What Informs What Is On Offer Online To Globally Curious Afro-Tourists?

How might an intrepid international cultural consumer explore the idea, online, of a place where they are able seek the unusual as well as take away plenty of practical tips and worthwhile insights about Travel destinations?

What are their expectations of refined search functions which allows this cultural consumer to search around contexts (e.g. history, architecture, contemporary but unusual cultural itineraries among others), by location, specific types of activities, whilst increasing their comfort levels?

An interesting example is londonist.com, which feels like one is walking through and along an endless dynamic menu of live entertainment, talks, workshops, varied creative cultural contexts, night-life, politics, transport and arts in London.

Timista on the other hand offers Londoners a friendly search facility that leads to local events as well as entire evenings planned out with times and prices included. It is a well thought out approach to event planning that might be easily be applied to urbane cities around the world.

It soon becomes obvious that this is a city that inspires intrepid cultural consumers in more ways than one.

When we look around ourselves we might observe that typically travellers, curious ones at that, are early adopters of technology.

They are mostly educated in broad terms and they can be picky. Assuming you fall into this category please reflect on this question, when last did the web play into how much control you had over your personal travel arrangements?

Working with a team of cultural consumers (to typify user-personas spread across Dublin, Oslo, Accra, Johannesburg, Lagos and London) we referenced feedback from an open ended interview with each consumer.

We then gathered and analyzed various aspects of their expectations and motivations, in order to build personas and model content scenarios. This process allowed us to map each consumer’s goal with experience triggers on some existing travel sites, four of which have been primed for use as part of a short comparative survey.

Steps adapted to building travellers’ cultural consumner profiles for Ivar Holm in Oslo, Iris Yau in London, Kristina Moody in Dublin, Andrew Etiang in London, Allesandra Benjamin in London, Renee Engelbrecht in Accra and Adam Levine in Johannesburg. | Marketing Mojo

At Value Added in Africa (VAA), Afro-Tourism (a Lagos based Start-Up) and OsanNimu we have introduced the cultural consumer’s perspective and narrative qualitatively into the business development process; what travelers might be considering and even thinking at various stages of their visit.

The idea behind this approach is to remind us (as well as manage our assumptions and prejudice) about why travelers might have made certain decisions. We may also get a sense from people’s responses as to what might have happened during decision moments.

We need to review best practice as far as various stages of the user journey is concerned; what might travelers be thinking about at various stages of their journey across travel platforms?

We think whilst words are useful in describing what travelers are feeling, references to visual experiences, with signposts where connections can be made can be an insightful education about the consumer’s walk through experience.

We are a little biased towards criteria such as aesthetic appeal, user friendliness and usefulness that elicits curiosity.

In other words, we own up to considering easy to look at, easy to navigate, stimulating interest and making life easy for travelers or would be tourists as essential characteristics.

Critically content precedes design, we are looking to be better informed about the kind of content consumers need as well as those they may not know they need.

What are users trying to do?

How menus should be structured?

The kind of first, second or third level menu items?

What should the menu links be called?

In a nut shell we need to use a minimum viable product to structure information architecture in order to start experimenting with an engaging user experience.

Cover Image, The World as a 100 people | Jack Hagley