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Role: Experience Lead (focused on the end-to-end user experience design for web)
Inventory was expanding with no way for users to find and discover relevant merchandise to help them plan their next vacation.
The user research team and I first setup surveys, as well as user interviews to discover how people plan vacations. Through these interviews, we established a set of personas to help guide some of design and product decisions. Additionally, I created a customer journey map as we surveyed and talked to users as a way to capture infromation, identify areas where we could win, and reference it as we planned out feature sets for the longer term roadmap. Through our user research, we determined that people have one or a combination of the following in mind when planning a vacation: a) a date range b) a destination and/or c) a type of vacation (beach, ski, etc.). Since we knew that people wanted to see vacation type, we conducted a card sort exercise to determine appropriate language for interest-based categories. I led brainstorming and sketching sessions with  team members once this information was collected. We then rapidly prototyped these solutions for user testing.
The feedback received in user testing was incorporated into our phase 1 approach and allowed us to understand what our MVP should be. The phase 1 solution solves for initial inventory expansion, while allowing for additional inventory increases feature expansion over time. Users responded very positively to the new way to find what they were looking for while discovering relevant content. 
LivingSocial Escapes Customer Journey Map
LivingSocial Escapes Phase 1 Category Page
LivingSocial Escapes Prototype