logo zeit png.png

Zeit Time Travel

Project Overview

Zeit is an online ecommerce time travel provider who has solved the space-time continuum and is looking to break into the time travel market by offering resort-destination travel to over 289 locations from prehistoric time to today.

Course: Designlab’s UX Academy Program

Client: Zeit Stakeholders

Timeline: 4 weeks

Key Activities: Secondary research, primary research, ideation, wireframing, prototyping, interaction design, usability testing, user interface design

Tools used: Sketch, Illustrator, InVision


The Design Process

design process zeit.png

Design Goals & Objectives

The goals for the project helped guide the design process.

  • Design a logo for Zeit that is modern and historical at the same time. How can we reflect on modern technology while keeping a link to the past?
  • Design a responsive e-commerce website where travelers can browse trips, filter by interest, historical times and location, and buy a trip to the past.

Research Goals

  • Understand what a successful time travel and/or traditional travel experience is. Is it an immersive experience, a history lesson, the opportunity to do something extraordinary, or something else?
  • Evaluate what inspires people about travel and time travel in particular. Which needs should be met: ease of booking, information about available locations, pricing, etc. What are people looking for when traveling to the past?

  • Identify people’s interest in time traveling compared to a more traditional type of travel like vacation packages and resorts.
  • Methodologies

  • Competitive Analysis and Market Research: Are there similar companies offering immersive and interest-driving experiences? Who are the people buying these services and why? Is there a potential to offer something cheaper, better and more personalized?
  • Interviews: Innovative new products that don’t exist yet require that we understand what the customer’s version of success is.  When we ask the participants to look into the future, what has the product done to make them happy five years from now?
  • Empathy-Mapping: What inspires people to try time travel? What are their dreams? Would time travel help people understand the world better? Understanding the user’s motivations will guide the product.
  • Market & Industry Research

    Yearly Vacation Spend 2017 1

    • Millennials (ages 18-24) $1,373
    • Generation X (ages 35-54) $2,628
    • Baby Boomers (ages 55+) $1,865

    In-destination Activities 2

    In-destination tourist services generally focus on tours and activities; however, other categories are much more significant regarding sales. Shopping and food generated the most substantial sales globally, at $580 billion and $565 billion respectively in 2013.

    Shopping is expected to record the fastest growth in the next five years at a 9% CAGR.

    Other categories in in-destination tourist services include entertainment, excursions as well as tourist attractions, car rental, spas and other tourist activities.

    Pre-Booking Activities 3

    Travelers aged 18-34 were most likely to pre-book activities (26%), followed by those aged 35 – 54 (20%), with older travelers (55+) (12%) showing the most resistance to pre-booking.

    “Millennials and Gen Xers are a strong and willing market, showing the highest likelihood of engagement in these activities.”

    Kenneth Purcell, founder and CEO of iSeatz

    • 81% participate in bookable in-destination activities
    • 42% day trips, excursions, and sightseeing tours
    • 30% museums, galleries, and cultural attractions
    • 28% outdoor activities

    50% of 18-34-year-olds booked a day trip, excursion or sightseeing tour during their last vacation


    Competitive Analysis

    Zeit is looking to break into the time travel market by offering resort-destination travel to over 289 locations from prehistoric time to today. Interest-based travel is becoming more popular, and these travel trends and audience segments are detailed below.

    Immersive and Adventure Travel

    Immersive travel gives travelers the experience to become someone else. People who choose this type of trip are typically looking to connect with friends, have a life-changing experience and make lasting memories. This audience segment has a large appetite for adventure and spontaneity.

    All-Inclusive Travel and Activities

    Families with children under 15 choose all-inclusive experiences to experience activities and adventures in a safe place. They typically travel to relax and like to pre-book their activities and pay up-front, so there are no surprises.

    In-Destination Travel

    Travel is one of the most popular pursuits after retirement. In-destination travel and activities would cater to an older segment of the population who want to experience history and historic places. Group travel and appropriate safe activities are attractive to this audience segment.


    Airbnb Experiences are excursions or other activities designed and led by local hosts.

    Hosts can offer both immersions and one-day experiences. Experiences range from workshops to long treks.


