Interact with prototype

Travel Safe

In many ways the world has become a smaller place and it is easier than ever to travel and explore. The concept behind the Travel Safe app was to combine two existing apps, the CDC's TravWell and Can I Eat This? into a single app that provided a simplified and more effective means for planning and enjoying international travel.


For this concept project, our team was tasked with combining and redesigning two existing CDC apps, TravWell and Can I Eat This? We addressed two primary issues:

  • Travelers want to understand potential travel risks before visiting a foreign country
  • Travelers want a better way to receive up-to-date travel information during their visit

Our user research indicated several traveler needs and pain points. We removed less used features and added ones more relevant to our target audience.

My Role

User Research, Data Analysis, Wireframing, Usability Testing and Prototype Development. Researched hardware capabilities such as GPS and built in sensors that could be used with the app to enhance the user experience.

Co-collaborators: Carina Carlson and Alexandria "Allie" Williams

Duration: 2 weeks

Tools: Paper, Sketch, InVision and Keynote

Research & Analysis

Identifying the problem

We started our research by sending out a simple 5 question survey and conducting phone interviews with people who travel internationally for pleasure and exploration.

The primary concerns of international travelers, based on our 21 participants

  1. Security and Safety - 61.54%
  2. Water and Food Quality - 46.15%
  3. Health Risks and Immunizations - 46.15%

Persona Development

In order to better understand our target travelers and build empathy for them we developed the following two personas and their traveling scenarios based on our research results.

Informed Iris

A Turkish woman living in the U.S. who is planning her family's yearly trip to Turkey. She wants to find out about the latest security threats given the recent political issues.


  • Up-to-date information regarding safety threats and health risks
  • Breaking news in the region
Adventurous Andy & Anne

 A thrill oriented couple traveling to Turkey for the first time. They have planned numerous adventures outside of the city and Andy plans on sampling the local food cart cuisine.


  • To know what types of food are safe to eat
  • Information about local emergency services like medical and police

A Design Constraint - Google's Material Design

This project was optimized to work on Android mobile devices; smartphones and 9" tablets in landscape mode. Additional research was needed to learn Material Design best practices and UI standards. Also, we explored the unique functionality supported by Android hardware such as position sensors, motion sensors and environmental sensors and applied those to the design where it enhanced the traveler's experience.


Initial Design Sketches

Some very simple hand sketches of potential screens showing expected functionality and user flow.

An Early Design Issue

Using our initial sketches, the team created higher fidelity mockups of several screens to do some preliminary usability testing.

Our approach was to utilize the content and structure of the two existing apps, TravWell and Can I Eat This? and modify the layout based on our research and usability testing.

We quickly realized this was a poor choice due to the overwhelming amount of content found on the existing 2 sites and the feedback we received from our early usability testers.

"I just wouldn't use this!"

A direct quote from our primary stakeholder.

Whiteboard Session Redesign

Based on our primary stakeholder's response, the team held a whiteboard session and we literally redesigned the entire application. The images below give you a visual idea of what we did, we should have recorded it.

Refinement & Iteration

With our new design in hand we quickly created higher fidelity mockups that we could use in our last couple of rounds of usability testing. Here are examples of the new layout and design.

Final Design

We put the final design together quickly and prepared the slide deck for our presentation to the stakeholders. Here is what the final design and prototype look like.

Interact with prototype


When redesigning an existing app or combining functionality explore the opportunities of what the new app could be. We relied heavily on the existing apps and found that our design decisions didn't solve the problems that our users expected it would.

Needing to redesign the app was humbling but a great learning experience. Our new design is more effective, efficient and easier to use and does a better job of identifying safety and health risks when planning a trip and traveling to foreign countries.