TAP IN - MOBILE APP CONCEPT
A social media app that takes you off-line
I found myself and my friends saying all the time in college how we wished we knew how busy a restaurant or bar is or isn't going to be before going.
Even post-college, I find myself wanting a solution for the same problem- but for different reasons.
After working closely in marketing for a fine-dinning restaurant here in town - I've realized this solution would benefit the businesses just as well.
Those who drink and eat socially become frustrated and disappointed when they arrive at an establishment and the atmosphere or crowd doesn't meet their expectations.
A tool that shows users hotspots and events within their location.
Reduce the number of people walking out from unmet expectations.
Convince skeptics that the establishment’s atmosphere will live up to their expectations.
Ignite interest in new potential customers.
Understanding problem space
Defining project goals
Forming a schedule
White paper research
User interviews (5)
Persona Creation (3)
Feedback Session 1
Feedback Session 2
User-based testing (5)
White Paper Research
Analyze the psychology and motivations behind going out to bars & restaurants and how people currently decide on where they are going to spend their night.
User Interviews (5)
Survey the problem space through competing social media platforms and lack of solutions
Understanding the user journey, user needs, and various pain-points, of various stakeholders
I divided the research phase into two phases - a primary research phase where I understood the context of the problem, conducted initial stakeholders interviews and audited existing solutions.
This was followed by a secondary research phase where I conducted 5 user interviews and synthesized all of this data into an affinity map that helped me build personas, empathy maps, journey maps and design ideas.
Who did I interview?
3 interviewees had full time jobs, 2 were college students
Active users of social media
Drink & eat socially on the weekends 3-4 weeks per month
I synthesized the collected data from the interviews and white paper research into an affinity map to help form insights and brainstorm design ideas to solve higher order problems.
Insights + Themes
Theme 1 - Human connection / Community
Watches social media stories to find the biggest party
Wants to know they have someone to socialize with before going out
Theme 2 - Efficient Planning
About 74% interviewees call restaurants ahead of time to ask what their wait time is.
Desires the ability to save favorite spots and see friend's favorite spots when looking for a new place to go.
Personas + Empathy Maps
Based on insights and observations from the research methods, I created three personas that captured the essence of our users and their characteristics. I also formed empathy maps to understand their needs and frustrations.
Social stories feed
Save favorite establishments and stories as memories
Testing & Improvements
First Major Improvement
Created separate screens per nav icon
Based on guerilla testing, letting the user naturally flow to other parts of the app seemed to be a better fit
Created the ability to add more details for users to specify their options
Created the Tap In icon as more prominent to increase engagement & interaction
Second Major Improvement
Re-designed to a story feed
Originally designed a broadcast feed - According to mentor feedback, a social media story feed that looks familiar will eliminate confusion from reinventing the wheel
Designed the ability to see friend's list and add friends
Allows users to visualize atmosphere, find friends, share memories
Third Major Improvement
Designed the user's profile as more accessible & public
Feedback stated users wanted a way to view and edit their memories as public on their profile
Designed the favorites as public so that users can view their friends favorite places
Primary, Secondary + Accent Colors
Bar or restaurant is closed. The user won’t be able to Tap In to that location.
The user is not old enough to use the app. Users must be 21+ to use Tap In.
Location services are not turned on. Users will have to turn their location services on to Tap In.
I conducted moderated in-person testing at two different local bars in my town. I picked (5) different users ranging from 21-41 years old. I asked them the following questions and had them walk me through the prompts listed:
To gather thoughts, feelings & impressions
Take a look at each screen, what are your initial thoughts and impressions?
What options do you have access to?
What do you think the gradient circles mean?
What do you think each icon means on the navigation bar?
What does your friend's profile show you?
What do you think the 'memories' feature means?
What are your overall impressions of the app? What do you wish were different?
To identify any usability problems
Find more information on Ruff's Bar
Walk me through how you would show your friends you're at Ruff's Bar
Show me how you would get directions to Ruff's Bar
Show me how you would view Madison's story
If you wanted to quickly see what comedy shows are playing in your area, where would you click?
How can you tell which of your friends are attending an event?
Find you favorite locations
How would you un-favorite a bar or restaurant from your profile?
How would you Tap In with a photo?
Key Learnings + Design Changes
Lack of clarity for navigation bar icons.
I added text to name what each icon was meant for.
The user asked how they could delete a memory instead of only editing it
I changed the editing icon to three dots to show they could edit, make private or delete
The Tap In icon was not intuitive for the user
I designed a tutorial showing how to Tap In with or without a photo after the sign up process
My usability testers were really excited about the app concept. Their favorite feature was knowing how busy a place is or isn’t before going. Someone mentioned that it seemed like a more ‘adult’ version of Snapchat which is what I was going for with extra added features. The feedback I received was really promising and validated my desire for a tool like Tap In.
Future Research + Changes
I would extend research on the benefit of adding in a chat feature for later versions of the app
A few users expressed concern over privacy issues with showing their location on the heatmap. While it's purely a choice to Tap In or not, I would research and implement a privacy solution
Additional research on how users would add a photo to their feed. Do they like the idea of taking a photo via Snapchat and posting it to their Tapped In feed? In general, people don't usually use the app camera because there are less choices to add filters. I'd like to explore more on their preference of where they upload a photo from.
What I learned
Try to be wrong - Fight the urge to create solutions from my own assumptions
It's okay to re-design the app until it looks coherent. I have re-designed the app multiple times upon submitting my case study and probably will continue to do so as my design abilities evolve.
I don't need to add all the cookie-cutter research methods if they don't validate my design decisions. I found some design methods of research that were required for this capstone project unhelpful when making UX and design decisions for my mobile app. Rather than cluttering my case study with those methods, I left them out and emphasized my user interviews and personas which were most helpful when understanding my user's needs for this project.