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Organizing a trip with others takes time and effort. Most people avoid it because it requires such a significant commitment and amount of work. Because the travel industry is chaotic and there is a glut of data, it is difficult for planners to sort through the noise and create an itinerary. The difficulty of working with multiple parties frequently dampens the planner's enthusiasm. Trip packages do not help because of their high commissions and rigidity.
TripEase helps travellers by providing customizable itineraries in a single click and assisting with easy coordination with other trip members. With people's fast-paced lives in cities, TripEase eliminates the hassle of long chats, indecision, searching multiple websites, and many more to provide a seamless experience from start to finish.
2. User Research
We conducted an extensive user research survey across all age groups to uncover the difficulties that people face when planning an event or travel. The survey was created to better understand the user type, user characteristics, and user challenges. Here are some statistics and figures.
Students and professionals between the ages of 14 and 35 (25 average age) who live in cities were identified as the primary user type. The majority of respondents (52%), were enthusiastic or spontaneous planners.
Friends, family, partners, and co-workers were identified as the most popular company for an event or travel. Vacations, spontaneous plans (weekend plans, movies, dinners), festival celebrations, and parties were the top choices when we looked at the types of events people liked to plan.
The survey helped uncover and validate a lot of challenges faced during the course of planning. The following challenges were identified from the survey:
Difficulty in collaboration and coordination with onboarders
Use of multiple apps for planning
Taxing itinerary creation process
Time complexity during planning
Inefficient expense tracking and settlement
We discovered through this survey that users use multiple apps to plan a stay, book tickets, settle costs, and even collaborate, which is difficult to manage and complicates decision making. We concluded that coordination prior to, during, and after travel, as well as the ease of collaboration and management, remain unsolved issues that require more attention.
3. User Persona
We defined our target user persona based on the above user research findings and analysis. This user persona is defined to understand the target user's pain points, needs, and motivations as mentioned below.
3.1 User Pain Points
● Use of multiple apps to plan and find events
● Collaboration & tracking with other members
● Planning and sharing an itinerary and budget, cost settlement
● Lack of awareness on best plan providers and platforms, inability to compare
● Inefficiency to plan and find best activities on reaching location
3.2 User Needs
● Customizable pre-planned itinerary with cost options
● One stop app that takes care of all planning needs
● Finding events/ activities within an area, recommendations onsite
● Ability to plan and host an event for specific interest group/ community
● Collaborate on groups, share budget and itinerary, settle costs
● Personalized media feed, ability to post experiences and ask questions
3.3 User Motivations
● Planning and organizing an event.
● Meet new people, network
● Find events happening around
● Pre-plan travel and workation
4. Final Problem statement
“People find it difficult to plan events & travel activities due to inefficient ways of coordination across different planning phases. There is a need for a tool that help coordinate with other trip members, avoiding the hassle of visiting multiple websites, long chats and messy settlements”
5. MVP Features
5.1 My Clan - create a group
● Ability to add sectional subgroups (announcements, finance, itinerary etc.)
● Assigning sub-group responsibility
● Ability to share private group IDs to other fellow travellers.
● Ability to create forms and host polls
● Response tracking and sharing
● Sharing In-app plans and itineraries
● Ability to mark an SOS (alert sent to other members) in case of on-trip emergency
When Ishita (selected persona) wants to plan a trip with her friends, she can simply create a group using TripEase's My Clan feature. Once the group is created, a unique code is generated that Ishita can share with her friends in order for them to join. Ishita can now easily collaborate and coordinate with her friends using forms, polls, and subgroups such as finance, itinerary, and so on. She can easily track the responses and use that information to create an easy itinerary that she can share with the group. Ishita is also feeling more secure about the trip, despite the fact that it is a large group, thanks to the SOS alert on the app in case of any on-trip emergency, particularly during treks and other adventurous activities.
5.2 Easy Itinerary
● Select number of days
● Enter start and end date & time
● Select a day
● Define agenda for that day
● Define activity, approx. time duration and associated variable costs (approx.)
● Select presets to add fixed costs (ex. accommodation, travel, food etc.)
● Ability to share this with group
Ishita and her friends can now fill in these parameters and generate the easy itinerary in one step once they have decided on the location and dates for their trip based on the polls and forms. Ishita, who was undecided and did not want to put in hours of manual effort searching multiple websites for an itinerary, now has a flexible itinerary created by TripEase in seconds, which she can share with the group.
5.3 My Dashboard
● Ability to see budget (finalized on group)
● See important pinned links (cafes, Wi-Fi details, addresses, pit stops, locations, hotel etc.) to click and locate/ access easily
● Tell user what are we up to today - what’s the plan
● Add self notes and checklists
This is where Ishita and her friends can see detailed information about their upcoming trip in one place. This dashboard view can be accessed during the journey for easy reference and keeping track of everything. The dashboard also displays the plan for that day, which is a snippet from the itinerary, making it simple for Ishita to plan accordingly. All other necessary information, such as cafes, addresses, driver contacts, locations, and WI-FI details, is available on my dashboard, making it easy for Ishita and her friends to enjoy their trip.
