Tourism Application for The City of Alhasa, Saudi Arabia 2021

The Mother of the Palms ,The Daughter of Nature, The Depth and Authenticity of History.

Hello, medium This is a group project team for the UX/UI course at Misk Academy. This case study was about creating a Tourist application for our client AlHasa city. This project was centered around the problems of Tourism in Al Hasa, Estren Province, Saudi Arabia. Our task was to investigate, analyze, ideate, and develop a solution that can be work as perfectly as our client need. Team member Hadeel AlQahtani , Reem bahathiq, Hajer Alhilali

Client

Al Hasa, Also known as Hajar or Alhafof, is a traditional oasis historical region in eastern Saudi Arabia whose name is used by the Al-Ahsa Governorate, which makes up much of that country’s Eastern Province. The oasis is located about 60 km (37 mi) inland from the Arabian Gulf coast. Al-Ahsa Oasis is the largest oasis in the world. There are more than 2.5 million palm trees including date palms in the oasis.

The first step we did was to create a plan and divide the tasks into two weeks. Asana helped us organize, track, and manage our work.

Project Milestone

Research

Desk Research

My team and I didn’t know much about Al Ahsa. So I thought we should gather information about it. We found information about different great places, stories from those places, information about culture, traditions, popular sites, and more. There was one place that really caught our eye, it’s called “Al-Qarah Mountain”.

A lot of caves are found here, and the air inside is cool. Caves are not like most cavesThere are many people attracted to the mountain because it has caves and it can be visited in summer or winter. The Alqarah tour takes 2 hours max. Tourists can also walk on their own to the top from where they can see the world’s largest oasis. Through the ages, it was a source of life that greatly contributed to the growth of Al Hasa. There are caves in Jabal Al-Qarah where traditional potters have historically had workshops, and the quality of their pots is well known

Business analysis:

Creating a good solution required understanding our competitors. Hence, we created a C&C analysis, a leaf diagram, and a heuristic evaluation. These offer a better understanding of the tourism industry.

C&C analysis:

Direct Competition

Indirect Competition

Key insights:

Airbnb has great features that have helped us implement best practices in our app. It is also very keen on local hosting and motivates it. Tripadvisor has information about all things to do with high-resolution photos with thousands of ratings and comments, and it also offers a follow-up feature for people who share the same interests or trust their opinions.

The Saudi Spirit application contains the feature of customizing experiences, which is not found in the rest of the applications, and it also displays stories and detailed information about every teacher and city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Relative to other websites, Airbnb had the best booking experiences. General booking had clearer wording and very easy and clear options when booking. Lonely Planet offers a feature to filter experiences by price, duration, breaks and these come in the user’s priorities.

Some sites display overcrowded information when it comes to a city or activity. Other sites provide only basic information, to keep the user informed but not overwhelmed.

Heuristic evaluation:

Key insights:

Most websites display the information in the navbar, also making it easy for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they see it while others need more time to accomplish the seemingly that the UI reflects the city or the mood of the city on most of the websites.

Leaf Diagram

The best competitors with top features relevant to our persona.

User Research

Initially, we searched TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Instagram, and Twitter for reviews about Alhasa. We found most of the information about Al Hasa devoted to its culture, food, historic sites, and farms. Most people who visit Al Hasa believe that it is difficult to travel there without extensive planning.

A common saying about Al Hasa is that “Al Hasa is yours if the age forgets you” meaning that you will remain in the memory of this city even if you move away from it. You will not be forgotten by Alhasa, and it will miss you.

In addition, Al Hasa is also known to have delicious food due to the variety of crops they grow. Furthermore, there is a lot of interest on social media about the best season to visit. Tourists use different applications and platforms to access any activity that is available in Al Hasa.

5 Whys

Why do you want to Explore AlHasa? I like its diversity

Why? you can see historical places and modern places

Why? because it agriculture land and it has springs eyes

Why? people say it’s an unforgotten experience

Why? many stories are telling about this city

Methods Used to Understand Users Need:

  • Screening
  • Interviews
  • Surveys

Users were asked how often they visit AlHasa and what draws them to this city. The selection of travel destinations by users and if they are planning on their own or get a tour guide to assist. We wanted to know what influences users’ trips, and whether they are interested in having a local experience when they visit a city. In addition, the basic travel requirements and apps can aid them in their journey. We sought to understand the challenges users face and how AlHasa could improve the traveler experience. In our effort to define our users’ common problems, we reached a fantastic outcome

Affinity Map
Survey Findings

Findings

  • People need a detailed plan.
  • Families are most likely to travel together.
  • People travel to Alhasa based on other recommendation People who did not visit Alhasa are aware of the famous places in Alhasa
  • People struggle with hotel services, transportation, hot weather.
  • people tend to use different web/apps when they want to travel

Key Insights

  • Travelers are attracted to travel experiences that allow them to discover a city’s culture and view its scenery. Meeting locals and tasting the local food is also part of the experience, to experience the culture in an authentic way
  • A detailed plan that includes accommodation with reasonable price, resort and farms, modern café and restaurants will make people trip enjoyable
  • The activities should be different for different ages. Along with shopping and relaxing, people want to see something new, explore, and try new things.
  • The majority of people plan their trips through word of mouth. In the absence of good online information, they ask people they know about places and activities before going somewhere.
  • people who know famous places in Alhasa are not interested enough to visit these places due to a lack of information
  • A most common activity that people used to do when they visit Alhasa historical places, farms, water springs, Parks, shopping, museum
  • Apps / Webs facilitate people's trips through reviews, hotels comparison, videos, and pictures

Analysis

Problem Statement

The problem is that there is no easy way to plan trips to Alhasa due to a lack of information and guidance

Locals of Saudi Arabia are familiar with Alhasa local culture and nature. The problem is that there is no easy way for them to plan trips to Alhasa. They are also interested in knowing about Alhasa’s culture and history as well as experiencing the locals. Our solution should be to explore the place and provide them with a fixed plan with an option to create their own plans. Also, Provide them with local experience.

Persona

Our user research resulted in the Yazeed persona, which was developed based on user problems and motivation.

Story Board

To demonstrate Yazeed’s problems and pain points, we developed a storyboard

Solution

Facilitate the planning and information-gathering process for users through our app. Make travel to AlHasa easier and see it like nothing before.

Ideation

Branding

We took inspiration from the nature and culture of Al Hasa. The green color represents the palms that Al Ahsa is famous for, brown represents Alqara Mountain and light blue represents Aqeer beach, Water spring.

Key Feature

Card Sorting

We did 10 cards sorting with our users. to see what their mental model of the solution site map would look like.

Before designing the high-fidelity mockup to ensure consistency and integrity, we made the following guidelines.

Development

User Flow

Site map

Based on all the data collected during the card sort, we created the following site map

User Journey

Sketching

Mid- Fi Wireframe

Annotated Wireframe

Usability Testing

DELIVERABLES

Hi-Fi Wireframe

Mockup Prototype Video

Alhasa Oasis Mother of palms Prototype

Future Work

  • Add Transportation Booking features
  • Augmented reality technology may give an experience
  • We want to expand our local expertise in booking flights.
  • Develop a want multi-language version of our app to cover the largest group of tourists.
  • Target global users

Conclusion

There are many historical and natural attractions in Al-Ahsa. A good experience begins with user research. A stage of defining the solution with the need is critical, and doing it wrong can lead to project ruination and a waste of effort. An important step is testing the sample app with users since without testing along the way, there is no chance of success.

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