When attempting to decide an activity or where to go we tend to turn to google to type “fun bars nyc” or “best Mexican spots near me”. The lists always show the same places and are never new as well as most likely somewhere you have been. For example, NYC has 24,000 eating establishments, we have no reason to ever repeat one.
For my secondary research I wanted a grasp of who my ideal user will be. I focused on scholarly articles and links that focused on topics such as "How are American's Spending Free Time?" and "Travel Statistics of 2019-2020". From my research I gathered what some may consider an oxymoron the outdoor adventures youth. Though many people may assume, due to technology, that the younger generations (millennials and gen z) are not going outside anymore it is actually this generation that is driving experiential pop ups and are the highest population of people spending time outdoors. In fact a driving reason of this is social media's marketing and the need to photograph and document experiences.
Current apps that exist that to attempt to alleviate this issue are apps like Fever and Eventbrite, both of which market themselves as "things to do". The problem with these apps are that they only provide things to do when an event is ongoing or present, it never presents standard places that are not hosting events as an option for something to do or new to explore. Therefore, many places will never appear and thus limiting the scope of the activities to typical NYE masquerade event or the $30 brunch this weekend, never a thriving place to eat right now. For example, NYC has over 26,000 restaurants but Fever presents only 29 places to get food, statistically, Fever only displays .11% of your true NYC eatery experience potential.
I conducted several interviews and received a plethora of information about the user. When attempting to go out, they wish to try somewhere new but due to the lack of avenues to efficiently search they tend to give up, instead of reading pages of information on google that typically becomes redundant. I learned that for some people photos were very important incase they want a photo opportunity and for others reviews are more important because they hate spending money on a new experience if the experience is bad. Another bit of information I learned is that even when a few places are chosen or at least a theme of what to do the lack of decision making from people causes them to quit and resort to their old stomping grounds.
Major Learning Points:
Photography is essential
Prefer consolidated categorized lists rather than having to cross check places
Want to be able to have experiences on a budget
Architecture and Flows
I created a site map and user flows to help visualize the users journey through the app and the locations that they will have to able to travel to. A major important aspect of the application deals with categorization and closed card-sorting was used to inform the IA for coherent intuitive interactions. In my user flows I highlighted the onboarding to homepage flow as well as home page to locations page. These two flows are important as the idea is to get the user in and to their location quickly and without and dropoffs.
I focused on some of the most influential and popular apps among the generation to see a few key features, interfaces, and visual languages that I could incorporate to create an app that although its new would hold some familiarity it hopes to give it a more natural feel when interacting.
I quickly went from sketches to mock ups in Sketch working on the pages that are needed in my user journey to the final location. From my data, Imagery was very important part of the UI and I wanted it o be a driving force in the way the user perceives and uses the application. It was also important for the user to see price-point and reviews and those are placed in clear eyesight and highlighted throughout the design.