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Worth Explore
A Social app to find things to do

Company Overview

Worth Explore is the first Capstone project that I was tasked at Springboard for my UI/UX Bootcamp. The product started as a personal problem I had when I moved from NYC to Houston. As I had to drive everywhere, It became really hard to decide where to go or what to do. While driving My focus was on the road and not on the buildings. I was missing on places to visit. I figured I could not be the only person with this problem.

My Role

As mentioned earlier. This is a capstone project designed to learn all the steps needed to become a UI/UX designer. As thus, I had the responsibility to do the project by myself. Among my responsibilities I did UX research, development, design, branding and testing.

Duration

February 2024 - April 2024

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The Objective

Create an app that will help users find things to do around them and socialize.

Redesign the searching experience for people that travel or relocate to a new city keeping in mind that once you go to a new place it is hard to find things to do . I aim to ease the experience of finding new things to do. I need to test the assumption that finding new places takes too much time and is daunting.

Research

Understanding users pain points, competitive market research and takeaways.
Screening Survey

First thing on the to-do list was to create a Survey. I had to understand what people do to find new places/ experiences and hopefully start gathering information from competitors. I was able to obtain 16 surveys answered. After reviewing the Survey, these are the key points I gathered:

  • 57,2% of participants have moved in less than a year.

  • 56,3% of participants rely on friends suggestions for things to do.

  • The three more important things when deciding what to do are reviews, distance and recommendations.

  • Participants find themselves using multiple apps, websites to find a place to go. They will use apps such as Instagram to talk to friends and see where they have gone, google maps to find places to go and yelp for reviews. Often times, they use tik tok as well to find things to do around them.

Competitive Research

Understanding our competitors will allow me to better shape the app. Based on the survey I identified 3 main competitors. Instagram , google maps and RED (Chinese social media).

Strengths

Easy to navigate products. Well established companies with million of users. They are free to use. They allow you to see reviews and draw you to places to visit. Strong algorithms that personalizes your feed.

Weakness

Google maps and Instagram are very different from one another. Google maps is mostly used to find places and get directions while Instagram is more of a social platform. If you find a place to go through Instagram, you will be moving to google maps to get directions and check reviews. On the other hand, if you find a place through google maps you do not know how reliable those reviews are as they are coming from strangers and will ask friends through Instagram. RED is very similar to Instagram.

Opportunity

Allow users to find places experiences to do while asking friends or checking if a friend of them has gone. Drive users to one app that can serve both purposes.

Personas and interviews takeaways

With these findings, I was able to create the following personas:

Friendly Jhon

"Have my frieds go to this place?.

Should I trust random people?"

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Job: Tech Job

Status: Single

Archetype: The Sociable

Motivations

Explore

Time

Socialize

Compare places

Concerns

Friendly Jhon is constantly looking for things to do around him. He loves to go out and experience the world. 

Friendly Jhon is currently using multiple apps to talk to his friends and find things to do around him. He relies heavily on his friends recomendations and would love to know who of his friends have tried a place he just discovered online. But he hates the idea of going to different apps and talk to them to see if they ahve gone or not. He feel it is a waste of his time

Goals

  • Easily comunicate with friends and review things.

  • Ability to share your experience

  • Trust the reviews.

"Where should I go? I hate moving around"

Age: 22

Gender: Male

Job: Customer Service

Status: Single

Archetype: Introvert

Motivations

Research

Ask for help

Trust

Compare places

New Steph

Concerns

New Steph had to move to a new place. Now, He is far from his friends and the places he used to go. New Steph also works remotely and does not have coworkers to ask for recommendations. He has tried walking around his neighborhood but quickly realized that he will need a car to move around.

New Steph is constantly on social media and sees people going around. Once he sees a post of place he is interested, he has to use more apps to find the place and search for more reviews. He would like to do everything on one app.

Goals

  • Find the best things to do based on what he used to do before.

  • Being able to compare places.

  • Help Organizing his research.

After gathering the survey information, I had 11 participants willing to do an interview. I selected 5 from the list and was able to takeaway 3 important points:

Friend References

Friend references are the most important element when participants want to pick a place.

Communication

Participants prefer to do activities with friends rather than alone, therefore having also the ability to communicate with their friends is really important.

Filter

Ability to filter through stars and price is highly valuable.

How Might We Questions
  • How might we improve the searching experience of places and things to do around users? 

  • How might we allow to see who of his friends have gone to a place they are interested in? 

  • How might we improve filter options to provide the best recommendations? 

  • How might we allow users to arrange plans with friends?

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Design & Ideation

Defining a brand, Information Architecture & Sketching
Brand Personality

Worth Explore is adventurous, we want to help users explore as much as they can and feel connected to the world around them.

Imagery Inspiration

I have chosen these as they represent adventure. Going out and exploring places or simply find a good, relaxing place to read something or just relax in general. It can be done by yourselves or with people.

Brand Attributes

Determined, Energetic, Fun, Passionate

UI inspiration

I have picked these UI designs because some of them I love of fun and eye catching they are. Other have a beautiful spacing and easiness to understand and others are welcoming.

