For a long time, space-time travel was something utopian. It became reality thanks to Zeit, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire. Zeit, in addition to democratizing space-time travel, wants to continue the experience with a reassuring, intuitive and responsive website

zeit

Client : 
zeit
(non commercial project)
Services : 
Branding
Design
User Experience
User Interface
Date :  
2021
CHALLENGE :

Create an immersive experience that reflects Zeit’s universe, both modern and historical, starting with an intuitive, innovative and responsive logo and website. The site must be easy to use and make people on it want to book a space-time trip. A total of 289 destinations from the pre-historic era to the present day will be roughly selected and all offer secure experiences.

The real challenge here will be to reassure users about their safety, to propose attractive and innovative destinations that appeal to many different types of people, and to create a complete, explanatory and simple interface. The site must also provide information about how the service works so that people understand and trust the company.

OUTCOMES :

I started with the research; I focused it around several questions:
Who are the people interested in space-time travel?
What are the main motivations for people to travel in space-time?
What are the most sought after experiences?

I began by doing secondary research and competitive analysis. Since the service that Zeit offers does not exist, the company does not really have a competitor. In order to find a competitor, I came to the conclusion that Zeit is primarily about experiences. Their customers want to experience something unique, to live like a local at a chosen time, to discover new cultures and civilizations, and above all, to leave with many memories. I didn't include the companies offering space travel because from my point of view, it's not the same thing. Those are really access to the future while Zeit is a portal to a past time. I included Orion Span, which even if it is space, offers a hotel experience. I tried to diversify the other companies as much as possible. I find that Zeit's values are reflected in Orion Span's modernity, Martin Randell Travel's historical culture, Gravitate's luxury & customization, Spottedbylocals' desire to discover local culture and of course, Airbnb's intelligent UI.

After that, I got interested in the survey and the 1:1 users interviews. I found out that most of the participants were interested in the idea of time travel (78.6%), that the main criteria for destination selection were: beauty of the place, cultural activities, food and nature. Finally, all were concerned about their safety, cost, and side effects.
You can find all my research at the end of the page.

Then, in order to get a good information architecture, I had to understand how people classify information, and how to organize Zeit's categories according to the users' logic. To do this, I performed a card sort using OptimalSort. The participants in this study were given 20 cards to sort. Each card was named after a specific historical event. Themes were the most common grouping. We can notice that most participants categorized the categories by time period or by style. This categorization is interesting because it gives an immediate sense of the style of the destination by name, and allows for immersion upon arrival at the site. By combining and analyzing all the answers, here are the 5 categories I selected for the site:
- A quest for freedom
- On the roads of history
- Myths & Legends
- Events / Entertainment
- To the premise of humanity.


After making the sitemap and the first low fidelity wireframes, I got interested in branding & UI design. I wanted a simple, accessible and recognizable logo. This symbol in the shape of two circles represents the reunion of the two worlds, past and present.

The UI is simple, with a dark theme in order to be different from the classic travel websites, but with strong colors like yellow and blue. The navigation had to be clear and intuitive. Zeit, more than a travel site, wants to be a tool and a resource. The user, as soon as he enters the site, is led to carry out a search, but can also choose to read one of the articles proposed in order to immerse himself or to learn more before launching out. Once they have selected their trip, they are redirected to its page. This last one is composed of essential information but also offers a choice of accomodation adapted to several wallets, a small travel guide, and especially, it was essential to give desire to the users by playing with cards of various information, arranged on the side where he can find tips, notes, ideas of activities, a presentation of the guide etc.
Determine :

Who are the people interested in space-time travel?
What are people’s main motivations for a space-time?
What are the most sought-after experiences?
Considering people’s previous experience with travel sites, what makes the   experience enjoyable and, on the contrary, what are the difficulties  encountered when booking a trip?
What are the functions and features needed for a travel booking page?
What price are they willing to pay and for how long?

Competitive analysis :

As Zeit is a company that does not exist, it does not yet have any real competitors. I thought about what Zeit was proposing in order to find competitors and I came to the conclusion that Zeit offers above all experiences. Zeit’s clients want to experience something unique, to live like a local at the chosen time, to discover new cultures and civilization and to leave with lots of memories.That’s why I have access to these 5 companies and that’s why I have voluntarily omitted companies that offer space travel because in my opinion it’s not the same thing. These companies, very accessible on the future unlike Zeit which focuses on the culture of the past, are very accessible on the journey itself. Zeit focuses on experience. So I have included Orion Span, which although spatial, offers a hotel experience. For the other competing companies, I tried to choose different ones, which when combined, offer an experience as close as possible to Zeit. Thus, I think that Zeit’s values are found in the modernity of Orion Span, the historical culture of Martin Randell Travel, the luxury and customization of Gravitate, the desire to discover the local life of SpottedbyLocals and of course is found and inspired by the intelligence of the UI and the model of Airbnb.
II. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Understanding :

How do people mostly classify their information?
How to organize Zeit's categories according to users' logic.

Methodology :

Card sorting
User flow
Sitemap

CARD SORTING

- Online (OptimalSort) - Open
- 8 participants
- 20 cards

The participants of  this study were given 20 cards to sort. Each card was labeled a specific historical event.  Participants were told to group destinations in any pattern they deem fit to understand how users organize information and content. Themes were the most common grouping.
Although almost all participants ranked the categories in the same way, one participant ranked them by loca- tion. One participant also categorized the categories by time period. It can be interesting to offer these options as well, either in a clean tab or in a filter.
We can notice that most of the participants classified the categories by period or style. This categorization is interesting because it gives an immediate overview of the destination style by name, and allows an immersion as soon as you arrive on the site.
III. INTERACTION DESIGN
See user flow
Determine :

The good information architecture
The best interface considering user’s goals & behiaviors.


Methodology :

Task flow
User flow
Wireframes

Design of the responsive wireframes of the home page for tablet and mobile to ensure that website elements are consistent on different devices.


IV. UI DESIGN
See prototype
Determine :

The right branding  & UI guidelines to establish Zeit brand’s story that user can relate & enjoy.
The best prototyping & testing core actions to improve key user tasks


Methodology :

Branding
Brand style Tile
High fidelity prototype



V. FINAL 
PRESENTATION
See complete research
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