Mobile app for planning and attending bar crawls
How can event planners plan and coordinate multi-site events? How can attendees easily join multi-site events?
6 weeks execution time
Prototyping and Implementation Course
Eric - UX/UI Designer
Kevin - UX Designer/Researcher
Melissa - UX Designer/Researcher
Tim - UX Designer
Zandra - UX Designer/Researcher
It is difficult for event planners to plan and coordinate multi-site events, especially if the sites change over the course of an event. As a participant, it can be hard to keep track of the right location for an event at a given time.
A two-channel mobile app for event planners and attendees to coordinate before and during multi-site events.
Participants found the prototypes effective for accomplishing their tasks.
Multi-site events can be difficult to manage and a classic example of a multi-site event is a bar crawl. Some of the challenges with managing a bar crawl include researching potential sites for the crawl, planning the best route, and coordinating participants -- especially after a few drinks. From the participant perspective, challenges include joining a bar crawl after it had begun and staying connected with the group throughout the bar crawl. Our design sets out to address these pain points for both planners and participants of bar crawls.
We decided to design for a mobile plateform, since mobile devices are equipped with features that could address the user pain points. For example, GPS could be used to help participants keep track of each other during a crawl. Most importantly, a mobile platform would enable planners and participants to stay connected during the event. We held a design charrette to explore potential solutions to our problems and understand the scope of our features for the first design iteration. Everyone on the team contributed and we identified common needs across the different designs.
We identified two user profiles for our app: planners and participants. We modeled a persona for each profile and based on the personas, we wrote and sketched use scenarios.
From our scenarios, we extracted a number of user requirements for each persona.
Bio: 32 year old, tech-savvy blogger, college graduate
Tagline: “There’s no such thing as over preparation.”
Goals: Looking for an easy way to both invite friends to an event and keep them apprised of current location during a multi-venue night out
Frustration/Pain points: Likes to coordinate events like bar crawls, but has a tough time coordinating with all of her friends.
- Create route
- Find route
- Schedule times
- Name route
- Research pubs, see bar info
- Send invitations
- Make crawl public or private
- Manage crawl membership
- Save crawls for future
- Retrieve previous crawls
- Identify favorite pubs
Design & Prototyping
We iteratively improved our designs for the planner and participant task flows through sketches, modelling, and user-tested prototypes. We divided the work based on the two personas. I was responsible for the planner persona's prototype. The prototypes increased in fidelity from mid- to high-fidelity.
We evaluated our prototypes with think-aloud usability testing. Following a testing protocol, our testers were asked to perform tasks on the prototypes based on the persona's respectice use case scenario. Our evaluations were used to improve usability and reduce errors when completing a task.
Our solution to the challenge of planning and participating in a bar crawl was a two-channel mobil app, Crawlr. In our current design, planners can create a bar crawl event with multiple locations. Planners can also research bars as they create the bar crawl event, using integrated bar reviews and map locations. Through these features, Crawlr helps to alleviate the challenge of planning a bar crawl.
As for the participant, they are able to view a bar crawl event and its itinerary, view where the bar crawl is currently located, and chat with other participants in Crawlr. The location feature in particular solves the issue of joining a bar crawl event late, since it allows the user to know exactly which bar the crawl has progressed to. The chat features supports participants, by allowing them to stay connected and ask for clarifications on the crawl.
The result of our design process were two high-fidelity prototypes, one for each user persona. Our evaluations showed that our prototypes were effective in enabling users to complete their tasks with minimal errors (zero to two errors).
Next steps would be combine the two prototypes into one. Future work would also include designing the task flow and user interface from the planner's perspective during the event.
Overall, I believe that Crawlr is an effective first step to tackling the challenge of coordinating bar crawls. Furthermore, a bar crawl is simple a specific type of multi-site event, so Crawlr can reasonable be extended to other group-oriented multi-site events such as walking tours, weddings, and reunions.
While our user testing revealed flaws and bugs within our prototypes, they do not accurately reflect the intended use scenario since the tests were conducted on a desktop computer. Ideally, the tests should have been conducted on a mobile device to simulate the actual use of the app. Tests on a mobile device could have revealed potential issues with the size and clickability of interactive elements.
Since we worked in a remote team, there were some inconsistencies in the style of the planner and participant prototypes. Communication is essential for prototyping and established a shared understanding of the concept, especially in remote teams.