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No more anxiety about planning for a trip to Chengdu

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Project Overview

People enjoy vacationing in different places to seek relaxation in life and mind, but when planning a trip, it can be difficult to find things in a very novel place, especially in a place they have never been to. In this project, my team will design an experience start in Chengdu, a city with a rich cultural heritage, where our users do not have to worry about planning ahead of time and can enjoy a more relaxing experience during the vacation.

Process highlights


Team Project (Team of 3)

Bruce Hsiao, Peter Peng, Chloe Chen(me)

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Four weeks. Feb - March 2022.


My responsibilities

Identifying problems, research, UX design,  itinerary design, UI Design, User testing

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Project plan

Two weeks of discovery and analysis, followed by a week of prototype, and a week of usability testing and changes. 

Project Quick Guide

Every UX case study consists of many steps, I organized these steps and integrated them into four categories. Any solution my team and I came up with always tie back to what we discovered about the needs, wants, pain points, and jobs to be done of our target customer/audience/user. (Tips: you can click on any of the steps and it will take you there :)

Case Summary

Discovered user problem

As Chengdu's popularity grows, more and more tourists choose to spend their holidays here. But they don't know how to plan their trip to a place with rich culture and plenty to do.

When planning for a trip, it’s difficult to discover things in a very novel place, especially in a city you have never been to.

Product vision

To identify the pain points of the target user group, design a 3-5 day immersive experience for the users and provide them with local culture and strategies they need to know during the trip. Hence, reducing users' anxiety and annoyance in planning before the trip.


  • A map app called "Tripanda" provides users with essential attraction suggestions, optimal transportation plans, helpful local reviews, and most importantly, a memorable touring experience in Chengdu.

  • A personalized slow-mailing postcard written by the users themselves and printed with all the attractions they visited in their journey. The purpose of the slow-mailing postcard is to satisfy the delay of gratification as a complete experience and help them to recall the good memories of the trip.

The following are some important touch points in the experience we designed:

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APP Features


An onboarding experience to let our users know our service content and Chengdu's laid-back culture.

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APP Features


Each attraction includes special collectibles. It's an achievement mechanism motivates users to visit the essential attractions we selected for them.

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APP Features

Attraction plans

Three days, three themes approach to ensure that users have an in-depth trip in Chengdu.

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APP Features


Also an achievement mechanism motivates users to visit attractions. The achievement system will map out the places that users have been. 

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APP Features

Highlights & Reviews

The latest information they need to know about one attraction, as well as its local reviews.


Postcard Feature

Slow-mailing Postcard

A slow-mailing postcard that records the places our users had been to so they can have a delay of gratification even after the trip.


Take a quick glance at Chengdu culture and our service content


A well-planned three-themed trip! For each trip, you will have the essential attractions suggestions and navigation plans


We provide the latest information you need to know about one attraction, as well as its local reviews


Unlock unique collectibles by visiting various attractions. Each collectible has a specific connection with its corresponded attraction


Craft your personalized map as a memorable souvenir while you travel


Your achievement map can be printed out and mailed it to yourself! This slow-mail postcard will take years to arrive, be ready for the surprise from yourself

Tripanda - Slow-mailling Postcard

The Double Diamond Process

Every UX case study consists of many steps, I organized these steps and integrated them into four categories. Any solution my team and I came up with always tie back to what we discovered about the needs, wants, pain points, and jobs to be done of our target customer/audience/user. (Tips: you can click on any of the steps and it will take you there :)

Image by UX Indonesia


Secondary Research - Who goes to Chengdu? Why Chengdu?

Chengdu is a city known for its slow pace of life. The city has a rich historical background and diversified lifestyle. It’s a rising tourist attraction for locals and foreigners.

  • Chengdu has become one of the driving forces in the global outbound tourism industry. 

  • There was huge social media traction around this city. Chengdu was the second most popular city in China with 4.03 billion likes on Tiktok. 

