A tech-enabled solution that provides users with proximity-based, real time, curated event information while leveraging the opinions (‘vibe checks’) on events from their friends.
How can we make planning a night out with friends easier for young adults?
As humans, social interaction is essential for regulating our emotional and physical health. People who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier, and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less connected (South University, 2018). Currently, young adults looking to socialize on any given night are left scouring through social media pages, lifestyle blogs, websites or, if they’re lucky, reaching out to friends in the area for suggestions and ideas. This information is oftentimes outdated, incomplete, digitally inconspicuous and not readily available or curated to fit individual fun-seeker preferences.
Additionally, navigating the process of finding information on events while curating an outing experience with friends often proves to be time consuming, overwhelming and exhausting. Between finding an activity that doesn’t break the bank and agreeing on the time and location of the activity with friends, curating the perfect night out has become a major challenge for many young adults.
Young adults need an easy way to finalize logistical details while curating a night out with friends.
Market Survey Feedback
Of the 75 participants of the market survey conducted, on any given night;
- 75% said that the enthusiasm of their friends greatly influenced their decision to go out;
“Getting everyone to commit to the event and not cancel or flake is one of my pain points of planning a night out. It will usually deter me if a majority of the group does this. Not so much if it is one or two people that flake”
- 78% prefer to attend an event hosted by a friend; and
- 79% said their ideal approach for seeking a night out activity was to first reach out to friends.
One user responded when asked for their major pain point in planning a night out. The response was “The logistics of coordinating the group and finding something that works for everyone. It deters my decision on whether to go out or stay in”
In contrast, when asked what the most important factors they consider when deciding on a night out activity was, only 13% indicated ‘Friend’s Opinions’ as a response. Surprisingly, other factors like, value for money, Quality of Food, Drinks & Services offered, Proximity to location outweighed ‘Friends opinions’ by over 50%.
User Pain Points
We conducted 3 user interviews
To address this problem effectively we conducted user interviews to be able to ascertain the pain points of young adults while planning a night out. From these interviews it was observed four main paint points that greatly affected the interviewees while planning a night out.
- Deciding on an event type (e.g. Try a new restaurant, hit the club, have a house party? etc.)
- Difficulty in getting timely confirmation from friends on the details of the night out (i.e. who’s driving, time to meet, etc.)
- Not knowing if the quality of the service, food, drinks and music will be good or bad that night
- How much effort would be required to get the user from their home to the event and back
From both the market survey and the interviews, our data shows that the difficulty in coordinating the ‘logistics’ of a night out with friends was a major pain point for most users
Landing on the Solution
RAYDAR will take out the frustration and uncertainty from planning nights out with friends by leveraging proximity-based, real-time, collaborative, curated event information.
The actual technology behind the solution and its deployment will be fleshed out in the coming weeks with the entire team
Explanation of the Solution
🚨 The solution is still being developed but below is a preliminary dive into the capabilities of the product
By launching the solution and inputting their location and other personalized data, the User is presented with suggestions of activities or events happening within a 5 mile radius of them. These suggestions are accompanied by the event/activity ratings, average cost per person and how long it will take them to get to the location.
Additionally, the solution will offer users the opportunity to connect with friends and suggest a ‘game plan’ for the night out by leveraging feedback from friends and their using locations. RAYDAR will achieve this by asking for and collating feedback from friends on their current mood, likelihood to attend, schedule / planned duration for the night out, location of each friend, etc.
In future releases, RAYDAR may have advanced features that provide the users with wait times for an event and feedback from users already attending an event to further strengthen the decision making process for users.
I plan to continue with this project, build a team, and launch an MVP, if given the opportunity. I believe that this solution could be beneficial for young adults and reduce the frustrations surrounding planning a fun night out with friends. This in turn may strengthen friendships and increase opportunities for social interaction among young adults.
However, I’m more passionate about learning all it takes to be a good PM and would be happy to develop another product from Ideation to MVP
Product Manager Learnings:
As a PM your ultimate prerogative is to enable organizations to deliver value to customers. The details of how this comes about may vary from organization to organization. But as long as you thoroughly explore and understand the problem space, communicate the necessity and importance of solving the problem and actively collaborate with other members of the organization to deliver value, you’re on track to success.