Experience the World to its Fullest

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Traveling abroad can have many different challenges for frequent and new travelers. There is a lot of research that has to be done by travelers before going abroad which may take a lot of time, frustration, and money. 

Covid has changed many aspects of travel. Reviews are becoming increasingly vital, both online and by word of mouth, as people seek recommendations and reassurance about health and safety measures. People have been in their homes for months so now they want to discover new places, cultures, cuisines, landscapes, activities, and reconnect with nature. 


What if there was a way to learn more about different countries, cultures, food, and attractions before you decide where your next journey should be? This led me to create Skylink, an app where users can connect and plan to explore other parts of the world right from their phones. This is aimed to help cut down the time and frustration about researching information while traveling abroad. A place where people can find answers and plan their next trip all while having a relaxing experience. 


User Research & Synthesize
UI Design & Prototype
Usability Test & Synthesize


Sole UX/UI Designer

Project Details

Project Duration: 6 weeks





1. Research

1.1 Secondary Research

Through my secondary research, I was able to identify some of the problems travelers encounter. Problems varied from cultural, linguistic, and culinary to money, time, and health. The international travel industry is big, bringing in about 155 billion U.S. dollars (pre covid). While travel has slowed down, for now, more than ever are people looking forward to traveling abroad soon.


1.2 Screener Survey

Although the travel industry has changed over the years, it has not fixed many of the problems that we still encounter while traveling abroad. Through this initial survey, I found out most people seem interested in learning about new cultures, food, and experiences while traveling abroad.

1.3 Interviews

From the screener survey, I conducted interviews with four participants who fit my screening criteria. In my interviews, I focused on: 

  • finding out what their day-to-day lives look like

  • understanding the main obstacles that they experience in regards to traveling abroad

I was able to find out what their pain points, successes, resources used, and experiences were in the past or worry about in the future.

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"... since we only have a certain amount of time to go on vacation, we try as many new experiences as possible."

"We try to plan around the main attractions of the countries I go to"

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"I spent a lot of time researching information online and watching videos to learn about the country"

"I like to go with the flow even though I try to plan things out"

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"I researched on the cost of items in the countries I visited to make sure I would stay in my budget"

"I wish I was more informed about the weather"


1.4 Affinity Mapping

After conducting interviews, I wrote down notes and organized them by person. I was able to group these notes to create an affinity map and group the qualitative data.

1.5 Empathy Mapping

From my interviews and synthesis, I developed two core personas, the Structured Traveler and the Carefree Traveler

1.6 Personas

I created 2 personas to document the mindset and patterns that I noticed from my user surveys. The elements that I focused on included the goals, pain points, needs, and interests. These personas were essential to keeping the user at the center of my design process and helped me to come up with the most appropriate and relevant "how might we" statements.

2. Ideation

2.1 Brainstorm

By examining my problem statements, I discovered that one of my biggest obstacles was going to be the organization of all the information the user needed. I brainstormed some sketches to visualize some of the solutions for the user's problems. I came up with many alternatives to how the problems could be solved to have more choices to sketch later in the process.

 Some of the challenges I recognized were:

  • Users need to be able to sort and find in an efficient way

  • Providing pictures would help them make better choices

  • Navigation has to be clear and organized to avoid users feeling overwhelmed 

  • Ability to connect and talk to someone with first-hand knowledge to get make better decisions

2.2 User Stories

I wrote user stories to influence the functionality of the system being developed. This helped facilitate sense-making to make the solution more successful. User stories were sorted from high to low priority to determine which essential pathways (red routes) to include in my design.

My "How Might We" questions guided the priority ranking process, to ensure that I addressed users' largest frustrations and obstacles.

As a user, I want to...

High Priority

  • Know popular destinations along with prices so that I can have a good experience while staying on budget.

  • Look at different country requirements and tickets so that I can have a planned itinerary for the different locations.

  • Discover the culture and foods of the country so that I can learn and make better choices when picking attractions or food.

Medium Priority

  • Have weather so that I can plan outdoor activities and know what to wear.

  • Be able to talk or ask questions to locals so that I can have a better understanding of the country and have recommendations.

  • Have an itinerary with details so that I can share it with my family and everyone be informed.

Low Priority

  • Know where the WiFi spots are so that I can upload my Instagram pictures.

  • Know where repair shops are so that I can fix my gear if I need to.

  • Know where the shopping malls are so that I can buy some clothes if needed.


2.3 Site map

Once I had a better grasp of what functions would be most helpful to my users, four necessary navigation interfaces emerged:

  • Explore - be able to search attractions, flights, foods, by country

  • Itinerary - Have all the detailed information organized by dates and country

  • Connect - chat and connect with locals to learn more before traveling

  • Account - control personal information such as payment methods

This site map allowed me to visualize how pages should be prioritized, linked, and labeled. Empathizing with how the users would navigate between screens and features helped me with my organization and design of the site map.

