Madeleine gives users the opportunity to travel solely through foodie experiences.
People who like to plan their travels around food experiences don’t have a place to find and book authentic local food options for upcoming trips.
Madeleine recommends food experiences for travelers based on their personal preferences. The app uniquely offers a concierge service to connect with trusted locals for the best recommendations.
I completed seven surveys and received 26 survey responses. Based on qualitative and quantitative data, I discovered that a majority of users value cuisine as an integral part of traveling to new places. I decided to focus on the niche population of foodie travelers as a typical Madeleine user.
“I would never stay in a 5-star hotel … but when it comes to that annoying IG influencer stuff, I would pay more money for a better cup of coffee.”
“I like finding unique and local things to do, so need to know what’s good or not in certain cities.”
“I hate not knowing if I will be falling into a tourist trap. I want to experience the real culture.”
From user responses, I developed an affinity diagram and focused on four main areas: motivations, resources, local meetups and planning. An overwhelming majority of motivations was to immerse into the local and authentic aspects of foreign cities, as opposed to getting stuck in tourist traps. One way that several users get around this pain point is by utilizing hotel concierges as a resource, as well as reading reviews. For users without a concierge option, they would like to meet locals for insight on best local restaurants, but ultimately decide against it for fear of owing them something or feeling awkward. Finally, all interviewees enjoy planning beforehand by booking excursions and making checklist, but also aren’t opposed to last-minute deals or spontaneous adventures.
A typical Madeleine user is someone like Lily Thomas: an avid foodie who loves to travel in order to experience different cultures through cuisine. When she is planning trips, she has a hard time finding the food-centered excursions among the other travel options. Lily also gets nervous when booking because she never knows if her choice is touristy or authentic. She relies on reviews to guide her in the right direction.
After completing my feature prioritization, it was clear that there were some high priority features to include in Madeleine. The ones I chose to focus on include a virtual concierge service with a local, recommendations based on specific user preferences, and knowledge of local hotspots to eat and shop. I also decided to include in-app booking and payment, in order to streamline the planning process for the user.
Feedback & Iterations
After six user tests, the main area of feedback was the onboarding process. None of the users could find the ‘Sign-Up’ button when it was in the corner of the login page. So, in the final prototype, I placed the ‘Sign-Up’ button directly underneath the ‘Login’ button.
The other features of the app that I user tested were the booking, payment and preferences processes. No users showed or expressed difficulty navigating to the booking page, then subsequently successfully booking and paying for a trip. Users also had no difficulty cancelling a booking. Finally, users did not have trouble indicating or changing their preferences in the app.
In future iterations, I would like to spend more time researching how apps incorporate payment options. My final prototype included Apply Pay and credit card options, but after limited research, I understand that there may be more diverse payment forms, like PayPal and Google Pay. I think Madeleine would benefit from more research and integration in this area.
Madeleine would benefit from an emphasis on accessibility. Food and travel do not discriminate based on ability, so having options, such as voice commands and screen readers could help Madeleine to accommodate to a wider audience.