Empowering travellers to feel in control of their journey.

Travel tech
Type of project
Mobile responsive
webapp pared back
to lean MVP
Figma, Miro
My role
Full end to end product redesign


I was the Senior Product Designer at Sherpa, a company which helps travellers get visas and understand travel requirements for destinations around the world. For this project, I worked closely with the design team.

About halfway through the project, I got feedback from the Head of Product that we needed a more lean solution. I pivoted from a full dashboard to an MVP solution which focused on utilizing better content and quick actions.

Jump to
The problem ↓
The process ↓
The outcome ↓

The Problem

Despite the sherpa team sending emails to users regarding the status of their application, the customer ops team was frequently flooded with questions, taking up a lot of their time.

Customers had anxiety around whether their visa would arrive in time for their trip, and got confused when it appeared to be stuck on one status. The existing status page provided very little information.

In addition, customers don’t always upload required documents before the recommended deadline, which can result in applications being delayed.

Jamming with Customer Ops

It was important to get a good understanding of the existing visa processing flows both from a traveller perspective and from an internal, customer ops perspective. I ran a workshop with the Customer ops team.

Key findings

Update double-ups

Misalignment with user-facing statuses and Customer Ops statuses means that the same updates end up being sent multiple times to the user. This is confusing and makes them unsure which alerts they should pay attention to.

Confusing statuses

Because there are only a few different customer-facing statuses, the application can appear to go backwards when it goes from Information Needed (requiring action from the user) back to Under Review (the starting status).

Inaccurate content

When a visa is scheduled for submission and cannot be sent off yet due to restrictions around how far in advance you can apply, for certain visas the timing information is incorrect, leading to more confusion.


Categorizing Zendesk messages

To gather data on what the biggest issues were customers were having, I read through and categorized hundreds of messages on Zendesk.

MVP Pivot

I started work on a more ideal-state dashboard design that I believed solved all the key problems. But then I got feedback from the Head of Product that I needed to create an MVP solution which focused on answering customer’s questions. I quickly pivoted to MVP designs.

MVP solution

Improved content,  quick actions

I worked with the customer ops team to identify commonly asked questions related to each status. 
I then rewrote the content to include the answers to those questions.

We had previously included CTAs for required actions only within status emails, not on the status page where the full details was provided. By making the CTAs more obvious, I aimed to prevent application delays.

New Visa status

To clear up confusion about visas going back to the ‘Under Review’ status after users uploaded their required documents, I created a new status. I called this ‘Final Check’, and wrote clear content to answer questions users could have about this stage of the visa process. 

Clear colour coding

While there were multiple colours used in the previous status page designs, these were limited: green was used when a visa had been delivered, for instance, and red if a visa had been denied.

Because there are now 8 different visa statuses, I worked with the Design System designer to create a colour coding system which would allow users to quickly identify the status and whether any action was required for the rest of the statuses.

New & improved emails

I updated the content in the emails to include just as much helpful information as the status page itself, so the user can get clarity without needing to go to the status page. 
I included links to our support site so that users can self-solve if they still have questions.

Future state designs

Sherpa is proud to have the best UX for visas in the world. My goal for this dashboard was to give them the kind of hand-holding experience they would get from working with a travel agent, for only a fraction of the cost.  

I had already made substantial progress on dashboard designs when I got the feedback that we should pivot to a more lean solution. While this outcome has not been built for customers yet, it will be used to make updates in the future.

Simple tracker, but with detail included
  • While what happens behind the scenes when a visa is processed can be complex, I decided to simplify this for the user, bringing the stepper down to 4 main steps.
  • If they would like more information, they can open the expansion to see what is coming up and a full explanation of each status.

Updates from customer ops team
  • Because visas can stay on one status for quite a long time, I brought in a section where we can include updates from the customer ops team. These can be be automated assurances that everything is going according to plan and that their visa is on track.
  • Using an avatar highlights that we are real people who are working hard to make sure it gets delivered in time for their trip.