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YOU MAKE MELBOURNE

A solo project to create a fun and interactive application that will allow Melbourne locals and tourists to discover some of those hidden cultural gems that our beautiful city has to offer.

What do we already know?

Every month, thousands of people arrive in Melbourne to forge new lives for themselves. They come from all over Australia and the worlds, drawn by the city's reputation as a great place to live.

Every month, thousands of people arrive in Melbourne to forge new lives for themselves. They come from all over Australia and the worlds, drawn by the city's reputation as a great place to live.

Melbourne strives to be bold, inspirational and sustainable. It values knowledge, innovation and good design. It builds public places with the people of Melbourne in mind. And Melbourne is a highly creative city. It overflows with live music, performances, public talks, festivals and events.

Melbourne strives to be bold, inspirational and sustainable. It values knowledge, innovation and good design. It builds public places with the people of Melbourne in mind. And Melbourne is a highly creative city. It overflows with live music, performances, public talks, festivals and events.

Cities that foster creativity in their resident populations not only position themselves for the jobs of the future, but attract world travellers

Cities that foster creativity in their resident populations not only position themselves for the jobs of the future, but attract world travellers

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​'Creativity plays an equally vital role in social cohesion and wellbeing. These experiences change the way we view our city. They change lives.'

- Melbourne City Council

My Role in this Project:

  • Secondary Research

  • User Research

  • Synthesis of Data

  • Feature Prioritisation

  • Information Architecture

  • Prototyping

  • User Testing

Original Brief:

Melbourne’s street art is internationally renowned, and has become an attraction for local and overseas visitors experiencing Melbourne’s creative ambience.I want to create an app using AR to use choose your own adventure style tours, showcasing iconic Melbourne culture and street art. This will be a fun, interactive tool for users to find some of the hidden gems our beautiful city has to offer

Research

Before beginning this project, I needed to conduct secondary research in order to discover the opportunities available in the market. In order to do this I researched the direct and indirect competitors:

Social Media Platforms

PROS: Word of mouth and local knowledge.                                 

CONS: Following the popular people leads to crowded places.

City Guides & Local Tours

PROS: Finger on the pulse of what is happening locally.                           

CONS: Once published, crowds will descend.

Geolocation & AR Apps

PROS: Very fun to play with.                                                                             

CONS: Don't achieve too much, really only good for play.

Competitive Landscape Map

At first I struggled here...

 

How do you position yourself in the market if you have such a wide array of direct and indirect competitors?

I needed to think about business goals... Duh! 

I hadn't thought about how the app would make money to be able to survive.

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This enabled me to create the competitive landscape map, which showed a specific area of opportunity in the bottom-left corner 'Exclusive' and 'Interactive'

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This secondary research also showed me that there is already a HUGE number of cultural tours out there. This caused me to pivot my brief in order to aim for something that is needed.

New Brief

Melbourne’s street art is internationally renowned, and has become an attraction for local and overseas visitors experiencing Melbourne’s creative ambience. I want to create a digital world/worlds for locals and tourists alike to create their own tours based on their recommendations within the Melbourne Art and Culture Scene. This will be a fun, interactive tool for users to venture out into the physical world to find some of the hidden gems our beautiful city has to offer. These tours can be public, or private for one person or small groups.  Digital images/notes/tags etc can be left throughout the tour for others to find. I need to conduct interviews and test my assumptions that people will actually use this app. That they are interested in spending the time wandering around based on peer recommendations, rather than a blog or guide book.

User Research

I conducted 15 in-person interviews of Melbourne locals and tourists, and 6 in person interviews with local artists and cultural influencers. The goal of these interviews was to discover what it is about Melbourne that these people love, how they currently find out about cultural events and artworks, and also how interactive they like to be in their experiences.

'Yeah, I would trust a stranger to recommend fun things to do, so long as I knew a bit about their interests beforehand and I knew that they aligned with mine'

'Melbourne is so densely populated that anything publicised means a huge lineup'

'I have a huge ego and I think I'm cool and I want to share all the cool things I do with other people'

'There is a huge emphasis on secrecy in Melbourne'

'Once something has been written about on Broadsheet or Concrete Playground, it means that a million people will go there and it will be impossible to get in.'

