Tripigator was India's Official Travel Planning app in 2013. It started out as a travel planning app but extended into booking planned itineraries as well.

My role: User research, Product design (UX + UI + Interaction), Marketing and banner design.

Product brief

When it ever came to going on a trip, most people either book a packaged tour by a travel agency or planned the itinerary by themselves.

Tripigator was founded to focus more on the self-planners while catering to the package tour travelers. Tripigator was ideally an engine that provides an itinerary, based on your preferences. But what it did differently was a few intricate points that were majorly being missed by other players like a shareable itinerary that encourages collaboration and the engine also checked for the travel plan's feasibility.

Instead of having to use
- Google Maps to scout for places to go,
- TripAdvisor to look for the "best things to do in *destination*", 
- to look for the best hotels with 8+ ratings that provides free breakfast

Tripigator was to be your one-stop shop to plan, book and check-out your holiday. 

According to any user planning a trip, there were the most obvious requirements before he/she plans a trip:
  • Destination
  • Duration (From+To)
  • Transportation options
  • Options for stay
  • Activities to be done during the trip

But this list was always more fluid because the strongest of user personas fell into 3 major categories-

  • When a user knows everything about his trip

Jim is always thorough. He wants a platform to create the itinerary and check the cost and feasibility of the trip. He also wants to share a link of the itinerary that he creates. 

  • When he knows only parts of the trip

Anita has a few details in mind for a trip during Christmas. She wants to plan a trip for 5 days to South India, preferably Kerala. She wants a tool where she can explore more about the options she has.  

  • When someone knows almost nothing about the trip

Steve has a couple of days free in his schedule. He wants to check where he can go in the time he has and his options and of course, how much it would cost him. He wants to chill on a beach and wants a very relaxing trip. 

The wizard

We categorized the information we want from the user and made it clear that we are thorough in trying to giving him a well-planned vacation. Using the wizard, we wanted to influence how the user thinks about his vacation plan. So we categorized it in a way that makes it easy for the user to check a few things off of his mind. 

This image below was the first draft of the design that was made for the planner wizard. Later we also added the type of holiday- that ranged from brisk to relaxed, and if the user wanted to see package tour options- we did this using an "I'm feeling lucky" button. We named it "Surprise me!". 

In user-made itineraries, the engine would always be calculating for feasibility. The Holiday Health Checker made sure that the user isn't booking a trip that he cannot fully follow, and also made sure the travel times and activity times don't coincide. 

Planning takes time

It was a time-taking process, but it took lesser time and effort for the user than doing it all by himself using 3-4 platforms at a time. And since the trip was also booked using an agent, it was possible that we delivered much better than any other travel planning website. 
The importance of IA (Information Architecture) is something I realized when I was here and working without a product manager gave me a lot of experience, all at once. But since the discussion always happened with the frontend team and the CTO, it became a good thing to know the requirements and the usage data points firsthand.

Travel as you plan

This is something I'm proud of coming up with when I was all but a novice at product design.

When you're planning for travel, some of us tend to plan things without a discipline. We use tools to track what we've booked and what's yet to be booked. "Progress" was prime.

So why not visually represent the trip as you'd be taking it?
Raj is traveling from Bangalore. 
He's taking a car to Munnar first- He stays for 2 days in Munnar.  
He travels to Thekkady from Munnar. He stays for 2 days here too. 
His trip ends in Bangalore.  

In conclusion

Tripigator was where my product design career started and it was in 2013 when there weren't a lot of design systems practices around. I learned loads about material design and got latched onto it almost instantly, that it took me some time to come out of it at my next job.

Tripigator shut down in 2014, and now after years of improving user experiences, I would do this entirely differently. Since the platform was going to be responsive it was prime that we had a design system with design guidelines and components. After working on projects like Diksha, the importance of a consistent design system always seems like the logical first step.