Clio is a hypothetical time travel company that offers trips to 200+ locations/times in the past.

Clio on a macbook


Clio is a hypothetical time travel company that offers trips to 200+ preselected locations/times in the past, such as Mozart’s Vienna, the building of Pyramids of Giza, and the Jurassic world in Australia. The length of the trips is predetermined based on the complications of time travel.


I had to rely on assumptions to do market and user research since time-travel doesn’t exist.


User Research, UX & UI Design, Prototyping, User Testing

Users and audience

  • Adventurers


Figma, Adobe Photoshop, OptimalSort


Clio is a hypothetical time travel company that offers trips to 200+ preselected locations/times in the past, such as Mozart’s Vienna, the building of Pyramids of Giza, and the Jurassic world in Australia. The length of the trips is predetermined based on the complications of time travel. I chose to create a hypothetical time travel company as a project because of my interests in exploration and appreciation for history. I love learning about different cultures, and what better way to do that than to be physically transported to some of the most crucial events in a culture's history. Clio could serve as an amazing learning experience and vacation all in one.

Users and Audience

Currently time travel doesn’t exist, and Clio is hypothetical making it difficult to pin down the initial target audience. There are no customers with previous experience, and therefore the research phase of this company relies heavily on indirect competitors and user research based on travel companies.

Since Clio is a hypothetical company, it has no direct competitors. Therefore I asked myself what Clio shares with other companies. It was concluded that even though Clio is unique when it comes to its offerings, it targets one thing: the vacation time of its users. Traveling to the past is after all a trip, therefore Clio indirectly competes with companies like Airbnb. Additionally, I identified that Clio indirectly competes with VR companies such as Oculus for a cheaper experience, and Blue Origin and The X development for their efforts in the space industry.

Clio's competitors

This market research helped me come up with a target market. Since these companies target users who love exploring new places and learning new things, I interviewed six people from different backgrounds and ages who described themselves as “adventurers”.


Users do not like hidden fees. Most of them love to travel with others to share the experience. They need to trust a new website, and their trust mostly comes from seeing other people doing the same thing. This trickles down to honest reviews and photos of the destination. They need to know what to expect and rely heavily on guides. This gives them a sense of safety, which is important to them when they decide to go on a trip.

These findings helped me to create Clio’s persona, Ana. She would help guide me to make decisions based on user-centered-design.

A user demographic

Based on Ana’s pain points and desires, I was able to come up with a diagram for the project goals. It included user goals and business goals. What are the commonalities? What are the differences? This helped me define my project priorities.

A venn diagram of user goals and business goals

Based on the new project priorities, I started working on information architecture, and preparing to work on sketches. Information architecture consisted of card sorting and sitemaps.

I used Optimal Workshop for the card sorting exercise as we were in the middle of a pandemic and this was the safest way. I asked 5 different users to sort through different cards with Clio’s offered trips until 4 major categories emerged: entertainment, monuments, cultural events, and ancient history. These categories remain as the building blocks of Clio since it allowed me to see how our users sort through different types of information. We get to see their thinking processes when they go through the booking process. It also reinforced that users see Clio as a vacation website rather than a time travel website.

Clio's destinations

These categories helped me come up with rough sketches organizing the contents of the site. With the basic categories in mind the user flow came more naturally. The hypothetical idea of a time travel site began to take shape with the categorization and user flow now in hand.

Clio's structure as a wire frame

After solidifying all the ideas around the user flow, it was time to sketch and fill in the puzzle. I organized the main elements of the homepage, search screen, results, exploration pages, and finally checkout forms. Each design element included organizing pictures, text, page layout, and hierarchy in order to create the most informative and natural user experience.

A sketch of clio's design

UI Design came after. The brand color, orange, was chosen based on business goals. Orange could represent both the historical values of time and modernity of travel since it’s easy to pair it with blue tones of ocean and yellow tones of sand.

Based on the colors, I developed the logo with the help of Ajay Mittal, my mentor. The logo clearly displays the letters of Clio and the theme of time to convey the message of the company in a sleek and modern design. Finally I decided the fonts that would best represent the business goals.

A style tile to guide the design of Clio

Next, I put it all together in a high fidelity wireframe and tested it with six users. Users are asked to proceed through the process of booking a time travel vacation using the prototype.

The desktop design of Clio in Figma


All users were able to complete the given tasks without any errors. The major complaint was that the website feels “too zoomed in”. To counteract that, I made the fonts smaller to create white space. This provided some necessary relief on the eye and made the design feel less crowded overall. Based on the findings I created an affinity map and revised the design according to the user’s choices. I was better able to better understand the users tendencies when interacting with the prototype and optimize the hierarchy and organization of the design to align with the user's natural instincts.

An affinity map for Clio

Lessons Learned

This project taught me the importance of user research and connecting that research to my assumptions in any given project. People think differently, and finding the commonality in their thinking helped me create a product that my users would enjoy using. Throughout this project, I learned all the steps that make a good UX designer, but more than that, I learned the true power of teamwork and empathizing with my users through research and exercises such as card sorting and usability testing. Because I was able to empathize with the potential users of Clio I was able to create a product that is more tailored for their needs, and the needs of the business.

What could I have done differently

I would do a usability test more frequently, at least once after low fidelity wireframes to get the idea of what works for the users and what doesn’t. Even though I was lucky that my users didn’t have any major problems with the design, it could have pushed the timeline a lot if an issue arose at a high fidelity wireframes testing stage.

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