    • Well-known brand
    • Easy to use
    • Responsive to change in trends


    • Limited to what hosts can offer
    • Difficult to quality-control
    • Need to book flight and accommodations separately

    Disney Cruises provides fun for the whole family in one easy location. They offer activities, excursions, and recreation for the selected duration of the trip


    • Great brand-recognition and trust
    • Good value
    • Experiences and activities for everyone in the family


    • May not appeal to single and older travelers
    • May not appeal to a young group of friends traveling together
    • Need to travel to a port to start the trip

    The expeditions span the globe and are designed for a broad spectrum of interests. Travel is by land, aboard small ships, along with classic train routes, and in the comfort of a private jet.


    • Trusted brand in the older population segment
    • Excellent distinction between the trip types and requirements of the traveler
    • Flexibility in booking, many options


    • Expensive
    • Considered a bit stale and elite
    • Some negative reputation tied to the magazine


    User Research

    To better understand the different groups of travelers, I conducted interviews with three participants.

    These interviews led to insights into the goals and pain points for the three main personas for Zeit Time Travel.

    Here are some the the interview questions from the survey:

    • Can you tell me about the last time you booked a vacation?
    • Do you participate in activities when you’re on vacation?
    • Can you describe a great vacation you took?
    • Can you describe a terrible vacation experience if any?
    • Can you imagine that you just came back from a vacation where you traveled in time? Tell me about that vacation.


    The Millennial seeks to embark on the “hero’s journey”—where they immerse themselves in the unknown to learn from other cultures and places. Once they return from their travels, they can share this knowledge to change their own lives and the lives of those around them.

    For families, kids are often the priority. That means that all the details, from the itinerary to safe transport, accommodation, activities, and meals need to be well-organized, accessible for all ages, and bring the family together. If the trip has educational value, that is a bonus. Exposing the kids to new cultures, places, and ideas is a great way to this.

    The Retiree wants a more specialized and segmented experience. Tired of the standard bus tour or cruise, the active, retired traveler seeks to explore their interests in history, architecture or art through niche experiences like a walking tour of dead Irish poets’ homes or sightseeing at one of the world’s first boat-building docks.



    Personas are fictional characters, based upon research created in order to represent the different user types that might use the product in a similar way. Creating personas helps us to understand users’ needs, experiences, behaviours and goals. For Zeit, we identified three main personas: The Millenial, The Family Guy and The Retiree.

    The Millenial The Retiree

    Empathy Mapping

    An empathy map is a visualization tool used to articulate what we know about a user. This tool helps us build a broader understanding of the “why” behind user’s needs and wants.

    Say and Do: What the user says and the actions they take.

    Think and Feel: What worries the user? What does the user get excited about?

    See and Hear: What are other discrations and the user’s environment like?

    Empathy Map Family Guy


    The UX storyboard can help visually predict and explore the user experience with a product.

    It visualizes how people would interact with a service or app.

    A UX storyboard can also help with understanding users current motivations and experiences connected with a certain problem.


    Zeit Time Travel Goals


    User Flow

    A user flow diagram is a visual representation of the user’s actions to complete tasks within the product. A visualized user flow makes it easier to identify which steps should be designed, where people arrive in the product, and where interactions occur.

    The user flow communicates the essentials of what needs to happen.

    User flow Zeit

    Task Flow

    The task flow illustrates the path a user might take to complete a common task.

    Task Flow

    Site Map

    The site map clarifies the hierarchy and the page type which need to be created for Zeit.

    Site Map

    Taxonomy through Card Sorting

    A taxonomy results from an exploration of multiple ways to categorize content and data.

    A taxonomy helps designers to define the content structure that supports the user’s and the business’ goals.

    The Similarity Matrix shows a strong colleration and agreement between the particpants. The naming of the categories suggested is displayed above. This exercise was an open sort done by 8 participants for 30 card categories.

    Standarsized Categories After Cart Sorting

    • Destinations
    • Time Periods
    • Type of Activities
    • Travel Party
    • Vacation Type

    Landing Page

    Landing Page

    Active Search

    Active Search

    Trip Details

    Trip Details
    Zeit Logos

    Logo & Icon Exploration

    Objective: Design a logo for the company that can be modern and historical at the same time: how can you reflect a modern technology with a link to the deep past?

    Style Tile
    UI Kit