Challenge 3: Usability Evaluation and Site Redesign

The third Ironhack assignment was to audit existing travel apps (TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, Kayak), to conduct usability testing and interviews of a chosen User Type and after summarize the findings and results of the test to make sense of what to improve in a future iteration of the site and to redesign wireframes that showcase my solutions/proposals to improve the User experience.

User Type

I chose the User type “Family w/ children — 30–50 y/o because they are a very different user type from myself and also because I know a few people in this target that will be available for user testing.

I came up with a persona for this type of family in order to help segment their needs, interests, and priorities while travelling.



The destination chosen Is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to see Christ the Redeemer. The dates will be from the 1st October until the 15th October, so there’s enough time for the families to sightsee but also to relax.

A couple things that the family needs to take in consideration prior to their trip:

  • The closest airport to Christ the Redeemer is Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport
  • They will need to change their currency from Euros to Brazillian Reais
  • No vaccination need or visa needed prior to their visit
  • In October, the average temperature in Rio de Janeiro is around 30 degrees celsius, so the families will need to pack light summer closes and definitely sun protectors.
  • Because we live in pandemic times, it’s advised that they book their attractions online prior to their trip.


After creating a user persona and defining the goals of their trip I’ve conducted an Usability Heuristics evaluation following Nielsen’s Principles. For that I’ve downloaded Kayak, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Hopper on my mobile to identify which one performs better for my selected audience, considering accessibility, value proposition, its features, etc.

Nielsen’s Principles

After my analyses I’ve chosen to pursue the testing with the app Kayak, mainly because it offers lots of tailoring options for its users in the “settings” menu and on the “filters” option, and I know that my target audience prefers to organize their trip themselves instead of getting a package holiday.


I’ve managed to interview 3 families that fit my persona. They each took a 20 minutes usability test and interview. The task that I gave them was to take a look at the Kayak app for 5 seconds and book a flight and accommodation for Rio de Janeiro for the dates 1/10/2020- 15/10/2020. Straight after this task I’ve asked them:

1) What features did they see?

2) Did they get flight recommendations based on their family needs/budget?

3) Did they get accommodation recommendations based on their family needs/budget?

5) If they changed their minds about something, how easy was it to go to the previous step?

6) Did they find it easy to tailor their settings to their specific needs?

7) What did they like the most and the least about the app?


What is this app for? : To book Flights/Accommodation/Car hire (All 3 couples answered positively to this question)

Is it easy to make a decision from the given options? : Yes (2 couples); No (1 couple said there are too many options given)

Whould you use this app to plan your trip? : Yes (2 couples); No (1 couple)

Easy or complicated to use? : Easy (2 couples); Easy but it could show less options and it should be quicker to go back when you change your mind (1 couple)

What do you think about the look of the app? Clean and easy to navigate in most features (all 3 couples)

Any other comments you’d like to add (love/hate)?

Love the explore feature, but it could be suggested when you search for a flight, because it’s not straightforward to find it

Liked when selecting hotels the app shows in the map sightseeing suggestions nearby and that helpes to chose from the gazillion sightseeing suggestions that are on travel blogs

Liked the “share and collaborate” feature, because they can forward their suggestions to each other via email


After doing the user testing with the 3 families it looks like there’s some features on the app that could be placed elsewhere in order to be more useful, like the explore feature and share and collaborate; also, there’s room to minimize the trouble of using the “go back” chevron with a quicker solution presented to the user.

Bellow I’ve shared both the prototype and the static wireframes to show how I’ve applied the proposed solution of adding the “share and collaborate” feature on the Kayak app.

My proposed “share and collaborate” features
Static wireframes

Lisbon-born designer and Human being IG @natcvitorino