A connected UX travel experience.
Timeline: November – December 2020
This project explores the creation of an original connected UX experience that includes an Alexa-enabled device. The focus of the project was to design a connected environment that enables a user to hand off a singular digital experience between multiple devices. My focus was on designing a travel experience that engages with the users before, during, and after their trip. This experience will help improve a trip before it even begins. For instance, this experience can even help find and book flights and hotels.. Alexa can help users decide where they want to travel based on their personal preferences, learn basic words, learn about historic facts, cultural differences, recommended places to visit, guided VR tours from home, and access to AR maps and accurate information of their destination.
Amazon.com today announced that Alexa, Amazon’s Voice Personal Assistant, will now have the ability to help travelers organize and preview trips to anywhere in the world. Through the introduction of a multimodal skill, users can now access culturally aware information and guidance before their trip. This experience will help improve a trip before it even begins. For instance, this experience can even help find and book flights and hotels. This new feature enhances the experience of traveling through the use of accurate and relevant information before the trip even begins. Alexa can help users decide where they want to travel based on their personal preferences, learn basic words, learn about historic facts, cultural differences, recommended places to visit, and guided AR tours from home. In this way, the travel experience will begin even before users leave their home.
|Component||Experience goal||Tech specs/requirements|
|Smart earbuds with Alexa enabled||The smart earbuds will help users understand and navigate an unfamiliar language for them. It’ll be a way to enable users the ability to communicate with residents of their location the user is visiting and learn important facts about the country.||Technologies such as ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition), MT (Machine Translation), and TTS (Text-To-Speech). Databases from open-source language recognition technology. Bluetooth connection.|
|Amazon Echo||Amazon Echo helps the user decide where they want to go and plan ahead for their trip.||Bluetooth connection and speakers.|
|Mobile app/Augmented Reality experience||Enhance physical experience by providing routes, art, and schedules on phone.||Smartphone with magnetometer, rear-facing camera, GPS, gyroscope, and accelerometer. 3G, 4G, or LTE connectivity. Push notifications|
|Smartwatch||Helps users navigate streets and alerts users about places that might be interesting to visit based on the user’s profile.||Push notifications, GPS, Bluetooth, gyroscope.|
When I first showed it to a possible user, their first interaction they seemed confused because the experience as a whole encompasses a lot of parts. I wanted to see if the users will be able to understand the idea of the connected experience. From the feedback I gathered, I found that users were a little confused on how to use all of the tools. Some of them mentioned that they most likely would not use all of the features and would only use the app to plan their trip. When I asked them why, they responded that they would not trust a Personal Voice Assistant to book flights or find hotels. There was also a comment pointing out that the app might become a distraction from the actual traveling experience.
When I asked for feedback in relation to the design of the app, I gathered mostly positive feedback and some users mentioned that they would like to see how the features would work on their own.
The most challenging about this project was coming up with the actual idea. It took me a while to figure out something that I would like to develop and that was actually useful. I disregarded many ideas because they would not have made any sense. After exploring different concepts, I personally found myself enjoying the idea of Stripe Travel and seeing how I could approach the product experience.
The part that I enjoyed the most was creating the storyboards and figuring out how everything would work out. It took me a while to figure out how the experiences would work together in a way that made sense. It was the part where I used my creativity to come up with a solution that I enjoyed the most. Designing the Augmented Reality was pleasant too as I was able to think of experiences employing cameras and sensors.
I faced some challenges creating a storyline for my prototype. I referred back to the flowchart created earlier and it helped me to come up with storyboards. I also proceeded to make a list of how the shots that I would be recreating including voice over and more. Then, I refined the idea and started creating the demo. Eventually, I made everything make sense and explained how the service would work.
After this project, I found myself enjoying creating connected experiences. I think that creating connected experiences is more dynamic and enjoyable. The thought behind designing a connected experience is more fulfilling as you are challenged to take into consideration multiple limitations.
I think I spent the most time ideating and researching possible ideas to create. This research phase took the longest as I was overthinking my idea and at some point, I got stuck. Eventually, I just decided to move onto the next design phase and then refine any details. I think this is one of weakness as I think sometimes it’s necessary to be a doer and then refine the process with time and along the process. One of my strengths is the ability to learn the tools necessary to fulfill my vision. I had to learn and figure out how to visualize my ideas correctly.