Designing For Place: How TripAdvisor Could Increase App Engagement With Appticipation

Feb 26, 2015   

Posted by Ashley Osgood

Lat. 42.351994 Long. -71.047663

In our previous articles, we discussed that precise location data can provide richer insights into your users’ behavior and interest.  Those insights can help you decide the best places to build experiences that reduce friction between the user opening the app and getting value. We call this "appticipation." Having this contextual data on where and when your users are accessing your app and its functionalities can help you to design your app to become vital to the daily life of your users, with the end goal of delivering personalized app experiences to each of them.

The usage analysis we outlined in previous posts can help give you a better understanding of your app usage and functionality: now, we'll take those findings and see how a travel app like TripAdvisor can apply them towards existing app features to better categorize and personify its users with appticipation.

TripAdvisor Has a Smart App DFP_Header

TripAdvisor utilizes location on their app today. Their goal is to help users plan their trips with the aid of past traveler’s reviews. To do this they offer a search feature involving location called the “Near Me Now” screen. This helps users when they are on the move and are in need of a hotel, restaurant or other attractions nearby. “Near Me Now” offers options to search by hotels, restaurants, attractions, flights and vacation rentals nearby with associated reviews for the user to browse through. Once the user has traveled to a destination they can mark the “been” button and rate the destination. If the user is looking to for places to travel nearby it can save destinations with the “save” button to return to at a later time.

TripAdvisor Skyhook Location App

What we are proposing is taking this user experience to another level based on the location of the user. Let’s walk through some examples of how TripAdvisor can better leverage location and context for its users:

Imagining the Future

TripAdvisor isn’t a Skyhook customer, but we can’t help ourselves when it comes to imagining what the next version of the app incorporating appticipation might look like. By conducting our recommended usage analysis of their data, it would be possible to uncover how and when users are accessing which of their app’s functionalities. To make the process more fluid, we recommend using persona-based modes and filters.

With location-based context, the TripAdvisor app can know when a user is home or traveling. Furthermore, because of location history, TripAdvisor can know if the user has traveled to that place before, or if it is a first visit. With this information, the TripAdvisor app can deliver relevant content to the user based on whether they are at home planning a trip, traveling in a new and foreign place, or returning to a previous destination.

For those planning trips, the TripAdvisor app could have a “Planning Mode” to help users easily research and make decisions. And when users are far from home, TripAdvisor could recognize that they are travelling and offer a more prominent “Near Me Now” experience to help them find their way around.

Once the app knows that the users are back home, they could then be prompted to “write a review” on the places they have visited. Prompting the users to write a review upon returning home reminds them to recall  the trip when the memories are still fresh.

Screen #1) Persona-Based Modes

A user may fall into the “Business Traveler” category if their location history shows that they have traveled to the same place many times within a 6 month time window. If a user falls into this “Business Traveler” Category, the app could know certain things about him: like he will need a hotel with conference rooms available. If a user falls under the “Personal Traveler” category it might mean that they are traveling to a far destination that they have never been to before and would be better served information about sightseeing and nearby restaurants to try. Using Personas, TripAdvisor can understand their users better based on their history, and serve the right modes appropriately. In the instance of TripAdvisor, they can categorize their users by the type of travel they do - Business vs. Personal.

Screen #2) Travel Persona Filters

Having the capability to flip between modes (which we demonstrate in the 2nd screen with the tabbed “business versus vacation” modes) would allow users to easily switch from requiring free Wi-Fi and nearby coffee shops for meetings to top restaurants recommended by locals.Taking this mode concept a bit further, users can have the option to filter through what they are searching for to get the easiest path to victory. Knowing the persona could help deliver relevant preferences to that user, and help to deliver taste preferences based on other users of the same persona. That being said - personas can change - a normal business traveler may want to take a vacation.

By having these other prompts, travel apps like TripAdvisor can add context to their app to anticipate the next moves of their users, to simultaneously help to make their lives easier and their app more vital. 

Dynamic UX for your app with context

Topics: Apps, dynamicux, designing for place, appticipation