Transactional Emails Overhaul

As we approached the end of 2021, Navan (formerly TripActions) experienced an increase in business travel volume, leading to a rise in support tickets.
To ensure we were prepared to support our travelers during their trips, we needed to establish a comprehensive notification system. To kickstart this initiative, we prioritized improving our email communications first, as this served as our primary channel to engage with travelers.


Sole product designer–UX/UI, feature scoping, systems thinking, product strategy, information architecture, prototyping, user research, QA.


1 Product Manager  
1 Content Strategist
1 User Researcher
4 Engineers


8 weeks for desktop and mobile

What's wrong with the existing emails?

Travelers use transactional emails for information, action-taking, and as references. Unfortunately, the existing emails suffered from low open rates and an influx of support tickets.
By partnering with the support team, we gathered user feedback related to emails, highlighting issues with content and functionality, resulting in confusion and frustration amongst travelers.
Inconsistent and low quality
Old branding colors, like this yellow, were still being used, resulting in inconsistency between in-product and external communications.
Additionally, images were incredibly small, making it difficult for travelers to view which hotel or room they booked.
Confusing content
Outdated and contradicting information was a common theme in these emails that caused confusion for travelers.
For example, “Check-In Instructions were included to hotel cancelation emails (not to mention the spelling inconsistency of “cancelation”).
Functionality issues
Emails were riddled with broken links, jumbling important booking information, and, in some instances, failing to send completely.
This example shows important information per traveler like seats and e-tickets. However, seats are being duplicated and e-tickets are only assigned to one traveler instead of each respective traveler.

Competitor analysis

In order to gain a better understanding of the issues encountered by travelers, the product manager and I partnered with the support team to collect customer complaints and analyzed internal data.
I also conducted competitive analysis on travel companies, comparing the content within each email type, the organization of information, and any actions associated.


We believed that by re-evaluating the content and design of these product focused emails for business and personal travelers will result in a decrease in support volume related to transactional emails.

Design goals

Considering these pain points, I envisioned a solution that must be: 
How could we provide information and actions that are helpful and relevant to the email context?
How could we connect these emails with the in-product experience?
How could we construct flexible email templates that accommodated all email types and their unique use cases?

Success metrics

In order to quantify the success of the new designs, I defined a few metrics with the product manager to track user behavior and email performance.

Restrictions to consider

Before designing, we needed to fully understand all of the restrictions imposed by the major email clients such as Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail. In close collaboration with engineering, we identified technical constraints and discussed tradeoffs such as:
We had to find a solution that could work around these restrictions, while still providing an engaging experience that enabled discoverability and quick comprehension.

Content first, then design

In collaboration with our content strategist, we crafted the information hierarchy for each email. Our approach involved categorizing emails based on their intent, message type, and if any action(s) was needed. Drawing from user feedback, audit, and competitive analysis, we organized the information to prioritize the traveler’s needs.


Phase 1 - Define the email layout
Due to the variety of email types, it was important to create an email design that was flexible and to unify the in-product branding experience in order to avoid confusion based on user feedback.
Phase 2 - Design per email type
After finalizing the email layout, I then explored different design directions for each email with the goal to improve discoverability by providing travelers with relevant and actionable information.
Showing 2 of the most sent email types (out of 60+ emails) as examples of design explorations.
*Happy to share more of the email designs upon request.
Booking Confirmation
The challenge with booking confirmation emails was developing a cohesive, yet dynamic structure that accommodated all 5 booking types and their unique use cases. Understanding the most complex use cases helped to assess the design's scalability.
Flight Delay
The old email overwhelmed travelers with a wall of text, making it hard to distill important details about their flight. In an effort to make this email valuable, I focused on highlighting what was impacted, delay duration, and the type of support we can offer to travelers.

Surveying 8 participants

I partnered with a user researcher to conduct a survey on UsabilityHub, where participants were asked to share their initial thoughts, information that's important to them, and any details they felt were missing.
Results showed that majority of participants believed that the email design and content were clear and met their expectations. This outcome helped to validate our hypothesis and provided the team with valuable insights into what information is most valued and helpful for users, which could guide us in optimizing future iterations.


To make it easy for engineers, I organized the emails based on category and provided the UI/UX spec for each. I also added notes and linked to important resources such as Email Guidelines, Email Copy, and Logic documentation.


After working closely with engineering to bring the designs to life, we rolled out the new emails incrementally. At the project’s inception, we documented two primary success metrics: email related escalations and send rate failures.


reduction in support tickets


reduction in send rate failures
Due to the positive user feedback, this initiated a company-wide adoption across all teams to adopt the new email design. As someone who values documentation, I created email guidelines and supplementary resources for teams to use which helped save time and minimized context switching once off the project.

Before & After

Use the slider to see a glimpse into the overhaul of 60+ transactional emails.