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Expedia Group Sustainability UI

Design Team.

Fall 2022.

UXR & UI Design

Company Sponsored Project

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One Minute Summary ⏰

Co-lead a 14-week user research/design project for Expedia Group aiming to effectively display sustainability data and empower users to make sustainable travel decisions.

The Team 👏🏼

UX Designers (4)

My Role 👩🏻‍💻

Lead UX Designer:
Championed UXR, UI design of flight search pages, and product development strategy

User Group 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Middle-class, solo travelers

Deliverables 🎁

  • Sustainbility community /rewards program.

  • UXR report documenting research findings, iterations, and usability testing

Final Design Overview 💭

Explaining what was delivered at a high-level.

I. Flight Booking User Journey (Screens + Prototype)

A free-to-join community, The Hive, that allows users to access sustainability filters and save money by earning more Expedia points through booking sustainable flights. Jump to an in-depth explanation of the final design here.

II. User Persona & Journey Map 🗺

A realistic visualization of our user groups (solo, middle-aged travelers) and how they currently navigate Expedia in order to
identify areas for growth.

My Design Process 👩🏻‍💻

Highlighting the research, prototyping, testing, and iteration behind the final designs.  

👓 📖 Project Scope

Expedia Group tasked our team to design an experience that empowers users to be sustainable. To begin, I focused on identifying whom my team wanted to design for, their unique needs, habits, and potential approaches to sustainable travel. 

Understanding Our User Group 👩🏻

After synthesizing Expedia Group's and our own research, I created Elena, a refined user persona (left) to guide our design work. 

My goal for this project was to design an experience that would empower them to make sustainable choices without guilting them or detracting from their primary goal.

Identifying a Key Use Case 🔑

After discussions with UX Researchers from Expedia Group, we decided to focus on middle-class, solo travelers due to this demographic having both the financial freedom to consider sustainability and a baseline awareness of the environmental impact of flying. 

Evaluating the Current User Journey 🗺

After analyzing the current user flow for booking a flight, I consolidated the team's findings in a user journey map to visualize the progression of users' thoughts, emotions, and pain points. This helped in identifying areas for improvement and establishing a baseline to evaluate the effectiveness of our designs.

User Journey Map

Finding Inspiration From Market Research 🙇🏻‍♀️

After gaining a better base knowledge of sustainability, the team analyzed how Expedia's competitors and industries outside of travel were making strides toward sustainability, specifically noting effective vs ineffective approaches.


🛑 Sustainability information that is vauge, hard to quantify, and inconsistent throughout the user journey 


💚 Communities that create  easy, actionable, ways to be sustainable

Early Ideation ✏️

Throughout this sprint, the team continually sketched out our ideas as we were inspired by research. In the end, each team member presented their favorite ideas. Below are the key sketches that went on to inspire our final design.


sustainability filters 


Call-to-action graphics


Community of sustainable travelers 

👷🏻‍♀️✏️ Building Our MVP

A big goal we had as a team was to create something that would mesh cohesively with Expedia's current designs. In this phase, we ideated in Figma and utilized multiple rounds of quick and informal concept testing to finalize an MVP design.

Wireframes Our Top Ideas 🖼

 To get a broader range of ideas, we split into two teams and built out separate designs. I lead the sub-team focused on researching and designing sustainability filters, specifically what this would look like at the search results stage of the user journey.

#1) Filters + Point System 

When initially entering flight details, users are prompted with sustainability filters which they can optionally apply.

If applied, flight results are tagged with relevant filters and display extra Expedia points that can be earned. 

#2) Sustainable Community

We also created an initiative that environmentally conscious travelers could join. Upon joining, users would be shown sustainability information relating to each specific airline.

Evaluating Our Concepts 💡

Next, we conducted concept testing with 15 participants in order to evaluate their comprehension and interest in each of our two designs. Below are the most important conclusions we drew from our results.

Sustainability will always take a backseat to price 💰

12/15 users chose sustainable alternatives so long as the cost didn't exceed a certain threshold.

Users responded well to the use of a mascot 🐝

11/15 users found the bees to be appealing and an easy way to locate sustainability info. 

Critical Point: Deciding to Combine Our Designs 🤝🏼 

Through testing, we discovered that users liked aspects of both designs citing that each represented a different approach to motivation (practical vs emotional). As a result, our team decided to combine our ideas, using the most well-received features from each wireframe to create a new design called "The Hive".

Creating an MVP 🛠

After concept testing, the team decided to combine aspects from both designs and created the first iteration of "The Hive" which included three key stages (click to enlarge).

Learn More

Informational page pushing users to join The Hive for the ability to earn more Expedia points.


Users can apply sustainability filters to their search. Results will be tagged with sustainability information.


Includes encouraging graphics and points earned from being in the hive which users can apply and save money.

Testing Our MVP 👩🏻‍🔬

With the foundation of our design in place, the team continued to refine our work through A/B testing and cognitive walkthroughs across 7 participants to evaluate the experience as a whole. Below are the key changes we decided to make moving forward.

Increase Discoverability 🔍

Our MVP had very limited paths to joining The Hive meaning many users couldn't see our sustainability features. 

Need Better Context ℹ️

Participants were often confused about what each filter meant/ how they were related to sustainability

Increase Visibility of Points 💯 

At certain stages of the journey, users were confused about how many points they earned, and how this would impact them

🏁 The Final Design (In-depth)

After consolidating our testing results, the team created a higher-fidelity version of our designs focusing on improving the context and cohesiveness of our designs. We then evaluated this final design through user acceptance testing.

Learn more page that explains The Hive's filter + rewards system and allows users to join.

Home page with hover descriptions for filters and a call-to-action to join The Hive.

A push notification that alerts users who aren't in The Hive, about the benefits of joining.

If a user opts out, they are never shown this message again.

Search that visualizes sustainability unobtrusively and motivates users through external (earning points) and internal (call-to-action) means.

Checkout experience that celebrates users for choosing sustainably and provides a transparent overview of points earned and money saved.

Reflection 💚

Discussing what I've learned from this experience and how it helped me grow as a designer and human :)

Finding My Style By Embracing Fun 🎢

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More than any other team, this one was defined by fun and chaos. This project taught me that the best ideas are often borne from unsuspecting and spontaneous moments, whether that be cracking jokes during brainstorming or going on tangents during user interviews. Above all, I value this project for teaching me how to invite fun into my design process, and for solidifying my belief in the importance of forming genuine connections with your team. Although there were moments we butt heads or meetings we left feeling frustrated, I loved this team for their unique personalities and passions.

Some of the most real moments of growth happened for me when my "type A, sprint calendar" mentality was challenged by unforeseen obstacles and differing opinions. There were teammates who were more experimental than I and members whose workflows differed vastly. However, through trial and error, I learned how to listen, when to compromise, and how to respectfully stand up for myself if I truly believed in my ideas. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to fail in these ways while I was still in college and to learn how to be better before entering the real design world.  I could list off the technical design skills I learned during this project: Figma design systems, creating user stories, writing testing protocols, etc. but honestly none of them were as important as what I've already listed. I think this project taught me that above all I value working with passionate people who enjoy life and I hope to find them wherever I end up next.

-Sarah Palagy

Check Out My Other Projects💡

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