Case Study: Design a site for people to find and purchase flights on a web browser.

The User

Imagine you're tallying up your vacation time and decide it's time to take a trip. First step, figure out how you are going to get there. I started by identifying my target audience and their goals.

"My user is a young professional who wants to book a flight" 


By interviewing people and observing their flight booking habits, I gained insight into who this site was for and what it needed to do. After three interviews, I consolidated my findings into a user research report. 

User Research Report

Revised goal statement: "My user is a young professional who wants to book a cheap flight for them and their partner


By taking pen to paper, I was able to allow the first drafts of my flight finding site to take shape. These low fidelity wireframes gave me a starting point before going digital. 

Site Map

Digitizing Wireframes

Digitizing my wireframes using Adobe Illustrator allowed me to begin thinking about my user's mental model. In this step I am starting to explore how users form ideas about my site by interacting with design. At this point, I started fleshing out content and navigational elements as well. This was informed by a basic sitemap I created to further understand user flow. 

Clickable Prototype

To better understand if this design fit my users needs, I used Axure to develop a high-fidelity prototype. This prototype was clickable and responsive, much like an actual website. 

Each of the blue numbered flags indicates that there is a note attached. These notes communicated to other designers and future developers what my thought process was. 

Next step, usability testing. To evaluate my clickable prototype, I asked three individuals to use the "site" and allow me to observe the session and take notes. For sake of consistency and reproducibility, I wrote a script, based on one used by Steve Krug. 

Usability Test Script

Usability Testing

During my usability testing I gave users scenarios and asked them to complete a task. I began each session by asking the user to imagine that they were booking flights for them and their partner from Minneapolis to Portland. I then asked them to show me how they would go about doing that. I was intentional about avoiding leading questions and staying focused on observing the user. After compiling my notes, I wrote a usability report with my findings. 

Usability Report

As seen in my suggestions, there is work to be done. This is good news! I will continue this process of user research, wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing until I have gotten closer to my goal- a site that helps my user, a young professional, book cheap flights for them and their partner.