Helping people search & discover their area
Interaction Design · Search Behavior · User Research · Animation
This project took shape by prioritizing these 3 areas. Each packed with learning points that determined the end result.
What makes us curious?
I started by taking a deep dive into how we search and absorb information in order to reach a final goal.
The biggest hurdle for socialization can be the plans, specifically when and where to be. How can we better discover our area?
Most people avoid being the planner due to the pressure. Inserting a level of confidence into the final decision, increases socialization and location attendance.
In order to be a utility with easy access in a variety of situations, a mobile app was determined to be the best medium.
Centered around the search
I found that we all search in different ways, as intentions and situations change.
The home tab is designed to feed into the browse hungry users, those that need to feel informed on all possibilities in order to reach a decision.
When people go for a direct search they have a stronger sense of what they are looking for. This tab accepts all sorts of search terms, broad or specific. Coupled with recent searches and preset searches.
Recalling places we have seen or favorited warrants it's own tab. Further personalizing the overall experience, the profile tab allows users to view their history, their saved listings, and toggle their interests, all retrievable with it's own search.
Searching your way
The search tab serves multiple functions while staying clean and functional. All direct search input feeds into the user's profile, further feeding into adaptive learning of the user.
Repeat recent searches, including the last filter settings. This allows users to quickly return to where they left off or remind them of past inquiries.
View listings that are gaining in popularity, or showcase comedy, that are perfect for a night out, or for the active. The Explore Ticker displays an automated search as another means of quick browsing.
Filters serve a very important role in search, a tool to shorten your time spent searching.
The mood filter is a new addition to location and event search. After developing a list of possibilities, they were tested on 30 individuals that led to the final 3 most essential moods: excited, mischievous, and chill.
If it's an event you're looking for, toggling this filter changes your results to events only. You can view upcoming events or choose when on a calendar. You can also filter by time of day.
Turn on your location in order to be served listings that are close by, or view other cities.
Input how many are joining to view locations that are better tailored to your group size.
Quickly filter according to your budget: $-$$$
Show listings that friends have either visited or favorited.
This feature reveals which areas are buzzing with activity using anonymized location data from users who have opted in.
Flip through districts in your surrounding area to check whether they are seeing a lot of activity. Some will be drawn to that, others will be seeking less populated locations, a win win.
Being that Google does not provide the API for their Popular Times feature, this a second phase feature that will roll out as the second big marketing push.
Your profile holds all of your activity. Helping you easily retrieve a listing by browsing or searching.
While exploring the app, favorite listings in order to easily find them when the time calls for it.
In order to improve your experience, select locations and activities that interest you. Suggestions in the home tab will adapt to what you like.
As a catch-all for your time spent on the app, there is a history section. Don't let that perfect spot slip away.
Hands on testing
The "final" prototype helped me better test the new navigation and search features. Continuously making changes according to the test subjects input.
The core user flow saw it's share of changes. Having a simple intuitive navigation was crucial to ensuring users reach their end goal as quick as possible.
Each added feature had to pass one test, does it contribute to helping people search & discover in the most intuitive way?
Each tab serves as a different means of preforming the same task, search.
Depending on the state of mind, users have the option to search specifically, use categories, and return to previous searches.
The filters within the search page became an opportunity to add another level of ease and function. While most were quintessential, adding mood as a filter created a new opportunity. After receiving 30 responses, I narrowed the options to 3 moods: excited, mischievous, and chill.
The home feed is the center of discovery. With sections like suggested, active outings, and night out, the user can quickly browse what is rising in popularity. It also serves as promotion for businesses that suscribe.
While researching I found that people often lose memory of some of their favorite places. The profile page features a list of favorites and the users history, all searchable for easy retrieval.
Reviews often deter people from locations they would have enjoyed. Businesses often have a love-hate relationship with them. I found that in place of reviews, showing friends that have visited allows users to take the extra step by reaching out and confirming for more reliable review.
Derived from 30+ respondents ages 20-61, equally male/female, equally single/married/dating, with a majority living in an in urban area. Based off of the stories, I developed 4 scenarios that served as a guide to each flow and ultimately craft the final product.
Money is tight for Kayla, and she wonders how she will have fun on her day trip to Rhode Island. As she and her friends get closer they scramble to find somewhere to go. Just in time! Kayla’s friend finds a free fire show happening on the canal. But on this day the gods are cruel and look unfavorable on fire, raining down on the show. Thankfully Kayla thinks fast and looks to the app store. She stumbles on a local search app and downloads it. A quick search + filters and she finds an arcade nearby. Her friends say “let's go!” in unison. Kayla comments that Toby is out of tune. A few hours go by and they walk out of the arcade charged with fun energy, thanking Kayla for finding the location.
The style choices reflect the playful nature of the app's goal, using bright colors and rounded font. A thanks to Shelby Bass for her help with logo design.
I love this project because it allowed me to really push the fidelity of a prototype. Interacting with my community to create a tool that is beneficial to both the user and businesses was an experience I personally gained a lot from. As I continue to push this project I plan to seek feedback through testing and speaking with more locations owners on how I can further meet their needs.