IBM, Watson Travel App

As a part of IBM’s global Cognitive Build Challenge, my team created an app that smooths the pains of coordinating group travel. To do so, it uses Watson™ AI to make automated travel suggestions based on individual and group preferences.

Design and branding lead
Interdisciplinary team of 20 including engineers, offering managers, and consultants
Information architecture
Brand guidelines
App design (16 screens)

The challenge

From personal experience, all members of the team agreed that coordinating group trips provided ample pain points that could have a cognitive solution. As the UX designer, I helped guide our conversation to focus on specific pain-points for a specific user - a Milennial traveler. 

1. Coordinating group travel is difficult, esp. getting a group to commit to a basic itinerary.

2. Young travelers want a unique “authentic” experience tailored to their preferences, not something pre-packaged or ‘one-size fits-all’

3. No trip is perfect - users need options when the unexpected interferes with their plans.

Solution & impact

Our working prototype, MARCO, placed within the top 50 teams globally (out of over 8000) in IBM’s Cognitive Build competition. A few months later, it drew significant interest from established hotel and travel chains at IBM’s World of Watson conference.