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Prism Travel Case Study

Uncovering a niche demographic's key motivations

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Problem: The travel industry does not extend itself to inclusion, failing to include or appeal to people of color.

Solution: Prism Travel is a business that organizes group trips for people of color wanting to see the world.

My role: 

  • Create a clear and inviting landing page where users can immediately understand the company mission. 

  • Prototype and iterate on the trip booking and payment flow for further development


  • Our first assumptions of our users’ main pain points were about money and time when traveling.

  • Interviews allowed us to understand our users’ key motivations: fear of traveling alone, fear of discrimination, and the desire to discover a new community for themselves.

Helpful tools: Using the simple tool of a 2x2 matrix to prioritize work was crucial to working within time and budget constraints.


My Process

Image: My design process. Product definition, Research, Analysis, Design, Validation, and Iteration.

Research: Competitive Analysis


Prism Travel filled in a missing piece in the travel industry by creating an all inclusive space for an underrepresented demographic. We were targeting a niche demographic, but one that still had a $48 billion spending opportunity. Prism Travel was going to make it easy for POC of a wide range of income levels and travel experiences to travel internationally. 

Who are our users?

A survey was sent out to 22 potential users that were aged 21-30 (age range set by the owner) and who identified as either a person of color or ally. 

Our questions focused on:

• level of comfort traveling alone

• average amount of money spent on an International trip

• desired length of time for an international trip

• main worry while traveling

• budgeting tendencies

2 personas were created based on the results:

Image: First persona "Emily the Newcomer"

Image: Persona 2 "Michael the Budgeter"

2X2 Matrix

Image: 2x2 matrix used to prioritize features

We needed to build the MVP (minimum viable product) so we focused on the top right square. Focusing on building the MVP allows you to move quickly and efficiently through a project's iterations. We build what's most important first and add on features as necessary.

A site flow for the website based on both the company’s and users' needs.

Booking a trip

A prototype was created from the wireframes below to be tested with 3 users.

Prompt: Book a trip to Paris and choose to pay in monthly installments.

Results: 3/3 users were able to successfully complete the task. 


The payment plan

Prism Travel wants to make travel affordable for everybody. 

Goal: Let travelers pay entire trip at once or set up a payment plan and pay off the trip over 2-4 monthly payments. 

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Landing Page

After showing our first iteration landing page to 3 users, one user's response was:

"I would be interested in going on one of the trips, but nothing about the homepage seemed inviting. It seemed like just any travel site.”

He explained his last experience traveling abroad in Switzerland. He went out to a club one night with a group of friends. The bouncer let all but him and another Indian guy in. Our user left feeling discriminated against because of the color of his skin. 

  • Our survey asked a lot of questions about time and money since those were the assumed major pain points of our users'.

  • Interviewing and letting users speak openly about past travel experiences gave us a greater understanding of a bigger motivation. 

  • Prism Travel was here to help people who have been discriminated against, who have felt fear, intimidation, and alienation while at home or traveling abroad.

2nd Iteration

Feedback from 3 users: Take out “Who should come.” It feels too exclusive.

3rd Iteration

Our landing page was validated! Feedback from 3 users: clear company mission. All users easily found and clicked “Browse Trips” to continue moving through the site.

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It's important to understand user's actual motivations, and this can be difficult when you're trying to move fast from iteration to iteration. It's easy to start off with an assumption and run with it and never check back in, but the key to good design is to always come back to your assumptions and validate.