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How Tripsy is building the perfect travel companion

Learn how the duo behind Tripsy uses Sketch to make travel planning an easy ride

Planning is key to making the most of a trip — but there are many moving parts and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. As they traveled around the world, Tripsy founders Thiago and Rafael saw an opportunity to build an app that made planning and organizing trips easier and more enjoyable.

At Tripsy they’ve thought of every single detail: from keeping all your information at hand, to real-time flight updates, calendar syncing or itinerary planning — to mention just a few.

We chatted with Thiago Sanchez, Tripsy’s co-founder and designer, about the app’s beginnings, their approach to design and how Sketch helps them along the way.

A screenshot of the iPad and iPhone versions of Tripsy

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career?

As strange as it may seem, I became interested in interface design shortly before I finished my studies. I got my degree in industrial design in 2009, during which I learned how to create physical products such as chairs, watches, and cars. However, as I researched ergonomics and user-centered design for electronic devices, I became increasingly interested in user interfaces. My introduction to the first iPhone in 2007 completely transformed my career path. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working with clients around the world to create applications and icons for different industries.

Although I work with digital products and mobile apps, I always seek inspiration from different sources, such as architecture. Human behavior is intricate, and I often face challenges that are not limited to the digital realm.

What inspired the idea and concept behind Tripsy and how did it evolve over time?

My business partner and I used to work together as freelancers for many companies, and we shared a common interest in traveling and exploring new places worldwide. As we traveled a lot, we wanted a sophisticated and efficient way to plan and manage our travels.

During a call in 2018, he pitched the idea of creating an app for organizing trips. At the same time, I was planning a big trip to Europe, which I shared with him. After discussing our ideas, we decided to combine our knowledge and work together on developing an app for organizing trips. Since then, Tripsy has expanded and is now available in 9 languages worldwide.

What are some of the challenges that Tripsy aims to solve?

There are several ways to travel — some travel on vacation, others for business. Sometimes, a trip is a honeymoon, but other times, it can be exploring an entire country. We had always envisioned creating a scalable application for trips of varying sizes and complexities, with diverse activities suitable for solo travelers, couples, or large groups.

We aim to provide users with helpful tools to enhance their travel experience. As soon as an activity is added to the itinerary, Tripsy begins to predict and organize important information such as changes in time zones, weather forecasts, and flight time connections.

A screenshot of multiple widget designs in Sketch

Tripsy’s widgets help you keep all your plans at hand during your trip

Could you share some of the key milestones in Tripsy’s journey from the app’s beginnings to its current state?

Tripsy is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and we’re thrilled to say that version two is something that we’re extremely proud of. In this version, we designed the app’s navigation structure as it stands today, as well as our current app icon. Additionally, we added one of the most popular features: automation.

With a single flight reservation, we can automatically create a trip, add activities, organize an itinerary with round-trip flights, show weather conditions, attach reservations to the documents section, and let the user know if there are any flight changes. All of this just by forwarding a single email!

What does design mean for Tripsy?

It sounds obvious, but it means making it simple and easy to use. For us, design is also about deeply examining the problem at hand. We aim to develop a tool that is simple and easy to use for all types of travelers. We want to ensure people can use it easily and understand it without confusion. That’s why we value design guidelines and strictly follow the HIG for Apple devices — we know it’ll help us achieve our goal.

A screenshot of Tripsys Symbol page

Tell us about the process of designing Tripsy in Sketch. Are there any particular features that have helped make your workflow easier?

I want to start with the basics. Sketch is a native application on Mac, which is the most important thing in my workflow. I used to use a lot of shortcuts, and I have no words to explain how easy it is to use the vector tool, especially when I need to explore different app icon versions. Customizing my toolbar streamlines my workflow a lot, which is something that as a solo designer at Tripsy, helps me optimize my time.

Our library of Symbols is quite extensive and we also have some customized Components. Personally, I find that having a section dedicated only to our Symbols is very helpful. I simply type the letter C in the Mac app to open the Insert Window and have instant access to all of them. This feature greatly simplifies my work process.

A screenshot of Tripsy inside Sketch

Is there anything you built in Sketch that you’re particularly proud of?

I designed Tripsy entirely using Sketch. But working on the application icons was one of my favorite parts of the process, and I am very proud of the result. Sketch was the perfect tool for this task, and I can’t imagine using any other tool for it.

A screenshot showing different Tripsys app icons

Tripsy’s care for details and design shows in the different variations of their app icon.

What keeps you coming back to Sketch over the years?

I have been following Sketch since its first version. I remember when I was working on a project with my friend Raphael Lopes, he received a beta version from Marcelo Marfil. As soon as I saw it, I realized its potential. We used Photoshop to create interfaces at the time, which seems crazy now. Since then, I’ve noticed the affection and dedication put into building Sketch. I can see the attention given to every detail and feature. Sketch has become my go-to design tool, and I am constantly amazed by its progress and advancements. Using Sketch feels intuitive, and I’m always eager to see new releases.

Sketch has become my go-to design tool, and I am constantly amazed by its progress and advancements.

Could you share with us what’s next for Tripsy?

We are currently developing version three — it’s been challenging and we’re excited to share more information about it soon. Apart from enhancing the app’s navigation experience, we’re also creating tools to assist our users better during their travels.

Have you created something awesome in Sketch? We’re always on the lookout for projects! Let us know in our community forum.

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