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IXD104 – Travel App Research

Tripadvisor is an American travel company that was founded in 2000, with the mission statement ‘to help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.’ Their service is based online with a website and mobile app that hosts user-based reviews as well as the ability to book things from hotels to tours and restaurants.

While staying in Spain, I used Tripadvisor to change hotels earlier as the one I planned to stay at. With Tripadvisor I was able to find available hotels based on there proximity to the centre of the city and each hotel had a breakdown of reviews left by users on important aspects such as cleanliness and service. The about section featured a list of amenities at the property and each type of room available as well as the features in each room.

A really nice addition that I like is the rating out of 100 for location. Under this title, it lists the number of attractions and restaurants within less than a mile of the place in question. Both of these statics also ave a drop down menu that allows you to see the restaurants and attractions with a brief display of information like what amount of reviews, rating out of 5 and how many minutes of walking it would take to arrive.

Another feature I like is the number rating system they have for hotels and restaurants that are listed in order from number 1 to however many hotels or restaurants/attractions that town or city has. This aids your decision making process when trying to chose the best place to stay or visit which helps me as the user, feel less overwhelmed amongst the thousands of possibilities. Refining your search results is also an option based on closed to city centre or lowest to highest price.

One of the last 3 features when you reach the bottom of a webpage are reviews where it shows you ‘traveller rating’ from terrible to excellent, customer ratings out of 5 and descriptions along side the review sometimes with the addition of images.

The second is a Q+A section where you can post questions about the place in question and people who ave previously stayed or visited can give helpful feedback. This is a nice addition that gives more information than is provided in all the previously mentioned sections. It also helps get feedback on specific things that may require the collection of personal experiences to make your own judgment on.

The final section is one that I hadn’t noticed when using it before, and it is titled Room tips and is comprised of quick tips based on the specific place which are left by users. The tips are almost like reviews only they are shorter in content which I assume is intended to be quick and helpful.

Each persons review also has a few pieces of information below their profile containing he amount of contributions (reviews) left at other places and how many helpful votes they have received in total on those reviews e.g other people agree or have found their review helpful. This is sort of a self regulating way to judge for yourself if the reviews are trustworthy or if someone just had a irregular bad experience.


At this stage of my research, I know that the app I want to create is less to do with real world travelling information and began to research apps that were more like what I am aiming for, for example, an educational app on history, culture, mythology or ancient places. One such app I discovered is called HearHere, which provides audio content based on places you are travelling to which gives the user interesting information such as fossils found at your destination.

I thought this was a really cool idea and was a mix of real world travel as well as educational on history and interesting facts. The app also features a blog post section that offers further information such as road trip ideas as well as guides.


I did not find much in terms of apps like the one I had in mind and began looking at what would be my direct competitors. I only found 3 such apps based on Greek Mythology, one on Apple app store, the other 2 on google play. I did not get to research the one available for Apple as it was a paid app.


Mythology App

This app had a different element compared to the others which was a test system that you could take once you could take once you had read the section of mythology. It also had a worldwide leader board and featured other mythology branches such as Norse.

Greek Icon and Illustration Research

Now that I had conducted background research on pre-existing travel apps I began research design ideas to get inspiration before I begin sketching ideas. I wanted to take inspiration for my icons from Greek culture so I began look at things that I could take elements from such as the ancient letterforms or art from that period.

These Greek illustrations found on vases and walls of temples with the solid fill is something I plan to take inspiration from and replicate this type of design in a character illustration.

Remnants of a Greek temple dedicated to the Gods.

Arrow heads found found possibly belonging to the Greek warriors. I researched these to see the form and how I can translate this to screen with arrow icons.

Mood Board and Inspiration


Artists From Dribbble

Im new to Dribbble but it very quickly became one of my primary sources of inspiration and seeing the latest trends within the graphic design and illustration world. This was useful for researching icons as I knew I wanted to try a different approach to icons rather than outline or simple colour I wanted to make them a little more complex but try to get it as simple as possible to still be easily understood.

Léo Alexandre

One such artist designing colourful icons is Léo Alexandre, who is a recent graduate from art school and focuses on illustration and graphic design. He creates vector icon sets using Adobe Illustrator with a complimentary choice of colour.


I took a lot of inspiration from the game Hades that I had played recently. I love the art style and this was something that influenced design choices. The icons for each item and God is very unique and colourful. This is something I would like to try experiment with in my app and try something different from the usual UI icons.

Hades Item Icons

Hades God Icons

Character Illustration Research

The art style used for characters in Hades is something I also take a lot of inspiration from. I love the purples and smoke effect in this illustration of Charon the boatman.

Researching further into character illustrations, I found this image below which has the same type of design as the figures found on Ancient Greek vases. It reminds me of Olly Moss’s work with the basic colour palette with different hues of red and gradients which is really effective in this illustration of Hades and his guard dog Cerberus.



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