SpotSearch is a mobile application that provides bmx riders a solution on where to ride. The app is a location based service providing the users with spots they can ride in their area, so that their free time isn’t wasted.
- Interact with the application by uploading quality content
- Use the app as a finding/directory tool every time the user rides their bike
- Become an everyday application for the worldwide bmx community
- Make the application free to download and use
- Using micro advertising within the app
- Highlighting features, which the competitor apps don’t have
I carried out a number of interviews with local bmx shops, sent a questionnaire out via social media and had Skype calls with bmx riders.
Riders who ride frequently are willing to travel long distances, the problem is, it takes a lot of time to find these spots. Typically riders have a smartphone and use it to navigate to different spots.
The major challenge was ensuring the app was easy enough to navigate through and grabbed the users attention straight away. Uploading a new location to the application has to be quick and painless.
Marketing the app to the bmx community is a big challenge as there are many location based apps readily available.
From extensive research I came up with two personas (a primary and secondary) to base design decisions when sketching out ideas.
I created a competitor analysis to quickly see what features other applications were offering.
As a unique selling point of the application I wanted to offer users a feature that none of the competitors had.
Feature prioritisation map
The next step was to list of all features for MVP and organise each feature into a prioritisation map, this was a great exercise in helping me understand which features I could expand on (after making the app live).
I discovered from creating the user journey that I have a very short period of time to grab the user.
Using an online tool called Gliffy I created a user flow diagram and map out the navigation.
To make the application more playful, I started researching micro-interactions and found a great book Microinteraction: Design with details by Dan Saffer.
- Showing a different video every time the app loads
- when no search results were found displaying a video of someone falling off their bike
- presenting a bmx fact whilst the user waits for the map to load
All of these points add extra interaction and keep the user interested.
Lo-fi wireframes were created using Axure, I chose Axure due to its prototyping capabilities that could be utilized after the wireframes were complete.
Moving onto testing, I visited local bicycle shops and skate parks to grab users quickly and get their thoughts on the app.
Testing6 testers in total were tested, here are some interesting insights:
- Keep everything on one screen, scrolling pages aren’t obvious enough
- “Add new spot” button not necessary to be displayed all the time
- Sharing to Facebook and Twitter would be a good feature
- All maps should be clickable and display the full height and width of the screen
I met the users needs through a location based and fun mobile application. The business goals were highlighted through micro advertising (to be released at later stages of the app). I kept the application familiar to an iOs users whilst utilising Google Maps.
To view the working prototype click here.
Unfortunately the project did not go ahead due to funding and having so many big name competitors (such as Nike).
The next self initiated project I intended to focus more on interaction and animation design, as I feel these areas often get overlooked during the design process.