UX Designer & Developer
Wande Wanders
Wande Wanders
Project Brief
A series of noteworthy travel guides curated for my travel blog, Wande Wanders.
Throughout 2018, I turned my love for travel and storytelling into a successful travel blog titled "Wande Wanders" (stemming from my middle-name). A passionate content creator, I am always dreaming up new strategies to provide value for my audience. Most of the time, I am inundated with messages from curious individuals eager to learn anything and everything about how to live a life where they travel more. In order to answer these questions for both my direct audience and beyond, I built a series of thorough travel guides inclusive of curated bits of information aspiring travelers will need to know to ensure incredible adventures.
• Maximizing engagement rates considering users were stemming from primarily from social media (Instagram, Pinterest), apps notorious for inducing a shorter attention span.
• Setting up an Information Architecture to structure the wealth of recommendation content for quick and intuitive access by users, particularly those interacting with the mobile breakpoint.
• Minimizing bounce rate (% of visitors viewing a single page) by optimizing the load time.
Cuba, Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Costa Rica, India
Build digital hub for travel guides
Monetize recommendation content
Capture email addresses and maintain database
4 months

To start, I sought verify my assumptions and validate the value proposition for my audience through several polls and surveys administered simply via Instagram's polling tools.

Structure + Design

Keeping in mind that the majority of traffic would be driven by Instagram, it was imperative the hierarchy of information was easy to navigate and purposefully structured for mobile permutations. Thus, content is nested under four primary buckets, "Things-to-know","What to do", "Where to eat", "Where to stay". Users are able to access any specific recommendation within 3 clicks. 

Testing + Analytics

The products initial launch was mostly successful with at least 60% of users spending at least 3.5 minutes on the site. However an assessment of the Google Analytics uncovered a abnormally large number of users spending zero seconds on the site, presumably due to an almost 4 second load time.

I am aware that users tend to abandon websites that do not load within 3 seconds. As a result, I minimized the number of requests coming from image content by compressing image sizes, transferring PNG icons to SVG formats, and overall reducing the amount of imagery. These small changes resulted in a 1.2 second decrease in average load time and 23% increase in user engagement.
Maintaining a high engagement rate from Users stemming primarily from social media(Instagram, Pinterest) by optimizing the UX for quick and simple use on a mobile breakpoint.
(within 2.5 months)

• 673 unique users entered email addresses and opted-in to receiving notice of new travel content and guides.
• 18,066 hits were accumulated on solely the Cuba Travel Guide with 85% of traffic stemming from mobile.
"I just wanted to tell you, your journey is inspiring. For a very long time now, I've contemplated traveling solo. What's stopping me is the fear of going alone. Going through your blog gave me some hope! I aspire to reach out there and experience the world like you very soon! Love an light to your journey and adventures." 

"Just wanted to let you know that your guides are amazing and inspire me to travel more! I love your spirit and what you're doing. Keep it up!"
UserExperience Design, Responsive Design, Iconography, Illustration, VisualCommunication, Google Analytics, Web Development, Moderated Usability Testing
Cuba,Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Costa Rica, India
Create a digital hub for a series of noteworthy travel guides, incorporating monetization and capturing user data.
view live site here
view live site below
"For a long time now, I've contemplated traveling solo. What's stopping me is the fear of going alone. Your guide has given me the insight to realize, I got this!"
Shade Bakare
Hey, I'm Shade Bakare. An Atlanta-based Product Designer + digital nomad with a passion for curating relevant digital experiences at the intersection of simplicity and authenticity. I partner with my clients to draw the connections between who they are, why they are, and what they do to strategically position them to stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter digital experiences.
Is your name really pronounced "Shade"?
Nope. It's pronounced "shah-day". Exactly like the British-Pop singer Sade Adu. Haven't heard of her? Click here. Thank me later :)
Quick facts
1. I am a "full-stack" Product Designer with 5+ years of experience across Research, Interaction/Visual Design, and a sprinkle of FED.

2. I spent a little over 3 years as a Digital Product Designer and Strategist for the global consulting firm, Accenture Interactive, where I led efforts to transform and revitalize digital experiences for some of the world’s largest companies.

3. Traveling the world and experiencing new cultures is a huge passion of mine! I take great pride in my carefully manicured Instagram profile @fola.shade.

4. I think yoga, meditation, and all things mindfulness are the bomb. Digital Minimalism is the new wave I can't get enough of.

5. I'm the oldest of 3 and first-generation Nigerian-American. My parents are my inspiration and my siblings are the coolest kids around. #TheBakareBunch

Why I do this work
I believe that everyone has a story. A valid one. One that should be considered, valued, respected, and most importantly, designed for. With each individual comes a unique background that shapes perspective & fuels motivation. Therein lies an opportunity for designers.

Over the past three years while working at Accenture, I simultaneously built an ethos-driven digital studio where I execute Brand/Business Strategy and Product Design & Development for a wide array of clients in order to further define their missions and achieve their goals. 

This work means a lot to me. I get to be the bridge between an idea and a tangible product. The catalyst between a dream and a purpose driven life. I don't take this work lightly as it is my way of utilizing my professional talents to make an impact on my clients, and their ability to leave their marks on the world.
What I am curious about
I am most interested in developing solutions that democratize access to technology and address the inefficiencies that line the underbelly of societies in emerging markets. An enormous opportunity exists in utilizing inclusive design to develop new platforms that create culturally relevant technologies that both deliver impact and generate revenue. More specifically, I am eager to be a part of how newer innovations in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Robotics can be leveraged to reach not only the saturated markets of the western world but the next billion users in developing countries around the globe.
My Four [Design] Agreements
1. Connect to the ethos. Find the ‘why’.
2. Never make assumptions.
3. It can always be better.
4. Design... Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.