My concept was an underwater tour app for sea addicts looking for the next adventure. The app brings together a host of underwater activities and facilitates their booking process from start to finish.
My goal was to create an easy-to-navigate interface for the user to jump right in and schedule a tour instantly, with full confidence in the experience they will receive.
The target audience was very well-defined – underwater enthusiasts. While it’s fun to design for a specific audience, it requires more thought, since they have unique preferences and jargon that requires research.
Lots of information
Before booking a tour there’s lots of information you need to receive. This includes visual information such as a photo of the tour guide, photos from the site, and the activity itself. All information should be clear and readable so the user won’t be overwhelmed.
I wanted users to have an easy booking experience all in app, including checking the guide fit, without having to go to external apps to communicate with the tour guide.
In my user research I conducted interviews with five members of PADI – a recreational diving membership and diver training organization (of which I’m a member too). The interviews ensured that I fully understand the user persona.
One of my research questions was:
״What are your Obstacles when looking for your next offshore adventure?״
Some said it’s irritating to get ready, pack equipment, travel a distance, and then get to the location and be disappointed – whether because the site climate is bad, it’s polluted or it’s overcrowded.
Others said they have difficulty finding people to join them. Underwater adventures should be pursued with another person for safety reasons.
Most interviewees said that their adventurous mood pops up out of nowhere. They want to be able to decide that they are going diving today and without further preparation jump in the water.
Lowri put it well:
״Adventurous people are not the kind of people who open a calendar and plan. Bureaucracy gives us the chills. We just want to dive in and that everything will work out around us.״
Travel apps I use frequently helped me a lot while designing this app. I noticed small but important things, such as the importance of photos, convenient chat, and the ability to filter relevant options. I believe that the best way to learn about a competitor’s app is to just use it.
The solution that I came up with as a result of the research is that the users should get an all-app booking experience.
The sea attracts divers because they are very visual people. Showing them a stunning picture from the desired destination will usually seduce them. They start by searching for a tour, the search experience feels like an unnoticeable scroll on social media – filled with stunning photos of your dive site options, starting with the “hot” and recommended tours first. The moment you select a tour there is a chat where you can interact with the guide and ask anything, and sign formal documents for diving with the click of a button. And that’s it! All that’s left is to jump into the water.
The user interface
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