Globespinning is a mobile travel app that lets users create and share itineraries from pictures taken with their phones.
The founders of the app decided to work with The UX Department to create a mobile app and an accompanying marketing website. We helped define functionality and user flow within the app, and we designed the necessary visual styles. The goal was to organize the required functionalities in a way that was intuitive and comprehensible.
- Research and concept definition
- Information architecture
- Interaction design
- Visual design
- Front-end development
Context and Challenge
Project background and description
Globespinning, Inc. is a Seattle-based company run by two sisters, Mandy Rossi and Amy Boes, who travel often and were constantly being asked to share the details of their trips with their friends. Seeking to inspire others, they created Globespinning for all types of travelers, from detailed to spontaneous planners.
We worked with the founders for over a year, to build a mobile application for iOS and a marketing website.
Globespinning’s creators wanted to develop an easy to use mobile application, that allowed users to carefully plan out their trips from knowledgeable insights and document them in the process.
From their personal experience, they had the hypotheses that users would feel more comfortable making important decisions regarding a trip if those decisions were based on recommendations from people the users know and respect. They believed the “word-of-mouth” notion would play an important role and would set this product apart from any other available in the market at the time.
Project goals and objectives
Our goal as a UX design studio was to polish their view of the potential of the product, define a clear user flow within the app, organize and discuss the planned functionalities and create a visually appealing interface.
The features to be included were:
Includes user’s personalized globe with places to go (green pins) and places visited (red pins). Users can search or spin the globe to see postcards of a destination. Postcards can be collected to create the itinerary for a future trip.
The founders of Globespinning provided a very detailed set of documentation to illustrate their vision of the product. The documentation included low resolution wireframes and notes.
From these documents we started working on the Information Architecture for the app. This phase went through a series of revisions and corrections in order to improve the user flow and to make the app as simple and clear as possible. We revised the proposed adjustments with the client and agreed on a set navigation that included the intended features.
The app was originally targeted to women and men generally between the ages of 20 and 40 that were frequent travellers keen on improving their travelling experiences by relying on the advice of people they know, and later sharing their personal experience to help other users improve theirs.
At the end of this process we delivered the Information Taxonomy document (Application Map) including all the key pages and functionalities of the app.
Interaction design phase
Once the app map was approved, we started our Interaction Design work. We created detailed and color coded wireframes that displayed the structure and functionality embedded in each screen of the app.
We created around 80 screens, that were changed many times along the process. Through very thorough client meetings, we discussed step by step the different use cases of the app and cleansed the app of any miscellaneous features to leave only the core features necessary for the MVP. Some screens were set aside, others were combined and some were added.
At the end of this process we delivered the wireframes (low resolution mockups) for all the key pages of the app and created a prototype that was revised by the client and adjusted accordingly.
Visual design phase
After several weeks of intense work we moved onto the Visual Design phase of the project. In this phase, the app icon was created, as well as a general style guide that defined the look and feel, color palette, iconography, illustrations, clickable elements, and more.
Once the look and feel was approved, we worked on the design of the entire app. We decided to use color as a powerful tool to set sections apart and make them easily distinguished by the users. We also used color coding for tagging and filtering the postcard system.
We delivered high-resolution mockups for each of the mobile application’s screens and the exported assets, ready for implementation on each screen resolution.
We then worked on the brand, interaction design, visual design and front-end development of a one page marketing website that served as a teaser until the app launched.
“We really enjoyed working with them, it was fun! We appreciate that they didn’t just settle for the original wireframes we provided, but they committed to make the UX of the process better. They improved our vision. Also, they were always quick to reply and very thorough working on every feature of the app.”