2.4 User Flows

Using my site map, I drafted the user flows that helped to enhance the ease of movement through my platform. The movement within the interface helped me see what options the user has on each page and if the routes available help the user accomplish a task innately and without wasting time.

2.5 Sketches

Inspired by my user flows and sitemap, I began to sketch how to bring this design to life. While creating these sketches, I focused on designing interfaces that would be simple and clear, so as not to overwhelm the user. I also kept in mind categorizing data and providing pictures, reviews, location, and descriptions to help the user sort through information more efficiently.

2.6 Low Fidelity Wireframes

Using my sketching as a guide, I made low-fidelity wireframes for my app screens. The sketches served as an important guide for creating the layout and content organization of my wireframes. As I was wireframing,  I noticed that I was starting to run out of room quickly. The pictures, ratings, price, locations, and category took a lot of screen real estate. This led me to make the screens scrollable vertically and horizontally in certain sections. This would give the user more space while browsing through all the information and provide white space between items on the screen.

3. Design

3.1 Brand Platform

I wanted Skylink to be a place where people come to find the information they need. To hear advice from past travelers and locals to make meaningful memories on their trips. We want to show what all the options are and provide them with pictures, videos, and information about what their experiences will be like. All this information should help travelers make better decisions and have a good time while traveling.

Brand Name - Skylink

  • I choose sky link because I want people to have a connection with another country.

  • The word  “sky” conveys this idea since most international travel happens through flying.

  • The “link” is a way to show that you can have access, stay connected, and experience other parts of the world.

Mission - Vision

  • I choose this mission statement because Skylink is a way to connect you with the rest of the world.

  • The number of things to see, taste, hear, smell, and experience on earth are vast and we want to help people experience it to its fullest.

3.2 Mood Board

A brand, I wanted there to be a big focus from a brand for us to make traveling enjoyable and less stressful by having the information needed and being organized. Traveling should be about the good experiences and not about the stress that comes with it. Having pictures as well as written information was also a goal to make it accessible for more people.


3.3 Style Guide

I created the logo first to make sure that the design system worked together visually with the brand. Not only did the design system have to work with the logo, but also with items such as buttons and icons so that the user could complete their tasks. I accomplished this by offering concise, simple, descriptive, and informative components.

3.4 High Fidelity Wireframes

With the use of my style guide, I began to build my high fidelity screens. I focused on making content easily accessible to people and easy to understand. By giving descriptive information, categories, and locations in the preview of screens can make easier decisions before seeing more detailed information and building their itinerary.

4. Testing

4.1 Prototype

Using Figma I developed a prototype of my red routes. I made sure to clean up any small spacing, color, misspellings, functionality, and user error before testing with any users

4.2 Usability Testing Plan


In this testing, my goal was to understand how my users interact with Skylink and the problems they may face with my design. I wanted to learn how I can make my design better so that it can be useful, helpful, accessible, and intuitive.


  • Add and pay for an attraction for a tour in Peru

  • Add a restaurant for dinner to your itinerary in Peru

  • Chat with a local through a video call to ask about common questions while traveling to the country

4.3 Usability Testing Results

Issue #1

Before tapping on an activity,  restaurant, or person to chat with, the user did not have an understanding of the content. Participants only may have known what the content was from the title, and pictures provided.

Issue #2

Participants were not sure if there was a way to chat with a local without giving a tip.

The screen overlay had a rating and a tip section for user input. There was not a “no tip” or undo option

4.4 Synthesize & Redesign

Create categories and label activity/restaurant types

  • Create and label categories in the activities and food section for users to understand what type of activity or food the users were looking at.

  • Just having the name of restaurants, activities, and pictures wasn’t enough for the user to know what it was about before tapping on it.

  • This made it easier for the user to sort through information and make a better decision.

Develop a second overlay to choose their tip amount or choose not to

  • For users to have a clear option between ratings and tipping, I developed a second overlay.

  • One overlay for ratings, and another for tips.

  • The tip screen needs to have a clear button of “no tip” so that the user has an option to opt out.

Use in full screen for best experience

5. Reflection

5.1 Looking Back

I learned a lot from designing Skylink. I am happy that the final product came out as intended. As the sole UX designer for this project, I have learned a lot every step of the way. The biggest takeaway from this project was to understand and have empathy for the user. To research and put yourself into their shoes while ideating, and most importantly to listen to their feedback from the usability testing.

5.2 Looking Ahead

This experience has led me to learn new aspects of UX/UI design. I am more eager to learn new tools, techniques, and methods to make my designs a better experience for users. There are many more problems out there that users have that need a solution. Through this experience, I will be able to improve my design so that users experience the world to its fullest.

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