COLAB6 - MOBILE APP

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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.

Persona:

Our research enabled us to create the following personas. 

Oscar Martinez I want to be sure I will like the place I go to! Location: Moved from: Status: 32 New York, NY Tulsa, OK Single Short Bio As someone from Tulsa, OK, I want to find good places to eat/drink/hangout in NYC. I know a lot of my contacts have previously visited and had great reviews to places to eat, but i did not make a list. I enjoy Thai Food but the number of places here overwhelm me. I wish I made a list when my contacts suggested as the reviews I find online are misleading to my tastes. I also want to suggest my list to others. If there was a way I can know where my contacts went and enjoyed when they were in NYC, I would like that. Frustrations Can't find places to go. Places I go don't turn out good. Tried many places but liked only a few. Goals Want reviews from my contacts as i trust their choice more. A way to look up any type of place to eat/drink/hangout on demand with reviews from my contacts. I want to review places for my Contacts.
Kelly Ward I want to go to places that I enjoy! 25 Travelled to: Rome, Italy Travelled from: Chicago, USA Status: Single Short Bio I like going on Solo trips just exploring by myself. I do not eat meat so I am always looking for vegetarian or vegan restaurants to eat at. In Rome, I end up only seeing big food chains but I want to go to something local that is more to my taste. I wish someone had reviewed places specifically for me. I know a lot of my contacts have previously visited Rome and had great reviews to places to eat, but I wish I am able to see the places they went. I also like specific museums like Maritime museums or Living History museums. I wish someone from my contacts had reviewed them. Frustrations Too many touristy spots. Not all reviews seem genuine. Trying to find something local. Goals Want reviews from my contacts as i trust their choice more. A way to look up any type of place to eat/drink/hangout on demand with reviews from my contacts. I want to review places for my Contacts.

Contextual Situations:

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.  

Solution: 

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.

Login Screen 9:41 Here A Co-Lab App Your Phone Number (555) 555-5555 Login Sign Up
Map Screen/B 9:41 z EVA Search 21st St Hill St 23rd St Papa Pizza rsey St Clipper St 29th St STREE RIC DISTRICT Papa Pizza 24th St 26th St CPM Luke's Map Day St Home 27th St Duncan St Review
9:41 Here A Co-Lab App Your Phone Number (555) 555-5555 Sign Up Already Have an account? Login
9:41 W 23rd PI Pizza Pizza Planet W Luther St Washtenaw Park Papa Pizza 'Awesome Place!" Fred G. Explore W 24th St Concord Healthcare Papa Pizza W 25th St W 26th St Time Line
9:41 x Papa Pizza Papa pizza is a new pizza place in Chicago, IL. Review YOUR FRIENDS' REVIEWS Awesome place. Will go again! Fred G. Good Variety but not so great service! Ralph Explore Time Line

Product Flow and User Stories:

TableDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Proposed Features: 

  • 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.

Achievements:

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. 

What's Next: 

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.  

Team Learnings

Product Manager Learnings:

Goutam Uttiramerur

Designer Learnings:

John Thacher

Developer Learnings:

Gary Lewman

Developer's Learnings:

Marlon Johnson

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.