6. User Flow
Before delving into the app's user flow, let's try to understand the current user journey and how TripEase addresses those issues.
Even before the itinerary process begins, there is a great deal of stress in the planning phase. A significant amount of energy is wasted in deciding the number of days, the location to visit, the budget, and so on. The problem worsens as the group size grows larger.
This is a detailed user flow in the current scenario, as shown below.
TripEase solves this using the following 3E parameters:
6.1 Efficient Collaboration
TripEase provides users an ability to create, join and monitor groups, eliminating clutter and forming a purposeful community.
6.2 Efficient Planning and Coordination
TripEase's community features include polling, launching forms, and analysing responses to help users understand group biases and make better decisions. The app also addresses major user pain points such as itinerary and budget creation by providing simple itinerary and budget templates.
6.3 Efficient On-trip Experience
TripEase offers its users an on-trip dashboard where they can track important links, spends, and SOS.
7. Success Metrics
Because this is a completely new product, TripEase's primary goal would be customer acquisition.
Awareness would also be important in keeping track of effective channels for marketing the product and making people aware. All of these metrics can be kept up to date by integrating the app with Google Analytics or Mixpanel.
The success metrics to be taken in to consideration are as follows:
Number of accounts created
Number of app downloads
DAU - Daily active users
MAU - Monthly active users
Stickiness - DAU/MAU
CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost
NPS - Net Promoter Score
Aside from these metrics, a north star metric that aligns with the problems that TripEase solves should exist. The metrics should be aligned with this goal, and the north star metric should combine the goal and the primary problem that the product solves.
The North Star Metric for TripEase would be the number of groups formed each month.
This way, we can be certain that users are using TripEase to plan trips and coordinate with other travellers, which is the entire purpose of TripEase. The Metric is also not overly complex and can be used to improve the product in the future.
Meet The Thought Leaders
Kshitij Maheshwari is a growth and user experience-focused product manager. He has worked with some of the most innovative startups and technology companies in the bay area like Tesla, Roofstock and now is working on product lead growth for Invoice2go. Outside of work, you can find him enjoying deep discussions about the future of the Marvel universe and finding great new places to satisfy his sweet tooth.
Meet The Authors (GGI Fellows)
Himanshu Abhyankar is currently working as a Product Designer at Extentia-Merkle, where he advises businesses and Fortune 500 companies on the definition and design of human-centered experiences for their digital products and services. He has worked with some of the most known brands in healthcare tech, fintech and automobile industries. He also works as a UX for social impact consultant (pro-bono), developing UX strategies for social impact organizations. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking Indian delicacies, hosting community meetups and discussing the next dimension of tech.
Divya Patil is currently an MBA student at HEC Paris and an engineering graduate in Computer Science from Rv College of engineering. Divya has around five years of experience in the technology industry as a software developer at SAP Labs. Over the 5 years of experience she worked on the platform services for ERP of mid market businesses. Apart from the development of ERP software, she has also led innovations in the ERP and cloud product release strategy. Over the 5 years of experience she has had exposure to technology, business processes and strategy, now looking to transition towards management consulting post her MBA.
Prakash Singh is currently working with Mahindra and Mahindra as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. Prior to joining GGI, I'd been working with Amazon as an Operations manager intern at their fulfilment centre at Lucknow. The GGI journey groomed me well in terms of how I would like to plan my career for the next 5years in terms of having an idea of different sectors, their growth opportunities, the impact each sector is creating and what it really takes to get through the interview rounds and bag an offer. The masterclasses held helped in getting an overall perspective of an MBA curriculum as they were rich in interaction with people from diverse backgrounds, where you could have a bigger network source and the content was top notch in terms of quality.
Allen Matthew George is a 2020 engineering graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, who currently works at Standard Chartered Global Business Services. With two years of experience, he has helped build end-to-end data pipelines for the bank's operations in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He has also worked on developing chatbot applications for internal users to improve their experience. He loves technology and, on top of that, loves applying them to solve real-world problems. Allen is a passionate Liverpool football supporter, and in his spare time, he likes to play chess and the guitar. Through his involvement with GGI, he intends to improve his capacity for first principles reasoning, problem-solving, and storytelling abilities. The varied GGI cohort is anticipated to offer fresh viewpoints and help him achieve his goal of getting into product management.
Sumantu Mishra is an engineering graduate from NSIT Delhi, batch of 2018.. Sumantu, currently works in his family business, Prabhakar Paper Mills Pvt Ltd, in Bhopal.
A sports lover, Sumantu has represented Madhya Pradesh in badminton and is winner of various tournaments at National and State level. A Limca Book record holder, Sumantu, aspires to start his own business and work for welfare of underprivileged sections.