Information Architecture

After defining the brand. It was time to do the skeleton of the app. By creating the information architecture, I was going to have a good visual layout on how the app will be organized and what will be priority in creating it. Something very important that we will see through this phase all the way to prototyping is how much it will change. I will be explaining the decisions that where made and why it evolved the way it did.

User Flow

My first big decision happened during the User Flow phase. After reviewing my Information Architecture and being very happy with the layout. I quickly realized that even though I was happy with the architecture of it, I was not going to have enough time to do them all. I decided to focused on 3 things instead:

  1. Log in / Sign up Interaction.

  2. Uploading a review.

  3. Finding a place to do an activity.


Based on this decision, Calendar Icon will not be created yet and the messages icon will show up, but it will not be developed further. Miro was used to create the user flows.

SIGN UP / LOG IN / RESET PASSWORD

UPLOAD REVIEW

FIND PLACE TO GO

Sketching

As outlined on the User Flows, I did sketching for the Sign up/log in page, Fins place to do, and upload a review.

REGISTER

Frame 1 (8).png

LOG IN

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FORGOT PASSWORD

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FIND PLACE THROUGH STORY

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FIND PLACE THROUGH MAP

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UPLOAD REVIEW

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Style Guide
Color Palette

Primary Color

Forest Green
#23704F

Low Contrast Neutral

Clear Olive
#C8D5D0

Secondary Color

Light Cream
#FFFCF5

High Contrast Neutral

Dark Olive
#242826

Accent Color

Toxic Banana
#D7F205

Reduced High Contrast

Washed Olive
#56605B

Font Family
Iconography
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Light Cream
#FFFCF5

Forest Green
#23704F

Color
UI Elements
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Prototyping & Testing

Wireflow, High Fidelity & User Testing
Wireflow
Register
Log In
Log_In.png
Forgot Password
Password.png
Find Place Through Story Post
Find_Place_To_Go_Story (1).png
Find Place Through Map
Find_Place_To_Go_Map.png
Upload Review
Post_Review (2).png
High Fidelity Designs
V01

For V01 I started with 4 screen that I figured will be important to have first. I created the Register/Log in screen, Homepage Screen, Map view Screen and the Review screen.

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V02

After receiving feedback on V01 Screen. Some updates where made:
Register/ Log In Screen tab was changed to be teh same color divided bi a line. It looks aesthetically more balanced while at teh same time, in contrast with V01 you can differentiate between the 2. On V01 it looked like register button was clicked already.

  • Home Screen user icons where updated. The Green line surrounding the user icons when they publish an story is wider now. It is easier to see.

  •  

  • Dropdown list on map view cover the entire screen now. And select box has been deleted. There was no benefit on having and smaller dropdown menu. and now when it is clicked it will be highlighted and have an arrow to indicate if you want to select that one or not.

  •  

  • Review screen stars have now a dark edge to allow it to see it easily. there is one box now instead of two to add your comment.

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V03

Second round of feedback was given. This time we added all missing screens and update the map and review page.

  • I eliminated the scroll bar icon on the right side. It was serving no purpose because having the item lists go all the way outside the screen helped the users understand that they can scroll down. There is arrows next to each list now and when clicked it will change color to indicate which one has been clicked.

  •  

  • Review screen now has only one box with some bevel on them to make it more eye appealing. Star grading was updated as well. and Finally photos are going all the way to the right to tell users that more photos uploaded are available by scrolling and to edit them.

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User testing

For the first test I wanted to have important findings. The tests were done online. I used 5 participant men and females alike of different ages. All Iphone users. My main concern was how user friendly the app will be. Did it have enough options for users to interact effectively?.  The users were recruited through a reddit post.

I encounter to main Issues:

  1. Bottom Icons have to always be visible.​

  • Some users were annoyed about having to go back or exit the current tab in order to access other functions. 

  • Some users recommended having always the bottom tab. 

  1. Users did not know how to find a place recommended from a friend in the beta version

  • Even though some users tap on options where you could normally do to find a place that a friend has recommended, clicking on the story tab was always the 3rd option. 

After doing the updates based on users feedback, I was ready for a second round of testing. We used the same methodoly. Users where found through a reddit post. 5 participant men and females alike of different ages. All Iphone users. For this test, I wanted to know if these issues were fixed and if maybe more issues would arise.

Most users finished tasks effectivey. Story tab is the second or third option to be cliked when finding a place to go. Maybe interview script needs to be a bit more concise or explain it better. 

Users where happy to have the bottom bar all the time. Now, they will use it more than back or X icon. 

Conclusion

For this Capstone project, 2 reviews were allowed. Even though I am fairly happy with the end result, there are things that can be improved and added. 

After the 2 rounds of testing, all problems were fixed and most of users tested finished their tastks effectivelly. It was a great learning experience, mostly to understand the timing for each task that involves making a product. I definetely aimed to high at the begining and had to compromise as I went along. I would have loved to make the message window as most users would click it to see if a friend has talked to them about a place. Another window I would have liked to add is the calendar. It would ahve been a challenge to figure out where to place the calendar icon on the screen, but I know it would have been a success.

Below you can find the prototypes that were made for this project.

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