Affinity Map

What did I discover stands out amongst the Melbourne Arts Community?

People want EXCLUSIVITY!

They want to be the first to do something, they want to be able to discover things that are hidden and secret, they want to be a part of an exclusive clique. Aaaaaannnnnnd... They want to be seen doing it!

Through synthesis of the information I defined my initial target users as those who will be following the bespoke experiences (The Makers), to begin with they will not be able to create their own tours, but will be able to use the AR function to leave their mark on the digital world around them. After building up time on the app, they will then graduate to Creator status. The experiences will initially be created by Melbourne Influencers (The Creators).

Primary and Secondary Personas

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Current User Journey

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Problem Statement

People in Melbourne need a new way to discover the culture of the city so that they can avoid the crowded places, and feel cool and exclusive.

Hypothesis

I believe that an app that allows Melbourne Influencers to create their own bespoke tours of cultural significance will enable locals and tourists alike to feel part of an exclusive 'members only' club while discovering the city.

We will know this to be true when users are using the AR features and referring their friends to the app.

Use of AR

When I say that a key feature of this app will be leaving things for others to find, I mean this... but in a digital world ---->

People enjoy leaving their mark in significant spot in the world. This is evidenced by grafitti, tree carvings, locks on bridges and also by my User Interviews.

Similar to the function of the hidden messages app 'Walla Me', users will be able to leave and also collect their digital keepsakes in the form of images, drawings and text in the digital world.

How Might We

... allow people in Melbourne to feel that they are a part of the diverse and rich fabric of the Melbourne culture, while keeping it feeling authentic?

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New User Flow

After 3 closed card sorts with 3 seperate users, I was able to create the site map.

Information Architecture

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Branding

In order to maintain the exclusive feeling that is important to my users, I created a Tone of Voice document for all interactions. The copy is to continuously allude to exclusivity and allowing the user to feel like the 'Maker' of what is cool in the city.

 

Being able to graduate from Maker to Creator through high usage turns the users into influencers within the world that they deem to be important... This is also a motivation for them to continue to use the app.

The only marketing is to be word of mouth, and users are only given access to the app through a referral code.

Colours of the app will remain basic and monochromatic. This will allow the content to stand out.

Wireframing

I sketched up some low fidelity wireframes and got to usability testing. I did this over 3 rounds of testing.

Through the testing the feedback was very clear that due to the secrecy and exclusivity of the branding and lack of direct marketing, users may not be aware of how the app works. I need to create a tutorial and a welcome page describing what the app is and how it works. Although it's just a simple walking tour application, it's a big learning curve so these changes were needed.

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Feedback in this section was that clicking through the two separate 'Your Experience' pages were redundant, so I combined those into one page. Also the copy in this section was a little confusing to the users as I hadn't test the Tone of Voice document and branding strategy, so I renamed the 'Features' page.

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I removed one of the 'Add Feature' pages as it was redundant. Originally I had given the option to start in either Camera View or Map View, however testing showed that 100% of users began in Map View as they wanted to see where they were and where they were going so I was able to remove this choice. Also, the 'Capture Feature' icon needed to be changed to a camera from an arrow as users felt they were being directed to look down.

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The only real iterations needed in this section was the addition of back buttons, and also a counter that shows the number of added/captured features left until the Maker can progress to the next level.

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Interaction Wireframes

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Have a play with my lo-fi prototype:

Next Steps:

In order to take the first step I will need to put together a mid to hi-fi prototype, with some time spent on branding before stepping up the design and final UI.

The next step is to commission some real influencers within the Melbourne culture scene to create one or two meaningful experiences each, people will be paying to go to these out of interest, and then once they graduate in status, they will create their own tours for clout.

Once people begin using the app, I will need to research the best way for users to create and upload their own tours.

The future monetisation plans are to allow businesses to create their own 'sponsored' tours. Users can take these for free and end up at the organising business.

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