Peregrine: Social walking through interest matching
Skills:Featured, Interaction Design, Mobile, Research, System Design, User Experience
Aim: To develop a social walking system with web and phone components.
Duration: 4 months (Fall 2009 | Michigan, US)
Collaborators: Kshitiz Singh, Manaswi Shukla, Simon Ng, Saul Wyner
Methods Used: Information Architecture, Literature Survey, Persona Creation, Scenario Analysis, User Survey, Personal Interviews, Questionnaire Design, Interface/ Visual Design, Heuristic Evaluation, Prototyping, Contextual Inquiry, Survey Design, Data Analysis and Optimization, Concept Generation, Task flow Conception.
Epitome: We developed a social walking system that uses blind-yet-intelligent matching for walking groups, walking paths, and destinations, taking the interests of the involved walkers into account- thereby creating small, local, communal adventures. The goal was to utilize the knowledge of frequent walkers to motivate the other segment. An iPhone application was delivered.
Project Brief: The goals of our project are to implement a social walking program that will directly address our intended aims (making connections with people and places through walking), while specifically addressing potential barriers to walking. We developed strategies and goals to address the following requirements: Creating social groups and providing control to the user to decided with whom he/she wants to walk with; walking should always be an adventure; each walk must add something new to his knowledge base; lots of new places to explore with group or individually.
Project Website: Project Peregrine
Design and Methodology: Our initial concept was to facilitate a community that could connect people and places to their local environment. We followed following process:
In our initial contextual inquiry, our goal was trying to understand what motivated current frequent walkers and what would motivate non-walkers, and how we could connect them. They both liked discovering new locations and meeting new people- just only walkers were able to do so. Both non-walkers and walkers wanted more information, and help with meeting people and scheduling.
For our persona and scenarios, we created four different users to fit what we found in our Contextual Inquiry. In the end, we chose primary and secondary users based on their potential benefit and interest of our proposed application. Our focus was on the general social user who just moved into town and is looking to meet new people and learn new things about his or her new city.
In our prototyping, our major hurdle was trying to find a common format to build off of. We had many constraints on which way we wanted to go, because we were initially building an iPhone application, which meant screen size, and features would be limited. In terms of perspective interfaces, we could create a community building-focused interface to facilitate networking or exploration-focused interface to facilitate expanding their environment and meeting new people.
In our final prototype, we determined a sense of exploration is about choices, and a sense of community building is about matching. The way we were able to combine our two lo-fi prototypes was to encourage an exploration of matches. This way we can emphasize communities while giving users an open choice.
After our hi-fi prototype was done, we conducted tests with 8 different users. We gave each a limited overview of the functionality of the application. After this was done, we assigned each user a scenario to complete and took detailed notes of their results.
Deliverables: A working hi-fi prototype of an iPhone application was delivered which cater all the requirements that were gathered in the initial phase of the project. Along with the application, a web based interface and the SMS functionality of the Peregrine was also showcased. You can try the online version of the application here or by clicking at the picture below. Download this application on your iPhone.
Download our submission at CHI 2010 Interaction Design Student Competition.