Let's Go Urban Hiking Service
End-to-end urban hiking service concept that focuses on a meaningful on-foot experience with features that invite connection to a place.
It can be difficult to feel connected to a new city. People often move to new environments with few social connections and even less knowledge of a place. What goes into that comfort and satisfaction of “feeling at home” within a city? As an immersive, on-foot method of transportation, how can urban hikes facilitate exploration and connectedness? What can be improved about the current urban hiking experience?

The Challenge:
How might we redefine the on-foot experience to be immersive, integrated, and allow people to more meaningfully connect with their urban environment?
Product/UX Designer, UX Researcher
March - June 2022

Mobile UX/UI
Visual Design & Brand Identity
UX Artifacts
Strategy Artifacts

Project Overview
An end-to-end urban hiking service that focuses on a meaningful on-foot experience, with features that invite connection to a place before, during, and after a hike.
Core Product Features
Interactive, High-Fidelity Prototype of Core User Flow
Concept Video
Primary & Secondary Research
Exploratory Research of the Problem Space

Our initial exploratory research aimed to:
Identify Challenges in connecting to a new city
Understand peoples' unique relationship to on-foot exploration
Explore Opportunities for creating meaningful exploratory experiences

To do so, we conducted interviews with locals from Seattle who have experience with exploring or commuting through the city on-foot, performed competitive research to better understand the landscape of offerings and areas of opportunity, engaged in experience role-playing, and conducted social listening.  ​​​​​​​
Based on our exploratory research, we identified urban hiking as a promising opportunity to help newcomers to a city connect with their new environment.
Research Objectives

1. Determine how physically engaging with an environment helps urban hikers experience deeper meaning with an environment.
2. Understand what makes urban hikes appealing for people.
3. Identify challenges urban hikers face as they attempt to navigate urban settings with navigational aids.
4. Explore opportunities for recording and sharing the lived experiences of an urban hike.
5. Investigate what makes urban hiking more meaningful than other methods of transportation.
Research Questions

How do urban hikes help people feel connected with a city?
1. What do people look for in an urban hiking experience?
2. How do people go through an urban hike from planning to finish?
3.What are some challenges people face in an urban hike experience?
4. How do people remember an urban hike?
Synthesis of Primary Research Findings

We synthesized findings from 260+ interview notes, grouped into 16 themes, which led to 9 key insights that informed our design decisions.
Interview notes from 7 participants.
16 themes distilled from interview notes.
9 insights informed our subsequent design decisions.
Key Insights from Primary Research
Ideation & Concepting
Journey Map of the Current Experience

In order to better understand the current end-to-end urban hiking experience, we created a journey map which highlighted key pain points across actions and touchpoints.
Key Pain Points​​​​​​​
Prospective Journey Map

Based on the pain points we discovered through interviews and the Journey Map exploration, as well as the 9 key research insights, we created a prospective journey map that addresses these challenges and opportunities
The Resulting Product/Service Concept
Design, Testing, and Iteration
Design Process
Feature Ideation Workshop

My team and I held an ideation workshop to develop the key features that would achieve the product/service concept, based on the following overarching design principles: 
Immersive digital experience that enhances physical experience
Meaningful connections throughout the entire journey
Flexible navigation for spontaneous exploration

We used a variety of methods, including: experience storytelling, user scenarios, and affinity diagrams to brainstorm ideas, and dot-voting to down-select to the top key features.  ​​​​​
Sketches of 4 Core Features

From this process, we landed on four key features we then visualized through sketching and whiteboarding. 
Wizard-of-Oz Prototype for Concept Evaluation

In order to test the features and experience of our concept quickly to gain user feedback, without building or designing just yet, we decided to create a wizard-of-oz prototype. One of our team members embodied Let's Go while leading users through a hiking experience.
Key Findings of Concept Evaluation

1. Users found the gems to be the most valuable feature of Let's Go, and want to be notified of gems en-route.
2. Users reinforced the importance of Let's Go's support of a flexible route, to account for spontaneity and changes.
3. Users liked the idea of being able to share a Memory Stamp or curated hike with others, but not publicly.
Mid-Fidelity Prototype

Based on the key findings from the wizard-of-oz prototype, we developed a mid-fi prototype to begin implementing feature concepts into a design.
Feature Testing with Mid-Fi Prototype

We tested our initial prototype with users, employing a think-aloud protocol for users to express their thoughts, pain points, and reasoning behind their actions within the app.

