Focus on Core Functionality
We decided that our core functionality was allowing users to create
and take audio tours. Our focus was to make this process as easy as
possible. This meant removing any clutter or features
tangential to this goal. We removed the ability
for others to add their own audio clips (as a response or their own
memories/facts) to tour segment locations, deciding that this would
take away from someone else's tour and clutter the experience.
still think that it would be a great feature, but because it was not
central to the goal of the app and which needed honing and
simplifying in this iteration, we decided to add this feature to our wish
list. Streamlining our application
workflow to make it as simple and straightforward as possible to make
and take a tour was our ultimate goal. Instead of adding a lot of options, we decided to
make the process have the fewest steps.
The current iteration of the app requires that people making or taking a tour
be at the physical location. The app plays the
audio segment for that location once you're there. Making tours
location-sensitive allows tour creators to know that the tours will be
experienced in the same way that they were created. We chose not to
allow people to take the tours 'virtually' in this iteration because we felt that being
there was what was really important to experiencing the audio portion
of the tour.
We realize that because of our user base (retirees), tour accessibility was a key concern for our design. By making the tour location
context-aware during the recording phase we ensure trips are
accessible for other retirees. Also, being context aware allows the application to
suggest nearby place names when making a tour.
Tours can also be selected by level of
difficulty using metrics like tour length (miles, stops) and activity level (easy,
medium, hard). We assume these are calculated based on iPhone GPS sensors
or through map topographic models while making the tour.
Our current design focuses on walking tours. However, other modes of
transportation can be added in another version without changing the
Users see a map and list overview of the tour before they start. On
the map, they can see quick teasers of each location by tapping on the
location before starting a tour. We found through our research (and in our personas) that
although recent retirees liked to experiment and try new things, they
wanted to try before they buy. We thought that the idea of teasers
would appeal to them and enable graduated commitment.
Storyville's simple make a tour flow allows users the flexibility to navigate listeners however
they want: they can instruct users to their next
location (as part of the audio narration), or create segments that start and end at a particular location. By using locations for each leg, users can wander a bit and still be able
to come back to the tour without losing their way. This is because Storyville makes sure
to include directions to the next location from wherever users are located.
Gentle Ratings and Creep-Proofing
We decided against star ratings, instead choosing a recommendation
model. Because the goal of this application is community-building, we
wanted every act of participation to be valued and appreciated. We thought
that using a star-rating model (where users could rate a tour from
1–5), would promote a competitive, non-inclusive and potentially unfriendly
Instead if people taking the tour like the tour, they
can recommend it by giving it a 'thumbs up'. This encourages
users to provide positive feedback and others can
still sort tours by recommendations.
added a feature to report a user for review if the tour had any creep
factor to it. This allowed for crowdsourced moderation of the
community and content but at the same time allows a third party to
decide whether tours or users should be blocked.
Rewards for Tours
During design iterations we decided not to include a reward or payment system for tours. It was initially included in our hi-fidelity wireframes (below is an example of a price button that was similar to ours), but we
decided to remove any payment scheme for tours because it redirected focus from
the community-building model. However, during class discussions we thought that adding
tips for a tour or rewards would be an excellent option for a later iteration.
Context-Aware Information Retrieval
The information retrieved is transcripted audio linked to locations. The
app let's you store and record audio tours. By organizing clips into
tours, we make retrieving audio tours location and context-specific.
We made sure that the application was targeted and suited for seniors
specifically by considering accessbility at every step of the design
process. All the measures used such as difficulty level, length, proximity are senior-specific. The UI also uses fonts that are for the most part larger than 12 pt. and large buttons. We also chose to stay with the basic iPhone UI template so that the look and feel is familiar and buttons that are logical next steps can be brightly colored to draw attention to them.
Customization without Complexity
We have made the application just flexible enough to offer the users a
very personalized experience without having to walk through a cumbersome number
of steps. The user gets a 'real' human intimately familiar with an area guiding
them through a neighborhood with a unique viewpoint and in their own voice, rather than a less personal guidebook or history lesson. Users can make new tours and begin to have conversations about neighborhoods and within communities.
We hope you enjoy Storyville!