Travelrs Mobile App Design Concept

Image of Landing Screen for Travlrs Mobile App

Project Overview

In a 5-hour workshop, my team created a design concept and gave a presentation to our mock client, the Lonely Planet. The workshop was the Concept, Design, Create workshop at the Generate NYC conference in April 2017.


Our team of four was composed of:

  • Two visual designers (Liz and Andrew)
  • One project manager (John)
  • One user experience designer (myself, Cynthia)

Client’s Problem

The Lonely Planet has been facing declining revenue, because fewer people have been buying the Lonely Planet books, and one of the core demographic groups, 18-24 years old, hasn’t been buying. The client would like to create a new product that appeals to this user group.

Target Audience

The Lonely Planet’s target audience is young travelers aged 18-34 who are connected online and use a combination of mobile phones and laptops/desktops.

Persona Image for 18-24 Years Old Group for Travlrs Mobile App

18-24 Year Old Travelers

  • Low budget (less than $10 a day)
  • On a long trip (at least 3 months)
  • Mostly traveling with friends
  • Mostly Europeans and Australians, and a few Americans
  • Equal male/female ratio
  • Traveling with a single digital device (e.g. smartphones)

Persona Image for 25-34 Years Old Group for Travlrs Mobile App

25-34 Year Old Travelers

  • Medium budget (higher disposable income)
  • On a small trip (shorter than 1 month)
  • Usually traveling with significant other
  • Mostly Europeans and Americans, few Australians
  • Equal male/female ratio
  • Traveling with multiple digital devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc)


Users’ Pain Points

  • Traveling can be lonely when traveling alone
  • Certain activities can be too expensive when doing them alone
  • No easy way to discover cheap eats or street food
  • Hard to plan an itinerary when traveling with friends
  • Hard to easily consume Lonely Planet content
  • Lonely Planet apps are “boring” and not fun or engaging
  • Lonely Planet content in the books can be outdated
  • Currently no easy way to ask for more money from parents
  • It’s hard to get in touch with the locals from the country
  • Roaming is off, limited internet access!

Analysis of Current Lonely Planet Products

Lonely Planet Mobile App “Guides”

We examined the Lonely Planet’s existing website and existing mobile app “Guides.”

Image of Lonely Planet Guides Mobile App

Strengths of the Lonely Planet’s Guides App

  • Highly rated by users
  • Plenty of useful information by city
  • Valuable resource to find lodging, eateries, and attractions
  • Helpful maps that include public transportation and places of interest

Weaknesses of the Lonely Planet’s Guides App

  • Lacks “live” content, such as events
  • Does not have the ability to share travel plans with friends


Other Mobile Apps

Our team also examined travel apps by other companies to generate additional ideas.

We saw apps that allow users to:

  • View an itinerary
  • See “live” updates and content
  • Share experiences and build a community
Image of Disney Mobile App
Image of Mobile App with Sharing Functionality


Team Brainstorming of App Ideas

After our analysis of the Lonely Planet’s current digital content and considering possible ways to address users’ pain points, our team decided to focus on these 3 areas in our mobile app:

  • Plan an itinerary with a group of friends and allow friends to collaborate on suggesting activities for the shared itinerary
  • Discover events, restaurants, and lodging places nearby
  • Share travel experience to the user’s social network

In brief, the goal of our mobile app is to:

Plan, discover, and share your journey.

Division of Work and Our Steps

To meet our 5 hour time constraint, we all worked simultaneously on different parts of the project in our respective skill set. At times, part or all of our team collaborated, and at other times, we each worked as individuals. Here is an overview of how we split the work:

  • Project Manager / coordinator (John)
    • Analyze current Lonely Planet products
    • Brainstorm mobile app ideas
    • User scenarios
    • Presentation
  • UX (myself, Cynthia)
    • Analyze current Lonely Planet products
    • Brainstorm mobile app ideas
    • User scenarios
    • User flow
    • Paper sketches for low-fidelity designs
    • Presentation
  • Visual Designers (Liz and Andrew)
    • Analyze current Lonely Planet products
    • Brainstorm mobile app ideas
    • Find high-resolution images for design comps
    • Logo design
    • Select typography and color scheme
    • High-fidelity designs
    • Presentation


User Scenarios

We wanted our mobile app to work in tandem with the Lonely Planet’s existing Guides app as well as the Lonely Planet website. We considered how a user who started from the Lonely Planet website may want to use our mobile app as well as how a different user may start directly from the mobile app without an existing Lonely Planet account.

User Flow

Keeping our target audience in mind as well as our goals of the app, we considered the different paths of actions that we want the user to be able to do in the mobile app and created this user flow diagram. This  diagram later helped guide the team in sketching out low-fidelity designs and in polishing our high-fidelity designs.

Image of User Flow for Travlrs Mobile App

After the user logs in, our traveler can either login with their existing Lonely Planet account or choose to Start Now without logging in. The benefit of logging in with their Lonely Planet app is that the itinerary in the app will load any saved activities the user had chosen from planning their trip back in their home country. If the user chooses Start Now, they can answer questions to quickly view customized content.

Paper Sketches for Low-Fidelity Designs

While keeping in mind the different actions the user may perform according to our user flow diagram, we created paper sketches of various interface ideas  These sketches helped us brainstorm and compare interface ideas that led to the digital high-fidelity visual designs.

Image of Paper Sketches for Travlrs Mobile App

High-Fidelity Designs of the Mobile App

Here are the final designs for the mobile app that include the Travlrs logo, selected typography, color scheme, and high-resolution images.

Landing Screen

Image of Landing Screen for Travlrs Mobile App

Customize Your Trip

Image of Customize Your Trip Screen of Travlrs Mobile App


Image of Plan Screen of Travlrs Mobile App


Image of Discover Screen of Travlrs Mobile App


Image of Share Screen of Travlrs Mobile App


To pitch our mobile app idea to our mock client, the Lonely Planet, we created and gave a 10-minute presentation.

View Pitch Presentation


The 5 hours time limit for the entire design concept project was certainly a challenge. However, it encouraged us to work more efficiently. For example, after we brainstormed possible mobile app ideas and decided on our focus, we split up the work among our individual skill sets and were able to deliver a cohesive design and presentation in the allotted time.

If we had more time to work on this design concept, we could incorporate some usability testing with users who meet the client’s target audience to further iterate on and validate our mobile app design.