We learned:
• Users want to create multiple stamps for a hike
• Users want to know what the hike looks like before choosing 
• Users want to be able to revisit a collection of Memory Stamps 
Hi-Fidelity Prototype

Results from the feature testing directly informed our next iterations.
Usability Testing Hi-Fi Prototype

After creating a high-fidelity prototype, we tested with users to uncover any lingering pain points.

We learned:
• Users felt inputting preferences was too general and wants more customizability
• Users want more gems and points of interest to be highlighted on the "Make Me a Hike" results page
• User wants a fast and easy way to access Memory Stamps when they are on the hike
Design System
We developed a visual design system for Let's Go, based on three core brand values: playful, friendly, and adventurous. These values informed typography, color, iconography, and UI elements throughout the app's design.

Final Deliverables
Home Page
The home page is the central hub of the Let's Go experience. Browse collections of hikes based on your location, recent preferences, or even time of year. 
Alternatively, search hikes thematically using the search bar or choose "Make Me a Hike" for a personalized, curated hike.
Navigation highlights Explore Mode, a location-based, free-form hiking experience; your collection of Memory Stamps; and profile, where you can manage contacts and settings.
Thematic Search
Thematic Searching functionality is a direct result from feedback heard during usability testing — users wanted the option to search and browse results without having to state their specific preferences about what they'd like to do and see.
After selecting a few filters, Let's Go surfaces results across hikes and collections to match.

Curated Hike Based on Preferences
Personalized, curated hikes are the backbone of Let's Go. Preferences such as length of hike, strenuousness, gems and highlights, and more help you to find hikes that match the experience you'd like to have — while also integrating elements of novelty with additional gem recommendations.
Curated Hikes Results
After inputting preferences, Let's Go surfaces hikes that best match your stated preferences, as well as hikes that do not apply fully, but might be interesting to you.
Hike cards provide the most important information about the hike upfront, enabling quick browsing of results.

Hike Details
Once you select a hike (from searching, browsing, or curating) the hike details page provides in-depth information about the hike experience. This page lists gems and points of interest on the hike, what to expect on the hike, tips, and public Memory Stamps that have been created on the hike.
Making a Memory Stamp
Make a Memory Stamp to commemorate your experience, connecting your memories to the meaningful gems they were created at. Share with others, or if you'd prefer, keep it to yourself to revisit in the future. Memory Stamps can be created from any combination of mediums, including text, image, video, and voice. Whether on a hike, or once your hike has concluded, Memory Stamps are easily accessible to create and revisit. 

Memory Stamp
A created Memory Stamp displays your memory as a single-page scroll interspersed with your multi-medium content, reflecting the narrative quality of a hike.
Memory Stamp Compendium
Easily access all of your Memory Stamps in the Memories tab. Memory Stamp tiles display hero images and key information in a chronological order, enabling you to easily scroll through months of memories, or select one to dive deeper into recollection.

Map View of Memory Stamps
Memory Stamps can also be viewed overlayed on a map, to connect your memories to their exact locations.
Multi-Modal Navigation
Receive notifications only when you need them, across a variety of devices and sensory cues — visual, auditory, and haptic — keeping you in the moment while you're on your adventure.
Let's Go will also notify you of any nearby hidden gems that match your preferences, and can make on-the-spot changes to your route to allow for spontaneous exploration. ​​​​​​​
Strategy Artifacts
Competitive Analysis & Market Placement
Service Blueprint
Lean Canvas
Next Steps
My team and I are currently working on building beyond the MVP service experience we created for the purpose of this graduate-level project. Our plans are to build out the full flow of the product, including the complete information architecture, interaction flow, and edge cases.
Lessons Learned
This project was a quick one — we only had 5 weeks to build this digital product/service experience! Because of this timeline, we had to make tough decisions about which features and concepts to scope into the MVP offering. 
Of utmost importance in our efforts was creating a meaningful experience for users, while also building a product/service based on realistic business objectives and market feasibility. We conducted a variety of strategic methods to position our offering within the market, which in turn, helped inform which features and capabilities to prioritize to deliver an effective, and competitive product. 
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