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| A travelling companion for  | solo travelers 
A mobile platform application that helps users find unique experiences and connect with others users while travelling independently.

Through my conversation with a friend who travels alone often, I learned about an experience problem they were having while travelling. They described pain points in finding places to visit that hotel/travel agencies did NOT compile, which was only possible through an extensive amount of networking. There was a noticeable hole in the pool of information found about travel locations and experiences that were unique and not compiled for tourists. This led me to think about a product that could aid solo travellers to find relevant information about the country they are visiting. 
Role: UX researcher & Product designer | Timeline: October, 2022

Independent travellers are finding it difficult to find unique travel experiences and struggle to connect with other travellers
Design Challange_____________________

How might we help solo travellers discover unique travel experiences and help them to connect with local travellers? 

wayfare:~ A new social travel companion that supports solo travellers to find and connect on unique experiences recommended by previous travellers.
Find and connect with others on your own plans.


Users can choose a recommendation and create their own happy path travel adventure, which they can upload and share to invite other solo travellers to join. wayfare will take care of the networking for you as the platform will notify users in local areas of your own uniquely created plan.

View and browse unique upcoming travel experiences and connect with other travellers

The homepage of wayfare recommends upcoming travel plan ideas in the user’s area that are added by previous/present travellers. Users can browse, connect, and join these travel plans created by others to get a richer experience. The application allows users to view popular travel paths and unique ones created by users like themselves!

Background Research 

52% of millennials prefer to travel independently 

In my External secondary research, I found some surprising data that lead to the insight which helped me to narrow my users.19 % of travel worldwide is contributed by independent travellers who are largely millennials.  More Travelers Are Going Solo in 2022, 47% of travellers with Overseas Adventure Travel are registered as ‘solo'. An astounding 85% of these solo travellers are women. The secondary research lead to insights and validated a massive potential in this industry. I also narrowed down my target demographic for this study to focus on millennials.  

User Research 

I conducted half a dozen interviews with my targeted users being millennials. The users were selected based on those who had travelled solo before and those who are interested in travelling in the future. I centred my questions around the needs and the frustrations they faced. Through an aggregated journey map of independent travellers, I divided three common pain points and in contrast, three common pleasure points that

"I don't like the idea of a guided tour, I like to follow my own timing of observing and experiencing the place that I am in" 
David Lee
Interested in solo travel

Doesn’t like tours plan their trip. Prefers to research and organize their activities on their own. 

"I miss out on some cool experience when I'm solo like I would love to do a deep cave hike"
Kurdeep Sab
Frequent Solo traveler

Unable to have rare experiences due to a lack of a travel partner.

"I like to very organized about my plans and spent a lot of time on researching the best experience, I don't want to miss out" 
Alisha Liu
Occasional solo traveler

Spends significant time researching and planning. 

"I've met so many chill people, my tribe of people.
William Carson
Occasional solo traveler

Likes to meet other solo traveler while on his trip. 

Helvetica Light is an easy-to-read font, with tall and narrow letters, that works well on almost every site.

Helvetica Light is an easy-to-read font, with tall and narrow letters, that works well on almost every site.

"Would have never knew about that Fiji beach if this other group did not tell me about it"
Kurdeep Sab
Frequent Solo traveler

Prefers and trusts recommendations made by other solo travelers 

"Proud researcher, so I love sharing my favorite spots and writing about my experiences"
Alisha Liu
Occasional solo traveler

Likes to share personal experiences and recommendations

How could I translate found user data about pain points to design opportunities?

Doesn't like guided or group tours

How might we assist and providing more control to users over their own plan?

Unable to experience niche activities due to a lack of partner

How might we find opportunities to connect solo travellers?

Significant time

spent researching and planning

How might we make researching niche experiences more efficient? 

Existing products addressed the pain points in some cases, but no one product resolved them all

Unique experience archive 

Social & Networking

Trip Planner

Share experiences

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Throughout my analysis, I found several existing products have tried to be biased towards business goals and carried solutions to catch the large growth rate of the solo travel industry. Most products fell into two major categories: one was focused primarily on independent travellers and the second was products that feature focused on solo travellers like Meetup and Airbnb experiences.


How might we help travellers discover unique experiences?

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In my research, I found that independent travellers like sharing and exchanging experiences on social media. There is a built trust amongst recommendations that other travellers give. Thus, to leverage this trust the product can create a collection of travel suggestions that are sourced from independent travellers. Wayfare could curate the data by categorizing them into lists that appeal to each individual user.

Independent travellers find it easy to trust recommendations made by other travellers 

How might we assist independent travellers in connecting with other travellers for activities?

A current competitor for this product, Meetup provides a good example of a product that facilitates social connections around events/experiences. Wayfare will provide a solution that fosters such social connections in which users will be able to join in on potential events/plans curated by other travellers.

Competitor products offer a sharper focus on connecting travellers over a connection based on similar interests of users

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How might we offer customization/control over travel plans & experiences? 


wayfare could provide my target users with the ability to create their own travel using a database of travel guides given by the locals. 

wayfare will provide a hybrid of independent and guided travel. Recommendations listing will include an initial database of guides given by the locals and travel tips added by the users who originally made a custom travel plan. This will provide users with suggestions made by locals and other trusted independent travellers.

Airbnb offers experiences given by locals but has paid walls and itinerary plans made by the host, making it feel like a guided tour.

Airbnb’s experiences are complete planned by the hosts, this leads to the experiences feeling structured and disinterest more independent travellers that prefer to have more control of their own plans. I ideated upon a hybrid solution which could offer guidance by a local while still allowing the users to have control over their own plans.

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Solutions ~ Product Strategy

After addressing the product's user pain points, I started to ideate upon business goals and gave consideration to the monetization of this product

Monetization Strategy


Wayfare would include sponsored recommendations still maintaining user trust by being transparent.

wayfarer as a business could participate in paid collaboration with places. This extends to wayfarer team user groups personally recommending experiences and providing suggestions that other solo travellers can take into consideration. This would bring new customers to the place and attract more business for local merchants of the suggested travel area.

Growth Strategy


wayfare can connect to all popular social media platforms to encourage users to share their travel experiences/plans  on different channels.

Leveraging sharing options to different social media platform, wayfare can promote user growth.

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wayfare sends push notification to users in local area, notifying them on new plans that are created by others travellers 

wayfare will promote newly created travel plans by other users to relevant users to help with connection on plans or viewing what other travels are planning on visiting.

Thanks for reading

Full Brief
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