NearBy is a mobile-focused platform helping travelers discover nearby places that promote mental well-being. People explore different places to learn about cultures, connect with others, and achieve mental wellness. We are redefining travel as finding a new place to learn, connect, and renew the mind; no matter where you go. It can be a park NearBy. Our vision is to inspire travelers to improve mental well-being through connection and culture.

Problem Background  

After the COVID-19 pandemic, people are very interested in finding new places to visit. People now long for joy and enrichment as a result of juggling life's duties. Many people find that traveling to different places helps them reach these sentiments. Travelling is often associated with going abroad, but research indicates that this is not the sole experience that fosters mental wellness. According to a study, happiness and well-being can be increased by engaging in a variety of experiences, such as a road trip or discovering a new area in your neighborhood.

Researchers discovered that when people visit multiple locations throughout the day and spend nearly similar amounts of time in each, they are more likely to experience good emotions like "happy," "enthusiastic," "strong," "relaxed," and "attentive."

In the 19.2 billion dollar market, many map tools offer directions to locations or identify well-known landmarks. There are currently no resources on the digital map market that can guide travelers to locations that encourage uplifting feelings and mental wellness.

Our user research concentrated on those who enjoy going to nearby places. Our consumers are interested in having happy emotions, discovering new cultures, and making new friends, according to survey results and interviews. They find it challenging to predict in advance how a place will make them feel, which limits their ability to do extensive research before visiting.

The vision of NearBy is to inspire travelers to enhance their well-being through connection and culture. A day spent discovering new, varied experiences can improve happiness and well-being.

Research Insights

User Pain Points

  • As a user, I want to be able to type in a location in the search bar and receive suggestions for locations that promote positive emotions.
  • As a user, I want to locate places that appeal to my personal interests so that I can amuse myself and my guests.
  • As a user, I'm looking for places that are connected to various cultures so that I may better understand individuals from other countries.
  • As a user, I want to get suggestions for destinations based on a price range so that I may identify places that fit within my means.


“I want to find places that quench my curiosity and relaxation, and the freedom to explore every element” - Customer Feedback 1

“I want a personalized list of find rare places” - Customer Feedback 2

Landing on the Solution

Explanation of the Solution

Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features: search bar, digital map, and emotional ratings. Our solution is NearBy, a progressive mobile application helping travels discover local relaxing places to improve mental well-bring and happiness. Finding new locations that encourage happy feelings will affect a person's general mental health. We want to assist our users in finding the local spots that can enhance their mental well-being.

Lo-Fi & Hifi Mockups

UX Flow

Iterative Design Learnings

We plan to show our design mock-ups to users by the end of this week. 

Implementation Details 

Technical implementation

Where is it hosted?  Heroku - Cloud Application Platform
What is your tech stack? ReactJS & Ruby on Rails
High-level journey of a request

The app captures the current location or a user searches an address>see results of places>click on nearby place>view details of nearby place>option to rate the relaxation

Technical challenges

What was the hardest part of development?

Frontend - implementing Map

What are some key takeaways?

  • test a hypothesis in order to validate the demand
  • filter a broad problem down to a solution by incorporating user feedback and technical feasibility
  • That trusting and empowering teammates to perform their roles is a very important moment in order to perform as high functional team

Future Steps

We will continue to work on our progressive mobile application. 

Future features:

  1. Switch to google places API to retrieve place descriptions and pictures
  2. Finish emotional rating development
  3. Relax Place Recommendations (use data from users to provide place recommendations)
  4. Provide direction route to relaxing place 
  5. Save Favorite landmarks: Save your favorite landmark to visit again.


Product Manager Learnings:

Jensine Mattis

  • Communication: Create an asynchronous process that involves a communication loop to enable team accountability and support
  • Reduce product scope due to time and resource constraints. As a PM, I had to cut the scope to fewer features without compromising functionality and performance
  • The importance of rallying the team around a product vision. It helped me communicate the purpose of the product to our new team members and helped the developers get excited about building a product they believe in

Designer Learnings:

Jenny Lee

  • A new angle or perspective can completely revitalize and rebrand commonly seen concept
  • Simple interaction details, like confirmation popups or hover animations, can significantly improve the UX. The more details and edge cases accounted for, the smoother the developer handoff is.
  • Learned a lot about time management

Developer Learnings:

Nikola Okuka

  • test a hypothesis in order to validate the demand
  • filter a broad problem down to a solution by incorporating user feedback and technical feasibility
  • That trusting and empowering teammates to perform their roles is a very important moment in order to perform as high functional team

Developers Learnings:

Leny Pascal IHIRWE


  • Learned how to fetch location data from location API 
  • Harmonize product design with product development as a developer
  • Learn how to work well with teammates from different time zones

Full Team Learning

  • The key to highly effective teams is to encourage collaboration, provide team members the opportunity to help one another, and let them get to know one another through effective communication.
  • Instead of proceeding with several solutions that don't address the core user issue, it's critical to focus on one that satisfies one user need and is technically feasible.
  • “If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”