Yellow Decorative Tape


Swivel is a travel app that enables users to effortlessly collaborate on paired and group travel plans.

View Prototype
Swivel Splash and Home Screen

My Role

UX Designer


4 weeks
December - January 2023


Figma & FigJam
Adobe CC
Google Suite


Nicole Tierney*
‍Keauna Lyles

*We partnered for the research portion of this project then developed separate solutions/apps.

The Problem

Travelers find it stressful to plan paired and group travel as it is difficult to ensure other’s expectations for accommodations and activities are being met

The Solution

Swivel is a collaborative travel planning app that allows users to easily add guests to their trip, and then browse, vote on potential accommodations and activities and view their collective matches.

Mid Fidelity Mobile Prototype on iPhones

The Starting Line

Proto Persona

Marion Boulder, Proto Persona

Nicole and I hypothesized that our user would be the "group mom." Marion is planning a trip with 4 friends from college and needs to plan activities and lodging. Her primary pain points are making sure everyone is happy with her selections and splitting/tracking expenses as a group.

Interview Process

"More streamlined communication would be great in a group setting. It can be difficult in terms of making quick decisions so you're not going back and forth a bunch, asking a ton of questions and potentially missing out on something because it took too long for the group to decide."       
- Mary, 29
"Too many people just makes planning and doing the activity too difficult. I would rather be in a small group than alone, but I would rather be alone than try to plan and do things with a large group."
- Sean, 31

Getting to Know the User

Affinity Diagram

After interviewing 6 people, we pulled out key user insights and placed them on sticky notes. We then organized the insights into groups in an affinity diagram. To further familiarize ourselves with our user, we empathy map, charting out Marion's feelings, thoughts and pain points.

User Persona

Updated User Persona

We got to know Marion a bit at this point! I illustrated her using Procreate and Adobe CC, then noted some key markers of her personality. I even created a quote that we imagine this user saying.

We started by conducting 6 user interviews in order to learn how people plan for a vacation. We discovered that there was an opportunity to create a solution for group travel.

We found that the majority of our users found comfort in paired or group travel, but struggled to find one tool that made it simple to manage multiple budgets, diverse interests and shared accommodations.

Determining the Scope

At this point in the process, Nicole and I worked separately to create our own solutions to fit our user's needs.

User Insight

During our user interviews, we discovered that 83% of our participants find meeting the expectations of their fellow travelers to be the most difficult part about paired/group travel planning.

Therefore, I believe that group travelers desire a less stressful way to collaborate with their travel companions and that I might help if I develop an app that facilitates decision-making for travel planning.

How might we simplify the planning collaboration process so that each our of users feel represented in their group’s choices for travel accommodations and activities?

Feature Selection

Updated User PersonaFeature Prioritization Map

I used the I like, I wish, what if ideation model to brainstorm potential solutions to solve my user's needs. Next I grouped these ideas into common themes. From there, I partnered with one of my former interviewees (1/6 of our user persona!) to user dot voting to select which of these groups resonated with them most.

From there, I mapped key features in the winning groups on a feature prioritization matrix to determine which features I would focus on first.

Value Proposition

Swivel is a travel planning app that allows users to browse and vote on potential accommodations and activities with their chosen travel companion(s). 


Feature Prioritization Map

I created a user scenario, which developed into a user journey map. From there, I illustrated a storyboard using Procreate and Adobe CC to show the user, Marion, interacting with Swivel.

Developing Solutions

Competitor Analysis

Direct and Indirect Competitor AnalysisLink to Full Competitor Analysis

User Flow

Direct and Indirect Competitor AnalysisLink to Full User Flow

Sketching to Low Fidelity Prototyping

Paper Sketches to Wireframes

I started with paper sketches to quickly jot my ideas down without getting bogged down by visual details. Then I created low fidelity prototypes in Figma so that I can proceed with testing.

Link to Low Fidelity Prototype

Finetuning the Experience

User Testing

I tested my low fidelity prototype with 6 users and iterated between each test based on user's feedback and interactions with the app.

of users were able to search for accommodations in Denver, CO
of users were able to add a guest to their trip
of users were able to apply filters, view and vote on the results

User Feedback

“This would be great for me and my wife. We have been putting off planning our next trip, this would make it easy.”

“It was all intuitive!”

“Which way do I swipe for yes again?”

“Oh, so Tinder rules? I get that. Makes sense. Swiping gives you a little dopamine hit.”

Although the 1st user completed each task with ease, I sensed they didn’t understand that they are browsing and voting with their trip mates. As I intended this to be the primary feature of the app, I continued to iterate the prototype until users highlighted the app’s features without prompting. I also added a clearer tutorial on which way to swipe for the voting screens.

Iterations to Improve Collaborative Feature

Iterations of the Recap Screen

I made several iterations between the 2nd and 5th version. Updates include moving non-matches to the bottom of the screen, lowering the opacity of non-matches, and putting the match details within an accordion section (with future iterations, the accordion would be collapsible). A success message was also added after the add trip mates screen to provide the user with feedback and understanding of the collaborative nature of the prototype.

I revisited this prototype a little over a year later, it still tested well, but I could tell there was a bit of confusion on the match screen with users. I took a note from my 1st love of ecommerce and added a 'sort by' dropdown and a filter. This better signaled to users that the default sort they are being shown is to list their matches first. I also added a slight tint to the non-matches to put additional emphasis on the matches.

High Fidelity Mobile Prototype

At this point in my UX/UI education, we had only gone through UX Research so I only iterated my prototype to mid-fidelity during the 4 weeks I initially worked on this project. I later revisited this prototype a year later and increased fidelity, adding active/inactive states and finetuned my onboarding screens.

Mid Fi Mobile Prototype

What's Next?

What I would do with more time:

  • Further iterate on filter screens; including making filters checkable and adding filters on the match results that would allow the user to filter to only matches and only options all users have viewed
  • Make the accordion section on the match results screen collapsible so that the default view would not display the details
  • If I had the ability, I would also make the swipe instruction screen reappear for any users that linger on a result for long as a reminder of swipe direction
  • Future iterations would also include building out the booking screens beyond viewing likes; I believe the user would benefit from seeing a breakdown of pricing per person
  • Conduct more user interviews and create a survey to collect more user data

What I learned:

  • This project was the culmination of my first 4 weeks of learning UX research. I learned that I am a huge fan of novelty! Inserting elements of fun into a functional product is a necessity to me.
  • I learned that only part of learning comes from classroom instruction. It has been a while since I've been in a class environment, and I learned that in order to do my best work, I need to supplement my education with "Youtube University" and nightly UX design book reads (Emotional Design by Don Norman is what accompanied these 4 weeks).
Mid Fidelity Mobile Screens