Created with Sketch.

My role: Research, UI/UX design

Collaborators: Frank Hu, Joe Tang

Matching you with the right travelers, local guides, and other resources

[unex_ce_button id="content_vdmtfzey3,column_content_rwoeiymwj" button_text_color="#ffffff" button_font="light" button_font_size="16px" button_width="auto" button_alignment="left" button_text_spacing="2px" button_bg_color="transparent" button_padding="15px 60px 15px 60px" button_border_width="1px" button_border_color="#ffffff" button_border_radius="66px" button_text_hover_color="#ffffff" button_text_spacing_hover="2px" button_bg_hover_color="#86d0d8" button_border_hover_color="#86d0d8" button_link="" button_link_type="url" button_link_target="_blank" has_container="" in_column="1"]Prototype [/ce_button]


For decades, along with globalization in full swing, travel has become popular. The travel industry is increasingly diverse, yet the traditional agency is still prevailing. In order to curtail the operation cost, the traditional agency usually gathers a large group, including people of diverse interests, ages, and professions. Sometimes the tourists cannot get along with each other. Additionally, the fixed schedules and routes are hard to be appreciated by every group member. Therefore, the experience with the traditional agency fails to meet the tourists’ expectation.

Mate Travel aims to eliminate the third party between the customers and tour guides in order to achieve flexible grouping based on customers’ ages, interests, professions and so on.

Disrupting Target Industry: Traditional Travel Agency

Potential Stakeholders: Social Platforms, such as Facebook, Tweeter, Linkedin, etc.


Problem definition

The traditional travel industry is outdated since people can find almost anything and any deals online. It lacks flexibility and requires travelers to follow their travel plans. The online operation is trendy in the travel industry. The following bar graphic shows the reasons of people choosing an agency, booking with online travel agency, and increasing trend of relying on the mobile to search travel information.

     Online Operation

Relying on Mobile Device

The increasing percentage of travelers using mobile to access travel information

     Traveling Modes

Travel modes split into social oriented and independent travel mode.

background research-03background research-03


Interviewees complained about the traditional travel agency for the following reasons:

  • Intense travel plan
  • Not enough time for site visit
  • Bad accommodation
  • Too much time to advertise for some local tourism stores

My provisional persona, Lula Jenkins, is a designer living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She would like to connect with other travelers and local guides through social media, rather than by the traditional travel agency.


Although there is a wide range of travel modes, few helps travelers to plan a personalized travel and becomes a matching program.


  • provide the largest flexibility for personalized travel plan
  • match with the right travelers, local guides
  • search for specific professions, personalities, tourism types



Lula Jenkins would like to travel to the east coast with some companion. Mate Travel app allows her to search for other travelers by filling in the travel time, destination and preferred personal character. Through Mate Travel, she found Anne and started to talk about further travel plan. Also, they can easily find a local guide by searching for "Local Guides". 

[unex_ce_button id="content_fakd8eu9h" button_text_color="#000000" button_font="light" button_font_size="18px" button_width="auto" button_alignment="center" button_text_spacing="3px" button_bg_color="#ffffff" button_padding="15px 60px 15px 60px" button_border_width="1px" button_border_color="#000000" button_border_radius="66px" button_text_hover_color="#ffffff" button_text_spacing_hover="2px" button_bg_hover_color="#000000" button_border_hover_color="#000000" button_link="" button_link_type="url" button_link_target="_blank" has_container="1" in_column=""]Launch Prototype[/ce_button]


  • Incorporating local travel resources and reviews
  • Online recruiting participants to test with the prototype
  • Iterative design based on the user testings