Application with reviews about places by your friends from your contact list.
We usually rely on Yelp or Google reviews to look up places. But we see through our research that people more likely to trust their friend's suggestions than online reviews. Online reviews sometimes do not provide a full picture of the place and often the places they have been to is not up to their expectation. Even though a place it rated highly, for a particular individual it may not be the right choice.
We are trying to create an honest review app personalized to the individual. This will cater to the needs of the individual that trusts' reviews from people they know.
This will be an app that shows a user, where their friends have been. They have rated these places so the user will trust their reviews and check out those places.
Research and Validation:
We conducted user research online and here are the summarized results:
- 67% of the respondents rely on online review websites/apps to find a place to go out more than 4 times a month.
- 87% of the respondents trust the reviews they find online "only somewhat".
- 53% of the respondents’ trust reviews by their friends every time.
- 33% of the respondents’ trust and go to the places their friends suggested when they visit and new city.
- 58% of the respondents have had 50% or greater bad experiences when they visited places based on good online reviews.
- This 30% of the above had bad experiences greater than 3 time out of 4.
- 55% of the respondents are willing to review places and suggest them for their friends.
- Of millennials 82% who responded are interested in a platform that is NOT SOCIAL MEDIA to review places for their friends.
Based on the above, if there is a trusted, contacts driven, non-social media platform, then users are willing to use this platform to review and suggest places for themselves as well as their friends.
Our research enabled us to create the following personas.
As a visitor/new-to-the-city person, the user wants to be able to find good places to eat, hang-out, etc., in places that they can be sure to have a good time. When a trusted friend reviews a particular place or thing to-do, it will give us more interest to visit that place because we enjoy the same kind of things.
Current Market and Challenges:
Currently, Yelp and Google Reviews and countless other apps provide a review for places, but they are by strangers on the internet. They will be our primary competitors. Our challenge will be to be able to gain the users trust to get access to their phone contacts and have some reviews for him. If the above is not completed, we may not have reviews for folks to look at.
We are trying to create an honest review app personalized to the individual. This will cater to the needs of the individual that trusts' reviews from people they know. This will be an app that shows a user, where their friends have been. They have rated these places so the user will trust their reviews and check out those places.
Reviews are sourced from the contacts on the phone. Reviews that can be trusted because they are validated by people in in-real-life social circle aka the phone contacts.
Design and UX:
We begin with a simple lo-fi Screen and added more Hi-Fi Screens. We continue to evolve the user design.
Product Flow and User Stories:
- Timeline of reviews by contacts
- Ability to browse the map and check reviews by your contacts.
- Ability to review places and post to the chronological timeline.
- Ability to Share these places with your contacts.
- Ability to filter places on the map by kind.
- Ability to create groups of friends and filter reviews by that group.
Our team was new to Product and development methodologies, but we hit the ground running in terms of identifying problems spaces, finalizing the problem to tackle and progressing in the development phase. A lot of product ideation, prioritization tools have helped us refine our product's features and prioritize them effectively. We are developing the Product using React Native and use Google maps API to achieve the desired output.
We are wrapping up our development and plan to launch soon. We are going to add more features down the line like friend groups for each type of activity, adding and improving our timeline screen, filter the reviews by a friend etc.
We are going to get more people onboard for development and design and continue to collaborate.
Product Manager Learnings:
Full Team Learning
The teams main learning was about how timely collaboration is important in order to achieve success in a product. Getting the team excited about the idea/product can go a long way to execute and improve the product. The developers on the team are getting their experience with new technologies and implementation methods. The Product Manager is involved in every step of the process and is largely providing direction. Having a good mentor has helped us progress and we look forward to improving our skills by learning the hard way.