RESEARCH ON TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
The project explored opportunities to create a culture shift on current travel experience. Take design as a lead on encouraging people to be travelers instead of tourists, and then facilitate more cultural communication with environments and locals.
THE DIRECTION OF PROJECT EXECUTION
Travel is the human behavior, there are diverse travel styles among individuals. The activities of traveling is not being constrained in any particular, closed process or system, people can easily personalize their travel journey. Therefore, the execution of this project would start from looking into individuals sector and then extend to system/ ecology sector.
In this project, the research is divided into two phases. In first phase of research, aims to understand the context of travel, the meaning of engaging in travel and the spectrum of tourism industry. After a holistic comprehension of the subject, researchers are mainly doing experimental explorations based on the insights collected from the first stage. The aim was to insight the subject beyond existing experience. Through doing experimental activities, the researcher can discover more unexpected findings, and engage in innovative thinking. Furthermore, benchmarking also played a critical role in this project, which provided valuable information about business model, creativity, and value proposition of current travel services.
There are four categories of research insights:
I. Characteristics of Travel experience
II. Travel experience and memory
III. Interactions of travel
INSIGHT I. Characteristics of Travel experience
Non-directivity of travel journey
User experience of traveling is out of spatial and temporal control, the activities travelers engage in, the situations in which they find themselves, when they occur all these questions are uncertain, for instance, we probably would change our destinations because we just met a new friends during the trip.
ROLE OF DIGITAL DEVICES IN TRAVEL EXPERIENCE is INTERVENTION
Travel experience is based on the physical interaction with a foreign environment. When people use their mobile devices, there is a pause in their travel experience since these devices separate them from physical engagement with their environment.
INSIGHT II. Travel experience and memory
DEFINITION OF IN-DEPTH TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
The depth of travel experience is quite difficult to measure objectively, but it is closely related to how travelers communicate with local culture. There are four levels: Knowing, Seeing, Understanding, and Comprehending.
- Knowing: Simply having some superficial impression of the culture
- Seeing: Just experiencing the culture by looking.
- Understanding: Understanding the features of the culture
- Comprehending: Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the cultural context, even becoming immersed in it.
People have different reactions when encountering cultural difference, depending on their different personalities. This difference can make people reflect on their own identity, life, or even philosophy. Through self-reflection, we can deepen our travel experience and make it more impressive and meaningful- the core value of in-depth travel experience.
THE FEELING FROM SENSES
The unfamiliar environment activates our sensations
From the unforgettable travel stories interviewees shared, they spent more time on describing their feeling, such as the feeling of fresh wind blowing on their faces, the music they heard on the street, and the warm of sunshine, etc. This indicate, there is a strong connection between our memory and the sensations from our hearing, touching and smelling.
something unexpected makes travel journey to be unforgettable
There is a gap between travel information and real engagement, However, because of this gap, there is always some unexpected happening during our travels and these kinds of incidents, and moments are usually the things people remember after their trip.
INSIGHT III. Interactions of travel
Local businesses help travelers explore local places
Locals usually give travelers some travel advice based on their living experience. Some people choose to write down their advice on paper, and give it to travelers to help them explore the real features of their city. Travelers not only receive a unique travel guide but also are appreciate their notes and the kindness of strangers.
Local businesses help travelers explore local places
Local businesses usually are a miniature of local culture. Travelers would visit some shops with local cultural characteristics, and some of them would ask the shop keepers to recommend places worth visiting. The people who own local business always have some knowledge and ideas /opinions of their local culture.This knowledge can help travelers more fully appreciate the local lifestyle and visit the places with local colour.
sounds link to atmosphere, recording links to our attention of conscious
1. From the sensual aspect, we can tell that sounds contribute to the atmosphere. The sounds from travelers' journey records remind them how the places felt like at a particular moment. Furthermore, the feeling is picked up by recorders, can also make other listeners image the atmosphere of the places their friends/others have been.
2. In the course of recording sounds, people need to keep silent to allow microphones to collect the pure sounds from the environment. When people stay silent and calm they tend to focus on their sense of hearing, which helps them to immerse themselves into the atmosphere of their environment.
TAKING PICTURES BY FILM CAMERA: slow down, immerse, and then take that moment
Taking pictures by a traditional film camera takes time. It entails spending a longer time on looking and focusing through the camera viewfinder and waiting for a good moment. The view from the camera viewfinder is a smaller scale of the scene, which helps people stay focused on what they are looking at without interference.
There are 36 photographic films in each roll, which is a limited number. People cannot take as many photos as they can, the camera enable people to cherish more on each good moment. Compared to a digital camera, film camera this makes people take time - waiting for the best moment to record a treasurable image.
INSIGHT IV. OTHER INSIGHT
SHARING MODEL BETWEEN AIRBNB & COUCHSURFING
VISUALISATION OF RESEARCH OUTCOME
TRAVeller journey map
There are five quotes presented, representing different motivation for traveling, once people are motivated they need to take five steps : 1. Search and decide the place to visit 2. Book the flight ticket and accommodation 3. Plan the details of their trip, such as which attractions are on offer on different tours. 4. Packages available
All activities are location-oriented, people always travel from one place to another place. There are three categories of places: attractions, accommodations and restaurant/ dining places. In each place, one can communicate with different kinds of local people. There are four things we would do continually In the course of travel: Express. Navigate. Record. Show off
We would recall travel memories someday in some occasions. There are two categories of recalling: physical sharing and on-line reviewing.
Physical sharing: when family party, or during the dinner with friends.
On-line reviewing:The visible touch points are the records we collected during the travel journey, such as photos, videos or souvenirs.
Aim of workshop
- Rationalisation: Refine and iterate the insights I collected from field research
- Ideation: Ideate with end users and gain insights from their thinking
- Objectification: Make design process to be objective before formal ideation session.
Agenda of workshop
THE GAINS FROM THE WORKSHOPS
- Sound can be a strong tool to innovate the process of current travel planning, it can transform our cognition toward the places we know.
- Travel experience cannot be designed, but can be facilitated.
- The incentives of traveling alone cannot be easily activated. Instead of changing current user behaviours or experience, being a solo-travelers depends on the level of motivation or cultural background so changes in behaviour is very difficult to achieve.
- Service cannot be used as a strong control to restrict travelers’ journeys because it would extinguish the fun of traveling. The service should allow space for travelers to freely develop their own particular journey.
- In the short term, the design intervention should start from travelers' travel stage instead of the planning stage. Promoting the travel experience of one group of travelers can be the incentive for trying another travel style for another groups of travelers.