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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,  but in having new eyes."
Marcel Proust
planative case study

Keren Levi Faran

Project: UC Berkeley Bootcamp Solo Project Travel App

Role: UX|UI Design | Branding
Tools: Figma, Canva, Miro, Usability Hub


Discover The Native Experience

Armed with optimism and a dash of Silicon Valley inspiration, I launched into my first solo project at UC Berkeley's BootCamp – a travel app built on the "Fiverr" model, connecting local tour guides with eager globetrotters. It seemed like a win-win: empower struggling principles and unlock authentic experiences for travelers. However, six in-depth interviews, 22 data-driven surveys, and a rigorous SWOT analysis shattered that idyllic vision. The truth, unveiled through the whispers of frequent travelers, was stark: the tour guides weren't the users. This revelation ignited a new quest – understanding you, the traveler, and your yearning for deeper, more authentic connections with the places you visit. From this user-centric journey, PlaNative emerged, an app that transcends the tourist circuit and crafts experiences woven by the fabric of local communities.

Discovering the North Star: A User-Centric Pivot in Travel App Design

​Daniela Johnson: The PlaNative Power Traveler
Meet Daniela Johnson, a 37-year-old powerhouse residing in London. With a thriving ad agency under her belt, artistic sensibilities, and a young family in tow, Daniela embodies the PlaNative user persona. Her travels reflect a nuanced blend of wanderlust and purpose, seeking cultural immersion and meaningful connections with local communities.

Unquenchable thirst for the unknown: Daniela craves fresh experiences, yearning to discover hidden gems beyond the tourist facade. She dreams of immersing herself in local rhythms, vibrant markets, and the soulful music that resonates from the heart of a place.


Time-pressed but curious: Juggling the demands of work and family leaves Daniela with precious little time for in-depth research. Frustrated by the fragmented planning process across multiple platforms, she seeks a streamlined solution to curate authentic itineraries.


Building bridges: Deeply connected to the arts and community, Daniela is passionate about supporting local businesses and cultures. She prioritizes ethical and sustainable experiences and embraces her responsible and mindful traveler role.

Meet PlaNative, her travel confidante:

  • Local intelligence at your fingertips: PlaNative curates insights straight from a place's soul, sourced from passionate locals like artists, musicians, and small business owners—no more sifting through impersonal guidebooks or generic online reviews.

  • Seamless planning, lasting memories: Forget bouncing between endless websites and apps. PlaNative centralizes everything, from hidden culinary gems to local events and unique activities, crafting personalized itineraries that reflect Daniela's passions.

  • Beyond sightseeing, building impact: PlaNative prioritizes ethically sourced experiences and local partnerships, allowing Daniela to directly contribute to the communities she visits and leave a positive footprint wherever she goes.

With PlaNative, Daniela can:

  • Ditch the hours spent on research and embrace stress-free planning.

  • Discover the pulse of a place through authentic local recommendations.

  • Build meaningful connections with the people who make a destination unique.

  • Create unforgettable memories that go beyond sightseeing and tourist traps.

From bustling London streets to charming village squares, PlaNative becomes Daniela's passport to experiences that resonate with her soul.

Show me your Passport

Armed with Daniela's story and the collective whispers of your research, the journey towards PlaNative's development truly began. The research phase served as a compass, guiding you through the uncharted territory of ideation and definition. Using the "I Like, I Wish, What If" method, you unearthed the hidden desires and frustrations bubbling beneath the surface of user insights. Each "I Like" celebrated current travel practices, while "I Wish" pinpointed pain points, and "What If" boldly envisioned solutions beyond the conventional.

This exploration fueled the creation of a feature prioritization matrix, meticulously balancing user needs with business viability. User scenarios and storyboards further brought Daniela's journey to life, vividly mapping her interactions with PlaNative from inspiration to unforgettable memories. Finally, the user journey map meticulously traced every touchpoint, ensuring a seamless and intuitive experience throughout her travels.

Through this iterative process, the core value proposition of PlaNative crystallized: "Connecting travelers to the beating heart of local communities, one authentic experience at a time."

This became the guiding star, illuminating the path towards a travel app that transcended guidebooks and tourist traps, instead fostering genuine connections and meaningful impact.

Connecting Flights: Unveiling Features through User-Centric Design

"Not all those who wander are lost."
J.R.R. Tolkien

Embracing a World of Local Hearts: My PlaNative Odyssey

Launching PlaNative wasn't just about building an app; it was about building bridges. Bridges between passionate travelers and the beating hearts of local communities, woven with threads of authentic experiences and meaningful connections. Witnessing these connections blossom is like watching a vibrant tapestry come alive, each traveler's line adding a unique hue to the global fabric.

My journey reflects this tapestry. As a globetrotter, I understand the thrill of unearthing hidden gems, the joy of connecting with like-minded souls, and the yearning to embrace a place truly. This project has become more than just a design endeavor; it's a personal mission to create a world where every adventurer can feel the warmth of belonging, no matter where their feet land.

Landing in the US, a new chapter unfolds. Like many PlaNative users, I'm exploring uncharted territory, eager to soak up local wisdom and weave these newfound threads into my journey. Here, amidst buzzing cityscapes and serene landscapes, I yearn for that same sense of connection, that feeling of being a part of something bigger.

PlaNative, in its essence, is an invitation to embrace this very feeling. It's a call to explore, connect, contribute, and ultimately to feel at home anywhere in the world. Through shared local secrets and curated experiences, we build a community that transcends borders and languages, united by a love for adventure and a deep respect for the places we visit.

Soft Landing... Final Thoughts

“How are you going to find out about things if you don't ask questions?”
L.M. Montgomery
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