My initial ‘HMW’ was “How might we find the perfect size when shopping online?”. This is definitely the meaningful problem I want to solve. However, I thought in my thesis project I wanted to solve the more complicated problem which needs more researches, analysis, and strategic thinking. So I decided to change my thesis idea(the project for the original idea is still ongoing but just not for thesis).
My new problem space for the thesis is travel since this area is also one of my biggest interests. So I am thinking about my travel experience. And I realized that I really care about accommodations when planning a trip. I always want to stay in a room having great interiors and beautiful views. And I really don’t like staying small room so I always check the square feet of the rooms before I choose the accommodation.
So I started with “How might we reserve the perfect accommodation fast and easily online?” And I came up with one rough product that finding a room based on the image and size. The first step is the product shows a lot of room photos and users choose the one they like or users can upload room photos they like. And then the user also chooses the photo of the room’s view in the same way. And then choose the room size, number of bedrooms, date, price range, locations.
And I did interviews with my classmates, friends, and family. I asked them their thought about my idea and the question “What is the important thing to you when planning a trip?” And I had some various helpful insights. Here are some key takeaways from my interviewees.
Ku: Just finding a room in a different way is not that special for the users. But it can be more interesting like finding cities, the place with beautiful swimming pool, the place with a great neighborhood using image searches.
Yuxuan: Sometimes even if the photo is perfect, the real looking is totally different when you actually see that room on a trip. So it needs some solutions to make sure the quality of the room.
Brenda: Airbnb has already started a service that if the users choose some images they like it recommends some places they can consider. So I recommend you search about other platforms’ similar services and think about how can your product can be unique from them.
Nikhil: To be honest, I do not care about the room interior or the view. I only care about the price and usability like convenient location and public transportation.
Tien-Wei: How about the users can design the room they want to visit? It can be a more customized experience. Renting a custom-designed camping car can be one interesting way.
Alice: I think you are now too focused on the solution, not a problem that’s why I think your target audience and problem are not specific. And actually for me, one of my biggest concerns about traveling new place is safety. Sometimes I want to try traveling alone but safety is always the problem for me. And I think many people who want to travel alone feel the same way.
There were tons of helpful insights from them. However, the safety issue from Alice claimed my attention. And I felt the safety in travel is a more important and serious problem than finding the perfect accommodation for people who want to travel alone. Of course, those can be related to each other. So eventually, these interviews made me come up with my new thesis problem and HMW which is
“How might we stay safe when traveling alone?”
I know this is a huge and complicated problem but I want to try it.