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An all-encompassing online trip planning resource for parents of young children.

Traveling with small children can be an especially unpleasant task, even when the ultimate goal is an incredible family vacation. In my Business of Design class at CCA, my team was tasked to create a startup company by drawing a random demographic; we drew “young parents.” In the course of framing our potential ideas, we discovered that many pain points exist between traveling parents and their final trip destination. While there are many travel sites that can bundle flights, hotels, and rental cars, there are no sites that also allow parents to book strollers, or guarantee hotel amenities like rollaway beds and adjoining rooms. Vesta creates a parent-focused experience and community surrounding the tough job of getting your little ones from point A to point B.

Team Role: Lead UX Designer, QA Officer.
Contribution: I was responsible for Vesta’s product strategy, website UX / UI and QA for the rest of the team.

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What needs do young parents have?
We selected the target demographic for our startup in Business of Design by drawing it out of a hat. While our team might not have naturally settled on choosing young parents, being able to brainstorm about any topic under the sun is a good skill to keep sharp.

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Young parents still want to travel, and small children make that hard.
We interviewed several couples to help generate some ideas. Once we started asking about traveling with their kids, we realized this activity had many unmet needs.

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We developed our story and business plan to fix a broken travel experience.

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We developed strategies for how people will discover and use Vesta, increasing our brand awareness.

VESTA positioning 2x2

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Vesta is positioned to offer services that broad-market travel sites cannot.
We positioned Vesta in a unique environment. By tapping a lucrative niche market, we applied the similar design strategies used by bigger competitors to give parents a sense of ease. Although traveling parents already have access to many of the services offered by Vesta, one of our core values is to collate and automate the whole process, saving countless hours for busy parents have already have little time to spare.

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Working with partners opens access to valuable, untapped data.
Our business plan was based on creating a database of available child-focused amenities available at destinations around the world, and make it searchable, something that no travel site has yet to accomplish. By initially partnering with well known travel brands, parents would feel comfortable that Vesta could really deliver a full travel experience. In addition, parents wanting to guarantee items like cribs or bottle fridges currently must do so by calling each hotel individually. With Vesta, we would book those items on their behalf.

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Niche travel is lucrative. Vesta could reach profitability quickly.
We were also tasked to create a 2 year budget for our startup based on our research. We discovered that travel-based advertising online is actually a lucrative business, especially considering we would be focusing on a coveted demographic. By making smart partnerships and building the correct social media buzz around Vesta, it would be possible to be profitable by the 2nd or 3rd year of operation.

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Creating an account will help Vesta find the best options for your family when traveling to unfamiliar places, based on your specific needs.

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Why lug equipment when you can rent it at your destination and have it waiting at your hotel?
Rental equipment is maintained and delivered by locals. For example, grandparents who keep a baby stroller for visiting family could make money renting it through Vesta for most of the year.

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Parents listen to other parents.
Some of our interviewees said that yelp can be less than helpful. When traveling, they’re very concerned about kid-friendlyness and price. Looking through a hundred or so yelp reviews to glean that information isn’t a good use of time. Vesta maintains a community of parents willing and ready to share their experiences!

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During our final pitch, we used a few interactions to help tell the story.
No longer do parents have to scour the Internet to find hotels with the hidden amenities they desire, or find local activities and restaurants that perfectly cater to each member of the family. With rental and delivery features, there is no need to haul around bags of supplies and bulky equipment, or drive in circles trying to find it all at the destination. Vesta allows users to buy or rent everything they need, and to have it waiting in their hotel room. For those on a lighter budget, Vesta provides the numbers and locations of nearby grocery stores, thrift stores and other local suppliers.