  • Among the inbound tourists, tourists aged from 25 to 44 took the biggest share of 49.9%.

Competitive Research - What's on the market?

Since the space of travel planning and reviewing is saturated, I conducted a competitive analysis of the three most popular apps within that space to see what was working or what could be improved and how can i reflect that within my own design, and we found....

Tripanda - Competitive Research

Interview & Analysis: Learning about our users

Although we saw from secondary research and competitive research that our potential target audience and potential service they need, we wanted to hear firsthand my target audience’s experiences to cater the final product toward their needs. (Tips: click on each project phase to see more details)

In short, my team recruited 8 participants. They are of different ages and lived in different places. What they have in common is that they all already work. From their talking, we found some like trends. (See the attached image for detailed trends) 

With the aspect of what our interviewees look for when traveling, I found that our interviewees preferred a slow-paced of traveling style with a localized travel plan. 

Tripanda - Interview Insights

How Might We

How might we simplify the pre-trip research while providing enough information to localize the travel experience?

Image by Sigmund

Design Concept: From Findings to Features

Based on the feedback and insights from the research, my team came out with these opportunities to solve their pain points while keeping some constraints in mind. We then developed the user flow and turned the scribbles into the prototype. 

(Tips: click on each project phase to see more details)

Usability Test & Changes

After concept testing which lead to the app platform, I iterated and test 3 more times, each building upon the suggestions of the previous. Here are the three major changes I had after the usability testing. 

No penalty for the missing contents

We designed a three-day, three-theme feature. According to the original design concept, the themed itinerary for the next day can only be unlocked when the users complete the first day's theme itinerary. However, the feedback we received from the usability testing stated that if users' plan changes during the trip, but Tripanda's itinerary cannot be rearranged,  the next itinerary cannot be unlocked. Furthermore, users may not be able to unlock the collectibles with our collectibles feature. The fun of collectibles lies in the rewards after exploration, but if users can't collect all of them, it will make them more frustrated.


This contradicts our initial design approach of "making travel simple and enjoyable." Therefore, we decided to remove the function of unlocking the next day's theme itinerary after completing the previous day's theme itinerary, so that users can explore and arrange their trip more freely.

Tripanda - Change 1 Old

Plans in travel are often changing, and an open-ended exploration mode will be more realistic than a linear route arrangement.



Tripanda - Change 1 New

Encourage their exploration

Our initial design was biased towards a more guided map with directions and traffic suggestions. We received feedback from the usability testing that most users don't like being over-arranged. Providing appropriate itinerary information and letting them explore is what they prefer.

Tripanda - Change 2 Old

The insights we have from the interview and the feedback we received from the usability testing tell us: users don't like being over-arranged. 



Tripanda - Change 2 New

Bigger content, more immersive feeling

Users love the style and color that Tripanda has, but we also received feedback about making the contents bigger for the homepage. 

Tripanda - Change 3 Old



Since our home page(the map) has a really abstract design of the map of Chengdu, labeling the name is also important to tell users where they are.

Tripanda - Change 3 New

Final Thought

I am very grateful to my team for producing so much content in only four weeks. Everyone in the team was actively participating and discussing in each stage, and everyone's ideas and questions made the whole project more polished and reasonable.

Tripanda's initial concept was to provide a simple experience: we would dress up as tour guides and prepare travel suggestions for users ahead of time. As each stage is completed, we ask ourselves, "What makes Tripanda unique if we're just giving our users a walkthrough?" Tripanda should not only provide navigation and price range like Yelp, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor but also be like when users are holding a map and self-exploring in a specific guiding situation (the quality experience we have filtered), gaining a multi-layer of story senses and accomplishment.

That's why we added a feature of a slow-mail postcard at the end. Any souvenir is better than one's own memories, which is also what we explained in the goal at the beginning, so that users can also recall their own experience many years later about the feeling of living in the slow-paced city of Chengdu. As a next step, we wish to develop similar products for different cities around the world as this pandemic comes to an end and tourism returns to our sight.

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