Native app design for solo Travelers

Conci is an app for solo travelers that promotes community amongst travelers through crowdsourced maps and safety information of different destinations.

Originally pitched to our design team as a safe sex and dating app, the client asked for features such as STD information sharing, location tracking/sharing, consent contract builder, and ID/background checks. Through research, we were able to validate and invalidate features, eventually tapping into a niche of the dating app market - solo travelers.



The Problem

The client hoped for certain features that had potential legal issues and we were not able to validate these features through research.

We did find, however, that most of our users had strategies that they used to stay safe when dating, though those methods aren’t always available when they are in a new location or traveling.

The solution

The reimagined Conci app helps solo travelers not only to crowdsource information, but to locate safe and unsafe areas, and even meet other solo travelers. This app will give travelers and their loved ones peace of mind while they are in unfamiliar areas and provide them with key benefits to do activities and visit areas they may have otherwise avoided.


  • Pen & Paper

  • Google Surveys

  • Sketch

  • InVision

  • Adobe Illustrator

My role

  • Competitive research

  • User interviews and scripting

  • Affinity mapping

  • Wireframing & UI Design

  • Prototyping

  • Branding





When we were first approached by our client, she wanted us to help her design an app called SmartDate. This app would feature STD info swapping, ID/background checks, and consent contracts. Through our research, we found that some of these features had potential legal issues and overall, that users did not want or need these things.




We were able to spin the requested app features to focus more on safety. A conversation with the client revealed that she first thought of this app while traveling, so we thought of a new way to spin the app so that we could focus on features for solo travelers.


Identifying the Problem

Research, Phase 1


  • Surveys

  • User Interviews

  • Online Dating Competitor Research

  • Legal Research (HIPAA, Consent Contracts)

When initially approached by our client, the request was for a safe dating app that would include features for users to share STD information, create consent contracts, and perform ID and background checks.

Through our research, my team found that most of our target market of online daters were not interested in additional safeguards against STD’s and found the idea of consent contracts and ID checks to be more of a violation of their privacy than helpful should something go wrong on a date.

The Shift

Though we found that our target market wasn’t interested in the proposed features, we did find that most people have methods in place in order to stay safe when dating, such as telling friends or family the details of the date, meeting in a familiar place, use location sharing services, and checking their date’s social media accounts.

This sparked an idea. The methods that people use to stay safe when dating aren’t as available when they are in a new location or are traveling. This caused us to move our thinking towards a safe travel app rather than a safe dating app.

We presented our findings and our safe travel app idea to our client, who gladly supported the change. Thus began our second phase of research.

Research, Phase 2


  • Surveys

  • User Interviews

  • Travel/Safety Competitor Research

  • Affinity Mapping

  • Feature Prioritization Survey

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Copy of UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_14ca.jpg

With one week down, and two more to go, we started our second phase of research to find the features that our new audience of solo travelers would find useful. After our first round of interviews we created an affinity map. From that affinity map, we were able to identify potential features as

  • Forums

  • Travel Buddy Finder

  • Emergency Contacts

  • Maps

  • Location Tracking and Sharing

  • Health Resources

  • Trip Checklist

  • Trip Planner

  • Expect me/Remind me to leave


We then sent out a feature prioritization survey to our users where we asked them to rank each of these features, first being the most important, and last being the least. From this survey we identified the six key features to be

  • Maps

  • Forums

  • Location Sharing

  • Health Resources

  • Travel Buddy Finder

  • Emergency Contacts/Alerts




  • App Mapping

  • Design Studios

  • Wireframing

Forum & Map Wireframes

Once we had the key features identified, we fleshed out the rest of the app into a robust app map and began wireframing. With our tight timeline, we knew we wouldn’t be able to build out all of the features we identified, so we chose the ones most important to users.

We decided to wireframe two different user flows. The first user flow showing Forums, Maps, and Location Sharing, and the second user flow showing the Travel Buddy feature.


Creating a Brand

UI Design


  • Design Studios

  • Style Guides


We wanted the branding of our app to convey Safety, Adventure, Trust, and Fun.

In order to communicate these ideas we focused on a Blue Color Palette, Familiar Iconorgraphy, Modern Typography, a Playful Logo, and a Sky/Airplane Motif.

With these ideas in mind, we presented our client with 4 style guide options as well as a screen mockup with each style applied. The options featured a different color palette and typography styles. Our client chose her 2 favorites and we ended up combining them to create our final style guide.

Final Style Guide



  • Design Studios

  • Sketch

  • Adobe Illustrator

Logo design, round 1

Logo design, round 1

Logo design, round 2

Logo design, round 2


In addition to creating a minimum viable product to our client, she requested our help on creating a new name and logo for this travel app. Through design studios, our team came up with several names, and 3 possible logos.

We narrowed down our list of names to 3

  • Saffi


  • Conci

Our client chose the third option, Conci - derived from the word Concierge.



Our first suggestion of a logo to our client was the view from an airplane window. When presented to the client, she requested to see some additional options. She preferred a two-color logo that would more easily fit into the themes of influencers sites.

So, we simplified the airplane window logo, as well as created two more possible logos: a paper airplane and an abstract cloud.

In the end, the client chose the simplified airplane window, and Dayna created a branded logo.

Final App Icon and branded logo

Final App Icon and branded logo


Personas & Prototype


Flow 1 - Deb & Gabby


Deb - the conscientious planner

“It’s easier for me to plan things out at home, but it’s hard to find restaurants to accommodate my gluten allergy abroad.”


Gabby - the influencer

“It’s difficult to have a stable income as a world traveler and influencer, but I have a lot to share and would love to be a resource for other adventurers.”


Showcasing 3 of the 6 features of Conci, our first user flow shows our conscientious planner, Deb, going through forums, maps, and location sharing. She goes through the Forums to search for restaurant recommendations for eating gluten free in St. Petersburg, and stumbles upon a post from social influencer, Gluten Free Gabby. She clicks on Gabby’s downloadable Map and toggles on the Safety Map to see areas that she should avoid going alone. She then shares her location with her fiancé using the Emergency Contact feature.

Flow 2 - Sabrina


Sabrina - the spontaneous adventurer

“I love the freedom of traveling on my own, but am sometimes discouraged from doing certain activities alone.”


Our second flow shows the robust Travel Buddy feature. Taking notes from current dating apps on the market, we designed this feature for travelers who may be searching for different things in a companion depending on the travel destination or activity.

This flow showcases Sabrina searching for a travel buddy to go with her to an elephant sanctuary in Chang Mai, Thailand. She browses through available buddies, creates a profile, and views the profile of a possible buddy.


Next Steps

User testing

With the short timeframe of this project and the setback of starting research on a new demographic, we were not able to test our prototype with users and create new iterations. Testing would further validate our features and ensure an intuitive interface.

Influencer interface/profile

Influencers, like Gluten Free Gabby, are a helpful way to monetize the app. These influencers would have additional tools in addition to the validated features, requiring either a profile section or a different view/interface.

Building out the additional features

This app is very robust, and has 6 very important features. In our one week of designing, we were able to show the maps, forums, and find a travel buddy features. Moving forward, we would build out the location sharing, health resources, and emergency contacts/alerts further.

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