Interaction design and development of Transavia VUI on Google Home/Assistant
With our initial exploration of flight booking experience on Amazon Alexa, our client Transavia decided to move forward together with us and explore the great potential of Google Home and Google Assistant platform. Again, as a fast-paced and explorative project, within four weeks, I worked together with creative consultant, closely together with solution developer, to eventually result in the first version of launch-ready service on Google Assistant.
The service is approved by Google and is currently available for consumers.
You can either search “Transavia” on Google Assistant or follow this link to start the experience.
The project has been nominated for SpinAwards 2018.
Personal contribution: Desk research; Strategy; Experience journey; User research; UX flow; UX/UI design
Team: : Ekaterina Belousova (Solution Developer), Dimitri Teunissen (Creative Consultant); Edgard Beckand (Strategic Director)
With our former experience of VUI development on Amazon Alexa based on the core flight search feature. It is possible to create a similar search and book experience on Google Home. In this way, Transavia is able to target on both platforms and their users. With the integration of Google Assistant on Google Home and Android phones, Google App, it enlarges the user group to those who are not possessing smart speakers.
With Google Assistant integration and eco-platform of all Google services, we are facing multiple opportunities but also challenges on how to deliver engaging experience for the customer. The challenges rely on how to take use of different services to create a seamless flight booking and management experience. It is definitely not possible to handle everything through voice user interface, thus we need to take into consideration of advantages from other platforms, such as mobile phones, smart TVs, etc.
Taking reference of existing customer journey of flight experience, we mapped out the needs of customers through flight search, flight booking, check-in, at the airport, flight track and post-flight phases. Most importantly, we defined the touchpoints of Google Home and other platforms, highlight the value points of integrating different Google services.
In the presentation, in order to make the experience journey more tangible towards the client Transavia, I helped to transform the whole journey into storyboards.
The client immediately gets excited about it. It is reasonable to conduct desk research to evaluate the feasibility of each concept. Based on the current implementation of Google Home and other apps, certain features are moved to future stages. For example, there is no current API integration of Google Home and Youtube; It is not possible to initiate notification from Google Home.
Based on the experience journey, we break down them into different features. In order to define and prioritize user stories for development, I decided to conduct a fast user research by handing out Google Forms to colleagues and on social network. Within two days, I received 25 responses which I considered as a decent amount of user input.
According to user insights, we refined user stories together with the developer. In the meanwhile, we distributed them all on a matrix based on development effort and user preference. The numbers are accordingly marked on the experience journey. As a result, we decided to proceed with inspirational search once the core specific search has finished.
The developer starts working on porting Alexa specific search framework to Google Assistant, while in the meanwhile, me as interaction designer is developing the flow of inspirational search. The challenge is to integrate multiple search parameters and eventually guide user to a specific flight result.
Taking a look at how other players doing is a quick way to absorb pros and cons of current practices while differentiate Transavia’s service and brand value.
The biggest players currently are Google Flights and Kayak. Quite many learnings gained to assist the process of flow mapping, examples are empowering user to search with a combination of parameters, accessing user’s location to seed up search process, only providing limited amount of search results within human language processing capability, etc.
After iterations of UX flow, together with the developer, we are developing the final action on Google Dialogflow, a platform enables conversation UI development without hardcore programming. It is possible to edit the conversation content and simple flows without back-end programming skills. Thus, I was also helping the developer to enrich speeches on Google Dialogflow and using the simulater to test the best way of showing information or list on Google Assistant cards.
This is an intense, short-term project with exploration purpose. Eventually, after being through desk research, experience mapping, concept development, user research, user story formulation and development, we are able to deliver the first version with specific search and inspirational search, and being successfully launch on Google Assistant.
The service definitely requires further iterations and improvements, but you are free to experience the current version Here.