begins a user experience (UX) upgrade

Help us make better...

At we're always banging on about being a website built by backpackers for backpackers. Over the years it's become one of our mantras - we really do take everything you say on board and we really do want to make the best gap year social network in the world.

That's why we're pleased to announce our user experience project - we've teamed up with award-winning web design and user experience agency Cyber-Duck to bring a new look and feel to the website.

Why are we doing this? Well, we think could be easier to use and we think it could look a lot sexier too! Also, we want to make sure you, the travel community, is the main focus of the website. In essence, we just want to make you happy!

Over the next few months you'll start to see some changes, much like the new round the world trip planner, designed to make your gap year easier to plan.

Matt Gibson, project manager of the user experience project at Cyber-Duck, said:

We're really excited to be working together with the team on overhauling the user experience of their website. At Cyber-Duck we're passionate about human centred design and getting real user input into the design process. As such, we're particularly looking forward to working together with's loyal members to design something that is not only easy to use, but is actually a pleasure to use!

Cormac Scanlan,'s COO, said that working with a UX design agency, and directly with the site members to make the site better has been a long time coming.

"The community has always been, and always will be, the most important part of the website. For over a decade we have looked to build the site our users really want, but relying on intuitive design has its limitations. We're now looking to use tried and tested User-Centred Design (UCD) methodologies to ensure the varied needs of our user-base is effectively captured and the site iteratively improved upon, from a solid scientific base.

He added:

We have so many exciting plans for the site. I wish I could share them all, but rest assured this is only the first step. The first thing we need to look at is the structure of the site, ensuring we present our users with the information they want to see; more user-focused sections homepages and a more intuitive navigation structure will be central to this.

To make this happen we're going to need your help - that's why we're surveying you, so you can really tell us what you think. We really do want to hear what you've got to say and it's an open forum.

As we said, exciting things are happening at the journey has just begun...