Our UX designers are always eager to find the best solutions, be it for our clients worldwide, or regarding big issues of a small Hungarian town. This time, it was the digital design challenges of self-transfer travel – and as we’ve been working for high-flying airlines for a decade at Mito Digital, we’re well aware of the peculiarities of booking flows. So two of our talented UX experts on the topic, Viki and Vivi, headed to the Global Travel Jam organized by Kiwi.com in the Czech Republic, then returned home with two awards from the city of Brno.
A world better connected, connections better explained
Kiwi.com’s mission is to open up the world: they hack the system to make affordable travel available for people. They even have a dedicated design team to make the process a seamless experience. Because, sure, travel is great, but it can also be challenging and stressful.
The Czech online travel agency (aka a Virtual Global Supercarrier as they call it), Kiwi.com was founded in 2012, aiming to find the best deal among options. For travelers, unique (and often rather unusual) itineraries are created by combining air and ground transportation from over 750 carriers. They’re serving 160,000+ users a day on 3 platforms, in 25 languages.
Kiwi.com’s two-day hackathon event, Global Travel Jam, was now held for the fifth time (you can read their article on how and why it all started here.) This autumn, UX professionals from around the globe gathered together to tackle some design challenges in the online booking experience of the platform. Out of around 90 applicants only 12 were selected, with a very happy Viki and Vivi among them. As they’ve been working on digital solutions for our clients in the aviation industry (Viki for the Icelandic startup airline PLAY, and Vivi for CEE’s largest low-cost carrier Wizz Air), there was no question whether they’d take on this travel-specific challenge.
A one-of-a-kind homework for designers
The research part of the assignment started off even before getting there – or rather with getting there. To gather real insights, participants received a 200 € budget in Kiwi.com credit to book a trip (either to Brno or to another destination) with one of the so-called travel hacks, and had to document their entire experience.
Our enthusiastic UX talents had quite the experience indeed, collecting pain points properly from searching to booking to arriving. Vivi, for instance, headed for Poznań in Poland, made a transfer in London (forgot about Brexit on the fly), and returned to Budapest – only to travel to Czechia the following day, this time by train.
Hacking those travel hacks
Once in Brno, the very international design teams (along with Kiwi.com mentors) were formed, and based on the participants’ prior diary studies, the very problem statements were developed on the first day.
As the bottom line, UX designer Viki’s team found that when getting to an unfamiliar place they’re to transfer at, travelers are doubtful about what’s next. Forming key “How Might We” questions, the team then looked into how one might share their real / live experiences to help fellow passengers. Some benchmarking, ideation, sketching, wireframing, a hint of magic, and there it is: a platform for traveler insights (be it descriptions, maps, or photos) that can be tagged, filtered, and ranked.
Meanwhile, UX researcher Vivi’s team challenged the insecurities and the lack of understanding regarding travel hacks. To make the process clear-cut and fun, they aimed for playful, interactive, and personalized solutions. A straightforward onboarding app, personal bucket list and travel diary, gamification with airport quests, or integrating Spotify to end up in a city where your best-kept secret favorite band (don’t worry, everyone has one) will perform – just some of the inspirational ideas they presented.
Getting results – and awards
In between eating food goodies and thinking about design goodies, our delegates had the chance not only to collaborate with fellow UX experts from around the world, but also to get into the swing of new design challenges.
Apparently, that went rather well: Viki’s team received the award for “Best Idea”, while Vivi’s team earned the title for “Best Storytelling” at the 5th Global Travel Jam. We can’t wait for the next challenge to solve!
Mito Digital is a business unit of Mito, a unique powerhouse of creative & digital experts with a passion for clever things. We have been working with our clients around the globe for more than ten years, in numerous industries from aviation through lottery and retail to telecommunications. Our goal is to design and deliver human-centered and best-in-class digital solutions that meet and exceed the business goals of our clients as well as the demands of their customers.