In 2018, Playa has worked with HyperAir to start a prototype that improves the experience of foreign currency exchange in Hong Kong. I started working as a full-time product designer at HyperAir starting 2019. As a product designer, aside from crafting wireframes, user interfaces and prototypes, I also weigh in business goals and daily operation throughout my design process.
Brand Style and Language
Targeting at frequent travellers and young people, we have concluded the brand style to be bold and casual. Neon color palettes are adopted for primary buttons and header background. We bring in Cantonese (Mother tongue in Hong Kong) instead of Chinese in our UI copy to be more friendly and approachable.
While we are developing more service modules, it is important for users to remember us as an integrated travel platform. In the early stage of building a well-known travel brand, our logo is showcased extensively in app design, as well as in third-party promotions.
Stunning photos taken all around the world were also displayed, in order to create an immersive experience to connect our app with travel.
Currency exchange in Hong Kong is not transparent enough for customers to compare exchange rate and service
This was the mission statement of the initial app launch in 2018 Fall. Adopting a B2C model to bridge the gap between FX stores and travellers, the app aimed to become travellers’ essential. Before departure, exchange quotes from client app will be sent to partnered FX stores, so user may compare up-to-date exchange prices and reserve online.
One of the problems we encountered designing for currency exchange is data. We kept a minimal design and displayed only the necessary information. However, feedback was out of our expectations. Users preferred to see more data at once when they deal with money, rather than having to look for them in tabs and corners. We quickly adjusted the design to fit more content within the same page, and adopted design hierarchy to stress on important data.
All-round Travel Service
As the app continues to grow, We have launched more service modules to facilitate the course of a traveller in preparing their trips.
- Travel SIM - Data SIM marketplace to get you connected while you travel. It is also first online eSIM store in Hong Kong.
- Travel Insurance - Compare price and coverage for your travel insurance plans.
- Travel Inspiration - Read handpicked travel articles about popular destinations.
- Travel Experience - Book local experience and tours with our partner networks.
Challenges & Solutions
As the first and only designer in the company, I worked closely with two co-founders who lead business and product development, together with two software engineers to ship our app. Transitioning from an agency to a startup, we adopted an agile workflow instead of waterfall to deliver and improve continuously.
The biggest challenges we encountered is the limitation of resources and time. We have to complete features, enhancement and bug fix in a two-week sprint.
From the design aspect, we ideate quickly by sketching required flows and designing on possible user interfaces one sprint ahead. We also collected feedback from our customers and analytical data to improve sales funnels after shipping our updates.
I have also established our brand's design system, by creating a design token and projects files ready for scaling.
Striking a balance between user needs and business goals is a challenging task for a product designer. More factors have to be taken in consideration, like business operation, competitors, technical and design debt etc.
Design is making conscious choices that people perceive visually. Reflecting on what I can do better, I believe it’s the documentation of the design process. As we were redesigning some old pages, I realised documenting all decisions and start building a “knowledge base” is essential to contribute to a team and also a product’s growth.
UI/UX Designer, Product Designer, Visual Designer