Lonely Planet has been losing their users because the way people travel has changed, and many no longer use guidebooks.

Lonely Planet has been rapidly losing their users in recent years because the way people travel has drastically changed compared to when Lonely Planet was first founded in 1972.

In light of the age of information, where really good travel information has become easily accessible through search engines like Google, and Wi-Fi connections could be made anywhere and everywhere many travelers no longer utilize guidebooks on their trips.

We designed a digital travel smart assistant that Lonely Planet users will love to engage with 365 days of the year, and bring back the magical experience Lonely Planet's guidebooks used to bring.

Jan. 2019 - Mar. 2019

Strategy Experience Design Brand Identity


Priscilla Li
Felix Peeck
Jana Baruch

We analyzed Lonely Planet's product ecosystem, and found opportunities in providing users with a refreshing way to inspire and plan their trips, and incorporating user-generated content.

Lonely Planet guidebooks have amazing content, but they offer such an overwhelming amount that it becomes very time-consuming for users to sift through and find something specific that fits their interest.

We see a huge opportunity in redesigning how users consume and interact with our content while seeking inspiration or planning for their trips. Additionally, we want to incorporate user-generated content because it’s authentic and diverse, and for Lonely Planet it could mean serving users really cool, hidden and adventurous experiences again.

In this highly fragmented market, we see a huge potential for a service that brings together all these tools into one easily accessible form for Lonely Planet's users.

On the left side we have travel specific apps, like booking services and travel guide apps. Meanwhile on the right side we have more generic apps that are also widely used for travel, like Instagram for visual inspiration or Google Search for research.

Besides just the broad range of digital tools we found that personal advice is one of the most important sources of information for obtaining authentic and local tips. We see a huge potential for an app that brings together travel guide content, trustworthy advice from friends and locals, and utilities like journey planning in a natural humane way as if they're speaking to a friend.

Through our user interviews with target users, backpackers and flatpackers, we identified travel painpoints, a lack of trustworthy source for local activities and local information, like their culture and currency value.

We found many users stopped using Lonely Planet's products because its content became too mainstream, and seemed too similar to what other guidebooks offered. Additionally, the amount of content users had to go through became overwhelming.

In light of technological advancements, finding really good and free information had become easy and users prefer to use Google for planning. However, a remaining pain point is a lack of trustworthy source for local activities and information.

From these user insights we created 5 personas, but chose not to cater our solution to Ulrich because he likes being disconnected from technology while traveling and would not have an incentive to use our digital application.

Eddy was created using our user insights and card sorting, and is an all-knowing friend thats a local all over the globe that you can ask for advice, but he also proactively suggests you cool experiences.

Eddy a pocket travel mate that helps you discover the world like a local no matter where you go! He may look small and cute, but he knows all the cool spots and things to do ranging from established locations to hidden gems – depending on how adventurous you are. This makes Eddy a companion you want to have by your side on any of your trips.

Behind such a tool are just three simple screens. A login page, for users to easily transfer their account if they change mobile devices. The chat screen, where the user interacts with Eddy and can navigate to the adventures they’ve created. The profile page, where the user can manage their personal information and settings, and view all the tips they’ve contributed.

Onboarding Process

Quick and easy sign-up - only name required.

Looking for an Adventure

Location-based suggestions.
Cater your own adventure or be surprised!

Saving an Adventure

Two-click process.
Ability to create and customize various adventures.

Proactive Suggestions

Alerts about the coolest and greatest adventures near you!

Adding your own Adventure

Be the local of your own city!
Ability to share cool spots you've found.

Although Eddy has a relatively simple user-interface, underlying this simple strucuture was over 30+ user flows.

Each user flow was created and revisited in order to thoroughly analyze and evaluate the validity of each of Eddy's chatbot functionalities, and all plausible user paths that could be taken.

In Eddy's MVP he have a collection of powerful features: Chat-bot assistance in creating amazing adventures, proactive suggestions that are location and breaking news based, and amazing content from Lonely Planet and locals around the world.

In the future phases, we want to add additional features like: Voice assistance, capability to share user-curated adventures, more personalized suggestions based on user-preferences and usage patterns, time, and weather, and integrate 3rd party content like travel blogs.

Are you ready to see Eddy revolutionize the way we travel?