Acclimatize.me: a case study

How can you design a product that helps travellers prepare and acclimatize fast for their trip so they don’t miss a minute of fun? A UX case study.

It’s one thing to know what the weather is like in your travel destination; it’s quite another to be prepared for changes in temperature or altitude so that you stay fit and healthy during the trip.

How can you design a product that helps travellers prepare and acclimatize fast for their trip so they don’t miss a minute of fun?

I created a prototype for an app that gives people access to accurate information about their travel destinations. In particular, weather and advice from locals and other travellers. For the sake of this case study, I focused on the alerts set up.

My motivation for solving this problem stems from the personal experience of a stay in Bordeaux a few years ago. With valuable insights and feedback from friends and experts in front end development, I explored a solution to help people make the most of their trips no matter the weather.

Table Of Contents

End users

Travellers who want to be able to enjoy their trips in full.

Job story

When I travel I want to know how to dress and what to expect so I can enjoy my stay from start to finish.

Persona

Acclimatize.me case study – Jill
Jill Eckart

Jill, 39, teacher, married, no children.

Jill and her husband enjoy travelling so much they often plan a weekend away. Whether to ski or to relax on a beach, Jill worries their trips will be ruined if they don’t know enough about their destination. It happened a few times already.

She is used to spending time researching a destination, but it feels like only local people are prepared for certain types of weather and events. As her job keeps her increasingly busy, Jill would love to find a smart way to stay in the know.

Goal

Jill’s goal is to acclimatize rapidly to her destination and be prepared for any changes so that she can enjoy every minute of her trip.

Behaviour

Jill is tech-savvy. She always makes time to read books and travel. Fascinated by other cultures, she loves to learn as much as possible about them. That’s why Jill treasures her trips and the local people she meets. She keeps in touch with a few of them.

Note: Jill represents the five people I interviewed. In a real-life project, personae should be based on a broader group, to thoroughly understand their pain points and needs.

The following is a quick analysis to find out which areas provide design opportunities, taking into account existing solutions and competitors.

Analysis

Desired outcomes

If there were a solution that can help her, the following table lists the outcomes Jill would like to have.

Outcome
Know what to wear
Be prepared for changes to weather
Ability to ask locals
Ability to ask other travellers
Know how it feels (based on humidity, wind)
Information is easy to find
Solution is easy to set up
Solution is easy to use
Solution has strong privacy options

Importance

The importance of each outcome, rated on a scale of 1-10.

OutcomeImportance
Know what to wear10
Be prepared for changes to weather10
Ability to ask locals10
Ability to ask other travellers10
Know how it feels (based on humidity, wind)9
Information is easy to find8
Solution has strong privacy options8
Solution is easy to set up8
Solution is easy to use8

Current satisfaction

The current satisfaction with an existing service or app, rated on a scale of 1-10.

Jill is currently using weather apps, Tripadvisor and Yelp to get the information she needs for her travels. Each solution has its advantages, but it’d be even better to have one place where to find all the information she needs.

OutcomeImportanceCurrent satisfaction
Know what to wear102
Be prepared for changes to weather103
Ability to ask locals103
Ability to ask other travellers103
Know how it feels (based on humidity, wind)94
Information is easy to find85
Solution has strong privacy options84
Solution is easy to set up88
Solution is easy to use88

Note: The importance score and current satisfaction scores are fine for quick brainstorming purposes. User data or evidence gathered from the field are better tools to avoid assumptions in the design process.

Design opportunity

Importance – Current satisfaction = Design Opportunity

In bold are the outcomes the design solution should strive to achieve. Because they have a higher score, they have the potential to outperform current solutions.

The outcomes that are highly important but are already satisfied are baseline outcomes that users would expect to find in the solution.

OutcomeDesign Opportunity
Know what to wear8
Be prepared for changes to weather8
Ability to ask locals7
Ability to ask other travellers7
Know how it feels (based on humidity, wind)5
Information is easy to find4
Solution has strong privacy options4
Solution is easy to set up0
Solution is easy to use0

Design solutions: brainstorm

  • ⛅️ Give users information about weather and general conditions based on their destination and travel dates.
  • ℹ️ Users can see FAQs about a destination.
  • ❓ Users can ask questions in the forums. Both locals and travellers can share their experience and advice.
  • 🔔 Users can set up alerts to know about weather changes and local authorities notifications.
  • 📆 Users can set travel dates, where they’re staying, and their intended activities. They can choose what to make visible to others (friends, travel companions, and other users within the app).

How do we measure success?

Success metrics:

  • App user engagement: installs, sign-ups, active usage, uninstalls.
  • Number of alerts set up.
  • App reviews.

Storyboard

On paper, I quickly sketched the storyboard of a use case. Then I went back and made it better for presentation.

On the web version of the app, which Jill visits before her trip to Chamonix, she checks the weather and all the information and advice available.

After arriving at her destination, she sets up the alerts. On a day when she wanted to ski, the weather is forecast to change dramatically for the worst.

Jill can change plans in time and make the most of her day.

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User flow

Let’s explore what are the steps Jill will take to set up the alerts.

First, she decides to allow notifications. Then, she selects the destination, the date range of her stay, and what type of alerts she wants.

Any important weather changes or communication from the local authorities will trigger notifications on her phone.

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Sketches

On paper, I quickly sketched the basic screens involved in setting the alerts. For presentation, I cleaned up the sketches to highlight the elements’ hierarchy and overall interaction.

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Wireframes

During this phase, the interaction became clearer and the screens more detailed.

I used the wireframes to test the solution, and iterated based on the feedback received.

For the people I interviewed, the main reason to install the app is to have weather alerts. Most of them (4 out of 5) found valuable to have the local authorities’ as well.

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Visual design

The latest iteration of the solution is represented by the visual design.

With the intent of guiding the users through an intuitive procedure to set up the alerts, I:

  • added more navigational elements (breadcrumbs) to help users know where they are and how long is the process;
  • used typography and colour to highlight hierarchy and functionality;
  • took care of the details and consistency of the interface.
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Prototype

↗️ Interactive prototype on Figma

Conclusions

Starting from the straightforward process of setting up alerts, this app has potential. It can have discussion forums and be a place where to share travel experiences, make new friends and even meet them to explore new places together.

To be able to outperform similar services, this app would need to steer clear from scandals about fake reviews. Trust would be crucial in its development and growth.

Users around the world are becoming more aware about privacy, how their data is used and how ethical companies are. It’s paramount that this app is transparent and safe.

Users should have the ability to control their data and what information about their travel is visible to whom. If not interested in the social aspect, they should be able to use the alert system without creating an account.

The initial intention of this project was to exercise for interviews. As I went through the process though, I noticed my interest intensified, so I decided to use it as a case study for my portfolio.

Following a process proposed by Yachin’s UX Challenge, I found the framework to pinpoint design opportunities very useful and credible. When designing new products in the real world, companies need to know the money and time they’re investing will result in revenues.

Further information

🔗 View the UniCredit landing pages and forms case study.

Contact

✒️ Get in touch for comments, feedback or if you wish to work with me.

About

About Silvia Maggi - UX Designer
Silvia Maggi, UX Designer

I strive to create meaningful, user-centric experiences. A member of the Interaction Design Foundation, I’ve lived and worked in the UK, where I co-founded the web agency UI Farm and worked in many fields, including the energy sector.

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