UX Design

title. Explore the Zeitgeist

date. 2020

client. ZEIT | Time Travel Tourism

task. Responsive E-commerce Website Design & Branding

role. UX/UI Design & Strategy 




Zeit is a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire. After a long struggle with Elon Musk, Virgin has been able to make time travel tourism available to all. 


After years of discussions and deliberation, officials in Brussels last month announced the International Concordance on Time Travel, giving Zeit a set of standards to under which they can democratize the experience of time travel.


  • Design a logo for the company that can be modern and historical at the same time. Reflect a modern technology with a link to the deep past.

  • Design a responsive e-commerce website that is easy to use and that allows customers to browse through all all different trip categories and details, filtering via interests and classifications. 


ZEIT does not exist. Time travel does not exist. Designing for a fictitious product that user have never experienced, nor have any real concept of how it works will be this project's greatest challenge. A lack of real world information and experience will effect everything from the research phase through the usability testing. Participants will be asked to suspend reality and imagine themselves in a future world in order. Given this hypothetical scenario, obtaining real data and insights that guide the design will be lacking. We will be creating an imaginary product.

project phases.

  1. RESEARCH -Market Research, Competitive Analysis, User Interviews, Persona 

  2. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE - Card Sorting, Site Map, Feature Road Map, Task Flows, User Flows,

  3. BRANDING - Logo, Style Tile

  4. UI DESIGN - Responsive Designs, UI Kit

  5. USABILITY TESTING - Prototype, User Testing, Affinity Map




research goals.

  • To discern what travelers are hoping to experience during a time-travel adventure.


  • To glean what information a traveler needs to feel comfortable booking a time-travel adventure online


  • To understand the demographics of the traveler who aspires to time-travel.


  • To reveal what barriers exist that would prevent a traveler from booking a time-travel experience on ZEIT.

market research.

ZEIT is well positioned to take advantage of the top current trends in travel. Travelers want immersive experiential experiences. Which is exactly what ZEIT offers with time travel experiences. They want the booking the trip to fun and they need the booking process to be positive for mobile users. Both of which are priorities for this project. 


Time Travel is on the leading edge of the travel experience. The closest extreme travel experience we have present day is Space Travel. Time travel and space travel share two key characteristics, that make them secondary competitors: Luxury Experience & Adventure Travel. However, only one company, Spaces Adventures, has flown tourists in space. And neither offer direct booking. 


Direct competitors share at least 2 of 3 key characteristics: 

1. Luxury Experience 

2. Adventure Travel

3. Online Booking 

There are a number of tour operators in the luxury segment that offer bespoke adventure travel that are direct competitors for ZEIT’s clientele’s attention and dollars. 

competitive analysis.

ker & downey logo.jpg

user interviews.

User 1

luxury traveler


80 years, retired, some college

This user enjoys luxury travel and wants the whole experience to be seamless and top-notch. He travels for leisure a couple of times a year. And spend upwards of $40,000 a year on travel. He is comfortable with technology and will do research and price comparison online. But feels most comfortable leaning on a traditional travel agent to book his travel.

User 2

experiential traveler


54 years, executive, college graduate

This user enjoys authentic local experiences. He is familiar with booking travel online but doesn’t 100% trust it. He wants references and reviews from trusted sources before he will book online. He travels up to 4 times a year and has a substantial budget.

User 3

adventure seeker


23 yaers, recent college graduate

This user is very tech savvy. And is completely comfortable with researching and booking travel experiences online. He is looking for an authentic immersive experience with lots of activities. Accommodations are important, but secondary to activities. He budgets $5-7,000 a year for travel.

User 4

tourism sme


 38 years, college graduate


This user has 15 years in the travel/hospitality industry. She is a frequent traveler. Although the majority of her travel is for business. She always books her travel online. She’s a budget traveler. Rewards/points programs are important to her.


Ethan persona.png

research summary.

  • Proof of Concept is critical. Testimonials, first person video, images, recommendations and positive reviews must be easily accessible and highlighted.

  • Time Travel is a luxury experience. The entire ZEIT experience, from booking through the return flight must be flawless.

  • Authenticity is paramount. Immersive, local experiences are a priority for users. 

  • Transparency in pricing, quality guarantees, and safety are all top of mind for users. 


Information Architecture

card sorting.

A couple of patterns developed (or didn’t develop) that should be noted:

  1. Participants seemed to take their own unique approach to sorting and grouping which led to few strong card pairings.

  2. 32 different categories emerged from 7 participants. For an average 4.5 unique categories per participant. 

  3. After reviewing the data, I grouped the 32 categories that emerged into 4 groups: TIME PERIODS, GEOGRAPHY, EXPERIENCES and INSPIRATION.

  4. The 32 various categories fell fairly easily into these 4 larger groups.



  1. Categories and subcategories will be needed to facilitate a seamless experience online for users.

  2. Travel packages will fall into various categories and sub-categories.

  3. Robust tagging will be critical to users being able to search efficiently.

site map.

Site Map Final.jpg

feature road map.



logo & style tile.

Brand Style Tile v3.jpg

UI Design


ui kit.

UI Kit v2.jpg

responsive design.

ZEIT Responsive Design v1.jpg

Usability Testing



prototype button.png


High-fidelity prototype of the ZEIT desktop website using InVision


3 USERS -  22-55 years, frequent travelers, tech savvy



  1. Users have clicked on an instagram ad that highlights Time Travel that takes them to the ZEIT home page. They click on Explore to search the site for Travel Packages.

  2. User Googled ZEIT after seeing a feature on the Today Show. They click on the google link taking them to the homepage. 

  3. User has traveled with ZEIT before and knows they want to book the Ancient Rome trip. They received an email from ZEIT promoting the trip and clicked on the link. 



  1. How does this website compare to other travel booking websites you have used?

  2. How do you feel about the amount and quality of information presented on the site?

  3. How do you feel about the overall design and layout of the site?

  4. What are 5 adjectives that you would use to describe this site?

  5. Were you able to find what you were looking for?

  6. What information that you needed was NOT provided on the site?

  7. Was the site easy to navigate?

  8. What was the best part about the site?

  9. How did you find the check out process?

  10. Did anything frustrate or confuse you?

testing summary.

Overall participants were very positive about the branding and websites aesthetics. 


There was also consistency among my participants that the header navigation needed to be adjusted. And that the hierarchy needed to be clearer on the Search/Explore page. In addition the participants were looking for an About section in the navigation bar and more information about the company on the landing page. 

Additional adjustments will be made to the sign-in pages, combining the two tasks in one page; as well as adding another step to the check-out process.


  1. The main navigation header will be revised to About, Explore, Sign-in, Experiences/Travel Packages will be added under Explore. 

  2. An additional page will be added to the checkout process. Allowing for a confirmation prior to payment.

  3. The sign-in page will accommodate both Account Creation and a Sign-in. 

  4. The Explore/Search page hierarchy will be reworked.  

  5. More information about the company will be added to the Homepage.

  6. Descriptive text will be added the the Experiences/Travel Packages cards on the Homepage.

final design.

Final Designs .png


Designing a fictitious product for a fictitious company was challenging in that assumptions needed to be made in order to move forward with the design. This created conflict and dissonance in both the research and user testing portion of the project. It also allowed for freedom in the branding and visual design. The final product is a reflection of both assumptions and "real-life" data and testing packaged with engaging visuals within a modern design.  

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