A collaborative trip planner

Planning a trip with others can be challenging. It doesn’t take long to find that everyone has different priorities and preferences, which can be tough to coordinate in trip planning. Driven by the same interest in tackling this problem, my capstone team and I worked together and designed Copilot, a web based tool that facilitates collaboration in group trip planning. This project was sponsored by Utrip.

Duration Jan.2017 - Mar.2017 (10 weeks)
Role Interaction/Visual Designer
Tasks Interviews, Ideation, User flow, Interaction Design, Visual Design
Team Wilson Carletti / Ying Zheng / Brad Arnesen / Danning Zhang
Result Interactive Prototype


How can we improve the trip planning experience for people who travel together?


We followed the User Centered Design process to investigate how people plan trips collaboratively and designed multiple solutions. We then tested those ideas via usability tests and developed a high-fidelity interactive prototype.

User Research & Insights



This workflow illustrates how users usually plan a trip with a group of people.
First, planners get inspired by activities they want to do and places they’d like to visit. Second, they research and think about who to travel with. Third, they discuss among their travel group to finalize their plans. Furthermore, the travel life cycle is often iterative. We decided to focus on the Ask Opinions, Plan and Agreement stages of the workflow

Design and Iteration




Interaction Design

Wireframes and Iterations

In this first attempt, I designed the home page which is split into three sections as Trip Information, Activity Board and Itinerary Board. Based on this structure I designed several basic features like resizing, viewing the history of plan editing, suggesting activities from user's social network, etc. To validate whether this was the right direction, I did a Cognitive Walkthrough with my team and sponsor. We found that the layout was intuitive and easy to understand. However, so far the features did not show many collaboraion capabilities. Below is a highlight of some wireframes.

What worked:
General layout, Itinerary editing, Show/Hide Trip Info
What didn’t work:
Suggesting activities from social network, Map view, Viewing editing history

Focusing on collaboration, I refined the activity cards and added a 'like' feature for users to express their interest in a specific activity. Besides, I modified the View Editing History feature that is more prominent than the previous version to help users track how they come to a certain decision. To meet the users where they are, the product also allows sharing activities to other social platforms. Some other features like starting a poll for one activity, sharing a poll, etc. were also designed in this round. To validate the design decisions, we conducted a usability study with 6 users, using paper prototype.

What worked:
Activity card, Share an activity, System suggested activities,Viewing editing history.
What didn’t work:
Start a new poll, Send a poll to Facebook Messenger

Based on the previous usability test, a more explicit way of exchanging opinions was required. So I replaced the 'like' feature on the activity card with simple interest poll which has three levels. To encourage travelers to collaborate, I designed a comment feature on the itinerary, where a user can post their comment and drag it to any place of the itinerary. During this iteration, we decided to reach out the users on their preferred platform by sharing the activity through different channels on one click. Details are shown below on the wireframes. We tested these paper prototype on three users and got many positive feedback!

Features Improved:
Express level of interest, Comment on an itinerary, Share an activity, System suggested activities, View the itinerary.

Interactive Prototype

How copilot works?