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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:

Ruba is an online community of travelers sharing their best travel experiences. Members create "Travel Guides" (e.g. "The Most Fun Things To Do In Saigon" "Top 5 things to climb in Paris") which are a collection of reviews of places, activities, or anything of particular interest that the traveler enjoyed MOST.

There are many review sites out there, but Ruba aims to differentiate by creating a more emotional and engaging experience through:

1. A highly visual interface

* LARGE picture(s) accompany each place in a guide

2. A clean, simple User Interface that enables better browsing and discovery

* We aim to be the site you come to plan what to do on your next trip

* And the site you come to to travel "voyeuristically", to see what's been discovered around the world

3. A focus on guides (a collection of reviews of places that users enjoyed MOST) vs. single reivews

* Enable a user to get a better gauge who the reviewer is (by seeing 5-10 reviews in a guide, vs. a single review) and determine "would I like the same things as this user?". For instance, if a user likes another user's guide to Vietnam, she'll be likely to like his other guides too. It is easy to find all guides written by a particular user.

* Better browsing and discovery (see our "related items" feature)

4. An authentic, real traveler "feel" (see words that describe Ruba at the end of this doc)

* We aim to attract passionate, authentic travelers who are looking for a place to share and brag about their travel experiences

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:

Please visit http://ruba.com, create an account, and play around with the site to get a feel for it. Then look at these pages:

1. Home Page - http://ruba.com

2. Location Page - http://ruba.com/Vietnam

* we'd like to move the call to action "make a guide" somewhere else (it does not need to take up a search result space)

* we need to show 2 blogs on the page for SEO reasons (see last 2 results on each page)

3. Guide Page - http://ruba.com/guide/sophia/Places_to_v...

4. Review Page - http://ruba.com/review/sophia/Phu_Quoc

5. Profile Page - http://ruba.com/user/4295067307

We need a detailed mock for each of these pages. If you're looking for a place to start and then get feedback - the Location page is the most important.

You have complete freedom in how you mock up these pages. We want you to be creative and adventurous. The only guidelines we'd like you to keep in mind are:

1. CONTENT IS KING

- our most valuable assets are the user generated content (Travel Guides)

- please build a design that makes our content shine

- avoid designs that are so busy or stylized that users miss the content

2. MAKE IT USABLE

- the site should be incredibly easy to navigate and use

- users should be able to quicky scan pages and see what's important

- text should be easy to read, buttons should catch your eye, titles should be big!

3. KEEP IT CLEAN & SIMPLE

- don't busy the page by throwing in things you don't need

- utilize simple techniques (color, spacing, type) to accentuate and differentiate

- we prefer things that can be done in css and html vs using all images

- avoid: flash, too many containers, too many rounded corners, too many web2.0 gimmicks

4. GIVE IT PERSONALITY

- although the site should be simple, please do give it personality

- do give it a fun color palette that users can identify with the site

- do throw in occasional recurring elements that make the site unique and fun

- do dare to be adventurous and unconventional

5. MISC

- please spend some time on designing a footer (SEO-friendly)

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RUBA:

Ruba is

General:

Travel

Authentic

Real

Local

Languages

Different cultures

Frame of mind:

Understanding

Learning

Open minded

Culture

Genuine

Exploring

Discovery

Fun

Exciting

Getting local flavor

What Ruba users do:

Plane, train, boat, car, bike, walk, taxi, rental car

Tent, hostel, motel, hotel, 5star hotel

Hiking, biking, swimming, trekking, relaxing

Cheap, expensive

Markets

Museums

Meeting people

Conversations

Cafes

Planning, winging it

Ruba is not about

Ultra conservative

Crazy risk takers

Judgmental

Discriminatory

One mode of travel

Tour bus

Package tour

Cruise line package

Extreme travel

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

*please email us if you want more context, it didn't fit in space constraints

Below are 3 different personas that we hope to become passionate users of Ruba:

Young single

Steve is single. 25 years old. Works as a software engineer in a metropolitan area.

He makes $80K/year and pays $1200/month in rent, so he has a reasonable amount of disposable income.

Context: I want to take a fun, interesting trip where Im likely to be able to immerse myself in the local culture and meet new people when Im there

Assumptions: Im pretty flexible and spontaneous. I have a decent amount of vacation. Im adventurous and willing to try new things and risk them now working out exactly as planned.

Pain points: travel sites are very text heavy and focused around hotels. Im a visual person and I like browsing travel photos until I see something intriguing. Id like to find out information about a place from someone I feel is like me. I'd like to talk about/share my travels but not on a site that feels very commercial.

Young couple

Mary has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for 3 years. She is 31 years old. She works as a management consultant based in San Francisco

She makes $110K per year and is trying to save for a down payment on a house. However, she has significant disposable income since shes always on an expense account for work.

She often travels internationally for work to places like France, Germany, UK but wishes she could spend more time there getting to know what real life was like vs spending all her time in meetings

Context: I want to take a romantic trip with my boyfriend somewhere new. I want to really experience the place that I visit.

Assumptions: I dont want to spend hours planning my trip because I have no time. My trip has to be GREAT since I dont have much vacation time. I need my vacation to focus on quality relationship time while we are doing something unique.

Pain points: Im not that creative and dont hang out in circles where they talk about travel all the time. I love new places but have trouble thinking of unique, interesting places to go. I go to travel sites and I dont even know where to start searching. I often think reviews are written by college kids or families neither of which are relevant to me

Married couple

Dave and Sue are married. Mid-30s. They have 2 kids, a boy who is 6 and a girl who is 4. Dave works as a manager in the finance department of a large high tech company. Sue stays home with the kids. They live in the suburbs of a large city.

Pain points: Traveling with kids is not easy. Its hard to know what is and is not appropriate for a family from most of the review sites out there. I cant find a list of kid appropriate things by travel location. I would even tailor where Im going based on what is most appropriate for kids.

WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:

WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:

http://kyanmedia.com/our-work

- good photo presentation/content block

- creative layout, clean header/footer

- clean, bright, fun, visually digestible

- excellent use of simple design/layout techniques,

http://www.vitsoe.com/en/gb/about/introd...

- nice content blocks, clean photo presentation

- easy to navigate

- clean, simple, elegant, minimal

- space efficient

http://www.45royale.com/blog/

- good photo/caption blocks

- easy to navigate

- clean, bright, fun, visually digestible

http://digitalmash.com/work/print/

- fun/clever photo presentation

- creative header, clean and efficient navigation

http://www.good.is

- clean, simple, elegant

- space efficient

- content shines, good photo presentation

- easy to navigate

- good balance of aesthetics & functionality

- excellent use of simple design/layout techniques,

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:

- no flash, please

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