TAL Tours

User Research Case Study


TAL Tours is a boutique travel agency that has been around for 30+ years. With the ever-changing times in technology, the travel industry has greatly changed in recent years, TAL Tours has revamped their service and seeks a responsive website with modernized branding to match said service so they can sell custom packages effectively.


To develop a responsive website where prospect customers can easily understand what the company has to offer, as well as refresh TAL Tour’s logo and branding to reflect the changes made to the website.


Client: TAL Tours
Project type: UX/UI, Responsive Design, Branding
Timeline: 80 hours
My role: User Research, Strategy, Interaction Design, UI Design, Prototyping, Usability Testing
Tools Used: Sketch, InVision, Adobe Illustrator

design process


REsearch goal

I had the goal to understand the target market and to identify behaviors, pain points, and goals of potential travelers, specifically those who have used or would consider using tour providers. Additionally, I sought out to understand how the look and feel of a brand may affect users when they are considering traveling.

Research components

  • Market research
  • Competitor analysis
  • User surveys
  • User interviews

Research Plan

Primary Research

To better understand the pain points and goals of those who travel and seek tour coordinators, I developed an interview script and conducted user interviews with participants who fell within major demographic, as described by the company owner. I asked each subject some questions about regarding travel in general, traveling using a customized service, and several questions about traveling to Israel. Interviewees reported that they use tour operators to plan their unique or ‘bigger’ trips (e.g. international or special occasion family trips with needs to accommodate each attendee). Additionally, they reported that they like to be clued in in the planning process and feel that the itinerary was truly customized to their needs. Lastly, all interviewees expressed that they rely on reviews (online or word of mouth) heavily when selecting a travel provider.
“Yes we could do all the planning and booking on our own, but we choose to pay. Certain things are just so much easier when booking through a provider.”
“I find that agents have really nailed what I’m looking for, [being] so accommodating to our family member’s various needs, especially considering the wide age range and interests within our family. With a good agent/planner, it is worth every penny.”
During the user interviews, I took notes as I asked questions and listened empathetically. I also created and distributed a questionnaire to 40 participants.

QUALITATIVE TAKEAWAYS from questionnaire and interviews

Where to now?

Based on the findings and company background I decided that TAL Tours’s new website and branding should include:
  • Strong use of imagery, relevant to the company's traveled destinations
  • Testimonials
  • Clear terms and conditions
  • A clean and modern interface, highlighting its destinations with imagery



After identifying user behavior and need patterns, research was synthesized into a set of deliverables, to guide me in keeping the users as a priority in the design process.
Based on my research, I created a persona, Fred Cohen. To further explore relationships and understand the persona that emerged from the data I’d gathered and mapped, I created an empathy map made up of observations and statements from my user interviews and diving deeper into Fred's mindset.  This helped me further understand the emotional state of the user.

These deliverables served as a continuous reminder of the characteristics of the kind of people who would use TAL Tours throughout the design process and made it especially helpful for designing with a "real user" in mind.



After identifying user behavior and need patterns, research was synthesized into a set of deliverables, which would guide me in keeping the users as a priority throughout the design process.

I developed a simple site map to solidify the organization of pages within the site.
Using the sitemap, research findings and developed persona, I was then able to chart a task flow. The task flow shows the main path for a user to from their entry point to the site to the final end goal of submitting a contact form.


I began to wireframe key pages informed by my user flow. I took to pen and paper to start with some free-sketching.
Click to enlarge the low-fi sketches
I then moved to Sketch to create mid-fidelity wireframe key pages informed by my task flow. This set of initial wireframes shows the site pages that a user would encounter as they progress from entering the site on the home page and learning about the company and how it works, thus contacting them to find out more information.
I created a mid-fidelity desktop prototype of the main user flow using Invision. This enabled me to visualize the early designs more concretely and see how the interactions flowed.
I also developed wireframes for tablet and mobile to reflect the adjustment in screen size.


As part of the branding refresh, I iterated on several logo designs: first brainstorming with hand sketches, moving quickly to digitalizing them.

In creating a logo for TAL Tours, I sketched ideas which incorporated ideas of reflection with symmetry in shapes and letters.  I also explored more simple designs that used wordmarks and displayed a travel related icon.
The initial explorations shown above gave me a choice of directions I might pursue. I went with the final choice (below) as it was a modernized version, incorporating factors from previous TAL Tours logos, thus satisfying owner. I determined that blue with a slight gradient was appropriate, conveying a sleek logo, while simultaneously reminding the user of ocean-like and vacation properties, as well as Israel's national colors.
With the logo designed, I then created a Style Guide and UI Kit to effectively guide me in working on the interface design. The UI Kit serves a working tool that is regularly updated with changes. I wanted to convey a brand of warmth and luxury. This idea led me to use the coral color as a highlighting color, and deep blues with hues of purple to express trust and dependability. I used rounded edges consistently throughout the UI of the site to convey softness and be easy on the eyes.



I incorporated the branding and UI into the wireframes and made significant revisions based on feedback and testing. Due to the timeline of the project, I focused on the desktop and mobile screens.
Samples of the desktop and mobile screens can be explored further via the prototype, in the next subsection, below.


I created a high-fidelity desktop prototype and mobile prototype of the main user flow using Invision. This enabled me to put my designs to life, seeing how the interactions flowed in real time.



overview & Goals
I tested the usability of the main user flow using the high-fidelity desktop prototype.  My main goals were to:
Through a variety of methods including in-person usability tests and remote tests with Google Hangouts screen share, I was able to assess the user experience according to my test goals.

I tested the TAL Tours desktop prototype on a total number of five participants. The task was for each user to browse, understand the trip planning process, and to use the contact form to start planning their trip. The test was done remotely for three users (using screen-shares via Google Hangouts, and in-person for one (using my laptop). You can see the full usability test plan here.
Overall, users were able to navigate the site smoothly and complete the supplied task.  Users expressed that the colors and imagery were powerful in capturing their attention, whilst simultaneously providing the site and company with a luxury look.

Overall impressions: Intuitive, straightforward, modern, luxury and intriguing.

I compiled all of the usability test data into an affinity map to visually represent successes, points for improvement and recommendations.

There was common feedback regarding slight confusion over various wording. This feedback (and others) was taken into account for iterations on the project.

Reflections & Looking Ahead

This was my first user experience design project for a real client. The design project was full of interesting challenges and exciting opportunities that I hadn't experienced from previous fictitious projects. My main takeaway from this first client project is that communication and flexibility are key to producing an effectively designed product.

Because of the short time frame and scope of the project, I designed the key pages for the desktop and mobile versions of the site. Next steps will be:

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