Texas Highways: Mobile App Concept

Collaboration with the Texas Highways (part of Texas Department of Transportation)


Summary:
Texas Highways has done an exceptional job of driving tourism in Texas. Their current target audience are Texans over 40 years old, and they want to reach out to younger audiences by introducing a mobile app, as 94% of the people between age 18 to 49 owns a smartphone (Pew Research Center, Jun2019). The design aims to appeal to younger audiences aesthetically and functionally.

Full Presentation

Team: 2 UX Designers

My Role: Prototyping & User Testing

Duration: Jan 2019 - May 2019

Timeline:

Client Kickoff

We met with Joan Henderson (Director), Mark Mahorsky (Creative Director), Andrea Lin (Publisher, and Emily Stone (Editor) to discuss the objective of this project, which is to create a mobile app concept for Texas Highways Magazine.

Our takeaways were:

  • The magazine‚Äôs purpose is to drive tourism in Texas
  • Interested in promoting scenic route in Texas
  • Main audience are 40+, want to appeal to younger audiences by launching an mobile app
  • They take pride in their articles and photos


The Challenge:

How might we utilize the content of Texas Highways and transform it into an exploratory app?


Personas

We started out with personas and scenarios to identify the app's opportunities and the pain points of each different age groups. In addition, this process also help us identify the competitors of Texas Highways.



Focus

From personas and scenarios, We concluded that the focus should be on the explore and planning phase, as other competitors are dominating in their respective field. Furthermore, since Texas Highways puts emphasis on photographs and articles, that could be the selling point of the app.



Site Map

My partner and I then came up with a site map to turn concepts into functions of the app. We decided that browzing the articles would be the main feature, as not to deviate from Texas Highways' advantage.


Wireframe

Our wireframe focused on using articles and beautiful photos by Texas Highways to attract tourists to various cities in Texas. Users can browze by cities, and the app would recommend articles(food, drink, places to stay), events, and scenic routes to them.

Prototype - Key Features

I turned our wireframe into a working prototype and after 2 rounds of user testing, we modified our high-fidelity prototype based on feedbacks.

A detailed search feature

There are hundreds of articles in Texas Highways' database. By tagging each article and letting users customize their search, it can better match what the user wants.

Browze by destination city

Since this is one of the main features on Texas Highways' website, I incorporated it into the app. After selecting the desire destination, the app will recommend things to do, restaurants, places to stay, and different route options.

Thoughts

What I can do better

Since Texas Highways take pride in their content, that's what I decided to stick to when designing this app. However, there should be more research done on if young audience actually like reading articles when planning their trip.

What I've learned

Collaborating with another designer is not an easy task as we both had different ideas of the design. Communication is always the key when working with others.