NomadHer - Travel Buddy

NomadHer, acclaimed as a UNWTO award-winning application and the #1 app choice for female solo travelers. In my role as a Product Designer, I spearheaded the development of Travel Buddy, a groundbreaking feature designed to enhance connectivity and discovery among our users. This case study focuses on the strategic design and implementation process of Travel Buddy' outlining its significant impact in enriching the NomadHer user experience.



Product Designer


User Research, Spec Writing, Product Documentation, Wireframing, Prototyping, UI Design, Usability Testing, Design QA


April 2022 - December 2023



NomadHer members




Meetups organized


How do you BETTER connect 100,000+ FEMALE travelers with one another?


In the realm of solo travel, the ability to connect effortlessly with fellow travelers is paramount. NomadHer stands out by fostering a trusted platform for these connections.

However, we identified a crucial challenge: following the introduction of our 'Write Post' feature, we observed that a significant 33% of our users were posting requests to 'Look for a Travel Buddy'. These posts, critical in nature, were becoming submerged in the general feed, making them challenging to locate and respond to.

This insight led us to a pivotal decision: to develop 'Travel Buddy' as a distinct, dedicated feature within the app. Our goal was to streamline the process, enhancing the ease with which our users could connect, thus directly addressing a core need of our community.

Documenting user research and product specs/limitations in our Notion doc. Crafting user scenarios of how different users based on research would use Travel Buddy

My Role

As the Product Designer, my primary role encompassed orchestrating a cohesive effort across multiple departments — including Marketing, Content, and Development — to ensure a synergistic approach in creating the Travel Buddy feature. My responsibility was to amalgamate insights from each sector, addressing technical constraints and aligning our vision with feasible execution strategies.

This pivotal role also involved steering the development process within a stringent 3-month deadline, set to launch in 2023. The objective was not only to successfully deploy the feature but also to accumulate valuable data and insights post-launch, to continually refine and enhance the user experience.


Problem Solving

Given our tight timeline, a key decision was to determine the specifics of the user search functionality, including whether to constantly feature locals in a specific location. Through collaborative brainstorming sessions and aligning with our product roadmap, we strategically opted to streamline the search experience.

This approach was not just a solution to our time constraints; it was a deliberate move to create a foundational version of Travel Buddy. This initial iteration was designed to serve as a testing ground, allowing us to gather essential user data. This data would be instrumental in guiding the development of future, more sophisticated versions of the feature, continually enhancing the user experience based on actual user interactions and feedback.

Mapping out all possible flows, and outcomes with Travel Buddy


In the wireframing stage, I meticulously crafted the initial designs to chart out a comprehensive user flow from start to finish. The primary focus here was to streamline the user's journey in achieving their goal within the 'Travel Buddy' feature. This phase involved critical decision-making on several fronts: determining the most relevant information to display during the user's search process, devising an intuitive and efficient search mechanism, and outlining the structure for creating and responding to announcements.

The wireframes served as a blueprint, guiding us in visualizing and refining these key elements. This foundational work was essential in paving the way for the subsequent application of our design system, ensuring that the final product was both user-friendly and aligned with NomadHer's aesthetic and functional standards.


Iterative Feedback Loop

Following the initial wireframe development, we embarked on a rigorous iterative feedback loop. This began internally, where the wireframes were scrutinized and refined based on feedback from our cross-functional team. Each team member's insights were instrumental in honing the design to align with both technical feasibility and our strategic vision.

Simultaneously, we conducted usability testing sessions with potential users. These interviews were crucial in gaining unbiased user perspectives on the 'Travel Buddy' feature. Their feedback provided invaluable insights into user expectations, preferences, and any potential barriers to achieving their goals with the feature.

This iterative process, blending internal and external inputs, went through three cycles of refinement. Each iteration brought us closer to a design that not only resonated with our team's vision but also resonated with our users. It was after these comprehensive rounds of feedback and testing that we arrived at the final version of the design, one that truly represented the needs and expectations of our NomadHer community.

Design review call with the CEO and full-stack developers. Our call was captured and featured in a Korean article!


"Transitioning to High-Fidelity Designs: After finalizing the wireframe flow for 'Travel Buddy', I embarked on applying our UI design system to these frameworks. This crucial phase involved transforming the wireframes into detailed, visually coherent high-fidelity designs. A key focus was the clear presentation of primary Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons, ensuring they were prominent and intuitive across the app. But the design process didn't end there.

Even post-deployment for development, rigorous testing was essential. This step was necessary to ensure that every element of the UI not only aligned with our aesthetic standards but also functioned seamlessly, providing an optimal user experience.

High Fidelity Designs



"After launching 'Travel Buddy', the impact wasn't immediate, but we soon observed a significant increase in user connections through the feature, accompanied by a decrease in 'Travel Buddy' related posts on the general feed. This initial success, however, didn't mark the end of our improvements. Recognizing the limitations of the first release, we engaged in ongoing user surveys to gather qualitative feedback.

Concurrently, we utilized data tracking tools to quantitatively analyze user interactions with the feature, enabling us to continually refine and enhance 'Travel Buddy' based on real user experiences and needs.

Our happy users meeting in real life after using our new feature!


Message rate of users after searching and discovering users traveling to similar destinations as they were


Different cities searched on Travel Buddy


of users search flexibly i.e they don't have a specific date in mind

Data-Driven Insights for Feature Enhancement

In collaboration with a full-stack developer, we implemented back-end data trackers tailored to capture specific high-level metrics from 'Travel Buddy' usage. These metrics ranged from geographic insights, such as the most frequently searched countries, to temporal patterns, like the lead time users took to create a 'Travel Buddy' announcement before their travel dates. With these trackers, we began generating over 800K monthly data points.

This wealth of information enabled us to adopt a more data-driven, quantitative approach in understanding user behavior. Consequently, this insight is pivotal in guiding our strategies for enhancing and refining the app's features, ensuring they align more closely with our users' needs and preferences

Working with the development team, we built more internal trackers to provide us with more insights to be use for next iterations of the product



While the team and I are proud of the initial release of Travel Buddy, we recognize that this is just the beginning of its evolution. The insights gained from analytics have been eye-opening, revealing numerous avenues for improvement and paving the way for the development of Travel Buddy V2.

Reflecting on the project timeline, I believe an even deeper dive into user research would have been beneficial. Understanding more about how users meet and interact with each other could provide valuable perspectives, shaping the feature to better meet their needs.. Given the timeframe, I would've loved to have dug deeper into user research to understand better how users meet with each other.

Thank You

I am profoundly grateful for this incredible journey with NomadHer. Collaborating with some of the most brilliant and dedicated minds from diverse backgrounds and cultures has been an enriching experience. Each team member's unique perspective and experience have significantly contributed to our collective mission.

Together, we are dedicated to making travel safer, more accessible, and vibrant for female travelers worldwide. My heartfelt thanks go to the entire NomadHer team for their unwavering commitment and inspiring work ethic.

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