reviews include hotels, attractions, restaurants, airlines, and travel planning and booking functions.

(Website version in Feb 2021)

· Once booked, the itinerary is added immediately.
· AR feature helps users to vividly navigate new places.
· Allows users to pay without using other website for all booking.

· Communicate with industry owners at world travel community.
· Public resources with both reviews and photographs.
· Book from the site by linking to leading travel affiliates

· Can't share a trip so another person can’t edit.
· Can’t book a rental car or restaurant reservations.
· Flights lack promotions, deals, incentives.

· Overwhelming amount of information.
· Focused on reviews and not booking.
· Doesn’t store all the reservations.


How might I design an enjoyable platform to simplify the tedious process and help travelers get more inspirations?


Hand-drawing drives thinking.
Technology verify accessibility.

User Testing

Design progress can only happen when we attach and integrate new ideas and new products into our lives, for example the most easy way-user testing. I did paper test, usability test, and medium fidelity prototype test.




I totally invited 18 participants who had previously I surveyed and interviewee to do the user testing and also get their impressions on my notification methods.

Evaluate Goals
1. Determine whether task description can clearly guide users to complete the three tasks. 2. Whether there are any unpleasant interactions or unclear steps and Why.

Metrics Measured
Comprehensibility, Interactivity,
Enjoyable, Cross-platform Comprehension,
Energy-Consuming, Tolerable


Comprehensive navigation is key.

More Revises
Style System & Component
Final Clickable Prototypes
What I've learned

Talk to users about bold ideas and seek for feedback.

When I got into this UI/UX project, the biggest challenge was dealing with complex user information and quickly integrating it to create efficient solutions. I use qualitative research and analysis to explore the real pain points of modern travelers to predict potential behaviors.

In addition to the desktop, I also created a mobile version. Emphasizes the adaptability, continuity, and complementarity of interaction design. In this way, users can freely switch to using the program across platforms.

Be patient with data.

Data-driven design quickly splits the different user goals and needs of travel planning and efficiently formulates the functions that travel planning products should have. The cost-effective of each function includes time, developing, and expected effect to comprehensively determine the priority. These methods all help me address and simplify the most feasible design decisions.

Next Step

Think about the error and loading state while implementing.

The users are more anxious when things don’t go as planned so it is necessary to make sure they know exactly what is happening. This must be reflected in the app interface itself. It is valuable to monitor the effects of my design changes and critically evaluate user responses to the changes.

Grasp users enthusiasm from testing.

Test as early as possible, also try and have a fresh pair of eyes for each test you perform. Try to engage a fresh pair of eyes into each test perform.
Test as early as possible, also try and have a fresh pair of eyes for each test you perform. Try to engage a fresh pair of eyes in each test performed.

Smart work from UI Kits with components to development.

This is my MFA thesis project, still in progress. I am exploring more inspiring features with my project users, mainly popular features like community sharing of travel plans, multiplayer editing, and a reward system.
On other hand, I need to create a consistent design guideline to increase time efficiency in future development.
This project will be developed updated. Stay tuned for more.

Why not this?
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