Voorpret is an experience creator that curates cultural activities in users' local area. It offers immersive (the 5 senses framework) packaged experiences that include exclusive events created in collaboration with local venues and experts. The main feature of our service works around offering different city-themed itineraries every month through our Voorpret app. We have developed this service in partnership with the Replenish Earth.
UX/UI Design (Prototyping)
For many people having a holiday means to essentially escape, run away from responsibilities and change their surroundings. But “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” The current way of holiday experience has disadvantages for both people and the environment. Meanwhile the outbreak of the pandemic is having a significant impact on future travel trends.
There are many issues and opportunities we are addressing with Voorpret. For instance, what the future of eco-friendly travel can become and how to enhance the experience economy. We change holiday experiences to reduce both the post-holiday blues for users and carbon emissions for the planet.
Stimulating demand for domestic travel is a high priority for the travel industry right after the pandemic. We hope to push the future of the holiday mindset and boost the local economy. We need to combine the actions of the individuals and systemic change, reduce carbon emissions from long-distance flights for holidays.
Shifting the mindset of escapism and holiday going
Growing awareness of eco-friendly travel
Promoting the authentic culture of the user’s chosen city of interest in their local area.
Promoting diverse experiences
Breaking the post-holiday blue loop
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
We have identified the needs and wants of the holiday industry and its impact on the environment as tourism is responsible for roughly 8% of its carbon emissions.
“Around 80% of aviation CO2 emissions are emitted from flights of over 1,500 kilometres, for which there is no practical alternative mode of transport."
In addition, our research has found that when taking a holiday, tourists over-consume local resources such as freshwater, energy like heating and lighting. This concentrated electricity and fuel consumption can overburden local infrastructures.
Through our research, we have found that there is a holiday loop. People start to escape from their everyday lives physically and mentally and go traveling afar. Then next, people have excitement during the vacation period. The exhaustion comes after the holiday, leading to the feeling of what we call the “post-holiday blues”. During this period, people remember their trip and feel depressed due to missing those exciting feelings. And after a while of experiencing mundane everyday life, people reach the last stage: boredom. They then feel the need to escape, thus repeating the same cycle.
Based on the results of the interview, we identify three travel groups. By aligning the coordinates, we lock our main design target group on Justine.
Our target customers are urban dwellers who are interested in cultural experiences. They often escape their local environments and travel far away to experience new cultures, leading to a significant negative impact on the environment. At the same time, they have a higher environment awareness and want to try more environmentally friendly ways during their trip.
This is our persona, Justine. She enjoys experiencing new ways of life including traveling on a holiday, not only to broaden her view of the world but also to get out of her daily routine. Meanwhile, she is concerned that her travels could be detrimental to the environment. Therefore, she is potentially looking for better ways of spending her time off to experience the same enjoyment of exploring distinct cultures without negative impacts on the planet. As she is a young resident in London, with a great number of varied cultures and experiences, her home environment will allow her to have access to our service, and experience the concept of cultural holidays.
inadequate holiday mindset that harms our planet
escapist mindset that let travelers ignore the environmental impact / eco actions when traveling
(pandemic, crisis, etc.) might negatively affect travel capabilities
lack of time/energy
do not have enough time to experience an entire culture
On one of those days, Justine really wants to travel somewhere to escape from her everyday life.
She comes across Voorpret which promotes “cultural holistay”, a cultural holiday experience without travelling far away.
She finds out that she can explore hidden gems in local areas with Voorpret
This piqued her interest so she check out this month’s special experience-– Tokyo.
When she’s at home on her sofa, She reads a short introduction about how she can discover Tokyo in London and what experience Voorpret can provide her.
Curated itinerary with a mix of experiences
There is an itinerary that includes curated events and activities that is only available for the month.
A simple and easy-to-control interface reduces the complexity of choices. Justin adjusts the number of travel days and activities during the trip according to his preferences. Based on Justin's preferences, Voorpret generates a tailored action plan and calculates the appropriate trip price for her.
Then，Justine decides to buy a ticket for her cultural trip to Tokyo.
Justine gets her boarding pass and a small prep kit (Japanese tea and scent) as a taster of what is to come. She receives a reminder to pack her earphones and download the audio pack the night before her trip. This gets her excited and curious.
On the day of the trip, Justine follows the itinerary on the Voorpret app. It’s designed to have gentle push notifications according to her GPS location so she doesn’t need to check her phone all the time. She first goes to a Japanese garden in London and enjoys reading some Haiku (Japanese poetry) there.
After this, Voorpret will continue to navigate her to the new location, and lead her to a traditional tea ceremony led by a Japanese expert and learns about the cultural significance of tea and how to make them at home.
To navigate between spots, Voorpret provides optimised routes with public transport. Justine gets on the underground and plugs in her earphones. She is immersed in the pre-loaded ambient sounds of a Tokyo train station as if she was in Japan.
Of course, she’d be hungry after all, so she goes to an Izakaya bar and tries a dish she never had with Voorpret’s help to order in Japanese.
Build your online travel community
As a final feature, the app will allow users to share their experiences with the different groups, effectively forming a community around the service itself which will allow us to understand our users and what future improvements they wish to see. The intellectual property of both our users and associates will be heavily guarded.
She can’t believe that she can still experience something new after living in London for over 8 years. After this experience, Justine has gained a new perspective about holiday. She feels like she can continue to see her city with the new lens in her everyday life.
To maximize the user experience
Discover hidden gems on your doorstep
Explore diverse culture in an authentic way
Immerse your senses in our hand-picked itineraries with exclusive events
There are a range of grants available for services that stimulate the local economy and make life more sustainable. We will consider bank loans too.
e.g. ) “Creative Industries Fund: fast start business growth pilot” by Innovate UK “Escape the Everyday DMO Marketing Fund 2020/21” by Visit England “RCA Sustainable Art & Design Initiative” by RCA
We have prototyped with 6 participants on a short Tokyo experience and they have shown a great interest in this type of experience.
Prior to this, we have also done a co-creation workshop of an online simulation experience and gathered valuable user insights. The results have shown our customer base is viable and meets the market needs. Here are some customer feedbacks that can help us gain insight and iterate on the ideas moving forward.
29 May, Saturday
Take test users to a 5-hours experience in London
Group A: 3 participants
student, cultural lovers
Group B: 3 participants
young professional, experienced travelers
From our prototype, we’ve gained some insights to help us to design the service for Justine
Group A enjoyed having everything planned out on their behalf whereas B wanted more depth to the itinerary
Both enjoyed the audio immersion the most, so we continue to explore more immersive experiences, and start with sensory details of design
And users would pay for unique activities so we focus on the originality of experiences. provide seasonal themed city events
"Your experience is so interesting and makes me realise it’s good to ‘escape’ more often! It did help me go out of my day to day life."
90% of users found the app useful and surprised them with the experience
high Returning Visitor Rate with more than 50% of users
Weeks after the experience, some of the participants have come back to us saying that they would like to do this again.