the problem

How might we provide a local, authentic experience to hotel guests? 

This was an intensive research project for a hotel client who was launching a new hotel, Tiles Madeira. The end result being a working prototype for a recommendation system to matchmake hotel staff members' local, authentic recommendations to hotel guests. 

 

My role: Prototyping Lead, UX Design

Tools: Framer, Sketch

Team: Catherine Chiodo, Mike Henderson, Miki Nobumori, Sara Stalla,

 

Research methods

 
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Opportunity areas

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Feeling like a local

travelers want to feel a sense of authenticity, autonomy and a sense of belonging when they are in a foreign place

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Connect to locals and other guests

travelers are interested in connecting to others, but don't seek these experiences on their own. Unexpected encounters also bring about delight and are often the very memorable parts of the experience. 

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Personalized experiences

travelers seek out experiences that best suit their interests

 

Codesign workshop

Our team conducted two participatory design workshops to co-create our design idea. The first workshop was held using Stanford D.School's method as well as Malmo Institute of Design. We gathered incredible insights from travelers within our research community at M-ITI.

The researchers and staff members were all frequent travelers giving talks at conferences, presenting papers and visiting friends and family all over Europe. They all mentioned wanting unique, authentic experiences when they traveled and also wanted to feel a sense of security by having concierge staff members giving them recommendations. These insights validated our opportunity areas. 

 

Our second participatory design workshop was held at the hotel we were designing for with the actual staff members. They were incredibly excited to partake in the activities we had planned, were very engaged, and loved the idea of being able to create internal staff profiles to provide recommendations. Through this process, our intuition told us we were on the right track with our concept.  

 
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Interaction Flow

I created the system architecture prototype to enable our prototype concept to fit snuggly into a hotel PMS and website system to allow both guests of the hotel and staff to view and update content. This would enable scalability of the prototype to be implemented in any independent hotel. 

 

High fidelity prototype

We user tested our concept through a set of wireframes and finally, I coded the high fidelity version of our prototype through Framer. Here's the final version: 

 

Takeaways

This project was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. I was fortunate to experience living off the coast of Portugal on the island of Madeira and have our prototype shipped to development.

I worked with inspirational and incredible designers. Our team was able to travel to Lisbon, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Venice to name a few cities, to do extensive research on hotel service innovation.

And lastly, our months of research were validated by Airbnb launching Experiences two weeks before we had to pitch our final concept and prototype to our client. 

I am so incredibly proud of this project and I'm happy to say it is being further designed and developed by Edigma and BGuest in 2018. 

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Product Walkthrough

 
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Staff profiles

Staff members can easily create custom recommendations and profiles through the backend system

 

For You

Once the guest has set their individual preferences, a curated list of recommendations will populate on the For You screen. 

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Map

Guests can discover staff recommendations through a map view. Pop up cards were also chosen as the micro-interaction for this screen to give guests just enough information without overwhelming them. 

 

Itinerary

Guests can email their personalized itinerary to themselves to take when exploring the island

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