After converging all the data from my research into the journey of David, my new imaginary friend who I design for, I again diverged my thinking using usual suspects like How Might We questions, Charrette, and brainstorming ideation to converge again and decide the features that had to be present in my design.
First off, I decided to provide recommendations for day trips with overview, itinerary and map mode. I also prioritized a plan creator and editor where several venues and events could be added and edited. The sharing features for more than one people to follow, download and edit a plan are also present. I decided to include a plan downloader to prevent that the itinerary could not be followed do to poor or no connection. Another feature is the alerts for recommendations nearby, which can easily switched off by toggling the switch. Finally, as this is a new app and there would be no ratings for the items listed in the beginning, I thought of incorporating a meta-review feature where the reviews from the main online resources would be displayed. A filter would allow my friend David to get recommendations from locals first and he could rate both individual listings or a whole plan.
As my research was not focused on people whose main reason for traveling is food, I didn’t limited the app to show just food recommendations, but a more diverse offer of sightseeing and food&drinks venues, events and activities. The main goal of this app is to inspire day trips to places off the beaten path by providing recommendations of authentic, localist food-related experiences but also adding non-food activities.
I want to diversify tourism in Japan using food as a bait. Not only for the Summer Olympics, but as a permanent solution that would make the big cities more liveable and the smaller more noticed. Welcome to Diverseaty!
Stealing like an artist
I am not a thief nor an artist, but there were many design ideas I could borrow from what’s out there too. Please, have a look at how David interacts with the prototype. Note that after he adds the day trip to His Plans he goes to follow the itinerary and gets an alert when he’s near the beer tasting event included in that plan. I had to do it this way to show the feature. I hope it is not confusing.
I based my design on CRAP principles: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. Everything is aligned, I am consistent with the buttons, the border radius, the use of iOS UI design elements. I believe that a good readability has been achieved. The font is spaced as suggested by Meng To here. By following the CRAP principles you achieve a less crappy design, so as a beginner what I do is getting the fundamentals to a decent level and time will get me an eye for better aesthetics and faster sketching. That said, with this app I received some positive feedback that makes me think that I have evolved since I took a 7-week design bootcamp, which is always encouraging.
As you see, there is nothing fancy. With this app I wanted to convey reliability, nature, food, curiosity and action. After reading a bit about color psychology both in the west and Japan I went for a palette made of green tones and an yellow call to action.
I don’t like copying, stealing or whatever you want to call it, but I looked at Tripadvisor and Google Maps for some inspiration. It might be the way to go for rookies since it’s not easy to come up with visuals that work in such a short amount of time and being on your own doesn’t help much either.
This time I tested earlier in the process. I was having a hard time with buttons and the user tests proved that I had to make some adjustments to make the app more user friendly.
Nobody but me understood what the green arrows on the left screen meant or what to expect with that placement of the reviews section the on the right. The description was something that was not clear either. I am still not entirely convinced that the + button of my current iteration will be understood by everyone, but it did for the people who saw the screen. The distance from the current location and the time that is usually spent seem to be information that has to be displayed. Also, the favorites button didn’t make sense since no favorites section has been designed at the moment.
The end of the road
The Summer Olympics are still 2 years away. This was my take at trying to solve two problems. First, an overcrowded city. Second, the current unavailability to plan, share plans and getting inspiration from one single resource focused in Japan. This is not a temporary solution, but one that could stay for a long time to help people know unique food, towns, events and venues both in the cities they visit as well as tons of hidden gems nation-wide.
A few weeks didn’t let me show a longer prototype, but showing the flow for sharing plans and some animations are what comes next. This application would have to be translated into Japanese and more languages. Great efforts would have to be made to list unique items, to engage users so they upload and rate relevant plans and to create events that promoted areas that don’t get recognition.
This is just a concept. I don’t have the resources to make it happen nor I can continue putting the amount of hours required for such a large scale project, but I believe it would become a medalist.
Thanks for reading. Sayonara.