Yonderful
Solo Traveler Website

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) –
Recruitment Viewbook

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) –
Recruitment Viewbook

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) – Recruitment Viewbook

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Yonderful came about through personal travel experiences when noticing that I rarely encountered single female travelers, even though I was living abroad and knew many women on their own working outside of their home countries. While traveling by myself I gained important benefits like confidence-building, self-reflection, empowerment, cultural empathy, authentic cultural experiences, and comfortable living within ambiguity.

I want others to experience the same, and this is how “Yonderful” was born.

Defining the Challenge
The purpose of this website was to promote and support women in solo travel, and to make their experiences empowering yet safe. Also to encourage the pursuit of experiences outside of one's familiarity. Yonderfull intends to become a resource for solo women travelers to make travel easier, build friends through a community of like-minded women solo travelers sharing experiences, and to become a resource for women to volunteer for humanitarian contribution. Yonderfull will also act as an opportunity for partnering with outside small businesses and organizations.

This robust project was divided into these procedural phases:
• Defining Objectives
• Research Scope/Research Questions
• Qualitative Research
• User Interviews
• Comparative Research
• Synthesis of Findings
• Personas; Snap-shot + Detailed
• Mental Models
• Information Architecture
• Navigation Design
• Interaction Design


Challenge: The primary purpose of this extensive project was to attract and inform potential students and their parents. The Viewbook showcases the University, the programs, the faculty, student life, costs & housing, and the city of Doha, Qatar in general – and both in English and Arabic.

The secondary purpose of this project was to showcase design potential to affect the world. The brief required that the f inished piece be an extreme example of environmental conscientiousness.

Solution: Of course, this could have stopped and started with recycled paper however, I felt it should showcase more.

The four department sections were designed to be individual pieces that slid into the main section's spine. That way, if the user was not interested in a topic, they could customize their own Viewbook based only on their specif ic interests without having to take the other sections. The booklet sections were printed separately and when they ran out, only those sections needed to be reprinted, instead of the entire book (thus conserving materials).

Challenge: The primary purpose of this extensive project was to attract and inform potential students and their parents. The Viewbook showcases the University, the programs, the faculty, student life, costs & housing, and the city of Doha, Qatar in general – and both in English and Arabic.

The secondary purpose of this project was to showcase design potential to affect the world. The brief required that the f inished piece be an extreme example of environmental conscientiousness.

Solution: Of course, this could have stopped and started with recycled paper however, I felt it should showcase more.

The four department sections were designed to be individual pieces that slid into the main section's spine. That way, if the user was not interested in a topic, they could customize their own Viewbook based only on their specif ic interests without having to take the other sections. The booklet sections were printed separately and when they ran out, only those sections needed to be reprinted, instead of the entire book (thus conserving materials).

Challenge: The primary purpose of this extensive project was to attract and inform potential students and their parents. The Viewbook showcases the University, the programs, the faculty, student life, costs & housing, and the city of Doha, Qatar in general – and both in English and Arabic.

The secondary purpose of this project was to showcase design potential to affect the world. The brief required that the f inished piece be an extreme example of environmental conscientiousness.

Solution: Of course, this could have stopped and started with recycled paper however, I felt it should showcase more.

The four department sections were designed to be individual pieces that slid into the main section's spine. That way, if the user was not interested in a topic, they could customize their own Viewbook based only on their specif ic interests without having to take the other sections. The booklet sections were printed separately and when they ran out, only those sections needed to be reprinted, instead of the entire book (thus conserving materials).

Challenge: The primary purpose of this extensive project was to attract and inform potential students and their parents. The Viewbook showcases the University, the programs, the faculty, student life, costs & housing, and the city of Doha, Qatar in general – and both in English and Arabic.

The secondary purpose of this project was to showcase design potential to affect the world. The brief required that the f inished piece be an extreme example of environmental conscientiousness.

Solution: Of course, this could have stopped and started with recycled paper however, I felt it should showcase more.

The four department sections were designed to be individual pieces that slid into the main section's spine. That way, if the user was not interested in a topic, they could customize their own Viewbook based only on their specif ic interests without having to take the other sections. The booklet sections were printed separately and when they ran out, only those sections needed to be reprinted, instead of the entire book (thus conserving materials).

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Research Scope/Research Questions
To get started I needed to develop research questions to find the scope. I came up with the following:

1. What factors encourage women to travel (and travel solo)?
2. What discourages women from traveling (and traveling solo)?
3. What motivations can overcome fear of solo travel?
4. What are the benefits for women who travel solo versus non-solo?
5. What will encourage women to travel outside of their home countries and outside of standard tourist destinations?
6. Would simplifying and controlling the process of travel before, furing and after a trip diminish feelings of vulnerability in women travelers?

CompetitiveResearch

Competitive analysis chart comparing the most similar travel sites to the Yonderful concept.

Green dots represent features that the website has, red dots represent that it does not have, yellow represents most but not all, blue dots mean partial and NA means not applicable.

I designed a chart for the results of competive analysis between similar sites that divulged areas of similarities, differences, and missing or the non-relevant. I developed a color coding system to show to quickly see these aspects.

Research Scope/Research Questions
To get started I needed to develop research questions to find the scope. I came up with the following:

1. What factors encourage women to travel (and travel solo)?
2. What discourages women from traveling (and traveling solo)?
3. What motivations can overcome fear of solo travel?
4. What are the benefits for women who travel solo versus non-solo?
5. What will encourage women to travel outside of their home countries and outside of standard tourist destinations?
6. Would simplifying and controlling the process of travel before, furing and after a trip diminish feelings of vulnerability in women travelers?

YonderfulFlowChart
Yonderful_PersonaSnapshotWeb


Intitial research strategy leading up to personas.

The results of the research process that resulted in these persona roughs which eventually led to the detailed user persona below.

MainPersona

The main persona created from parts of the three rough persona behaviors (above) to create detailed user behavior.

“Stop saying ‘I wish I could,’
and just go.”

– WENDY Q.
(Solo traveler respondent)

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Card-sorting words plugged into Optimal Workshop, an online card-sorting tool used to determine information architecture for navigation strategy.

Card-Sorting Goals
1) Learn how women prioritize travel topics which will inform final site organization and content hierarchy.

2) Understand motivational connections for women who travel in order to align to site categories for sub-categories.
3) Discover missed or sub-category potentials of categorization through identifying travel expectations.
4) Learn how participants group resources that are activity-based, personal growth-based, and humanitarian contribution-based and see where they overlap.

Card-Sorting Research Questions
1) Which travel activities are most important for women who travel?

2) Does the desire for self-improvement play a part in categorizing travel activities?
3) What are the main desired expectations of women travelers?
4) Which criteria do travelers deem essential for fulfilling high level travel experiences and which of those should be most prominently featured?

Five participants were selected for this card sort. I chose women participants because the final website’s users are women. The results of the card sort was mostly as expected with a few exceptions.

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©2020 Emilie Burnham