The problem and our design team
Do any quick google search and you will find that Travel is a booming industry in the online sphere. Specific forecasts suggest that Global GDP is on the rise, indicating a good outlook for travel around the world. Eco-tourism is specifically on the rise with Hiking becoming one of the fastest going sports specifically in the United States. Hiking is now the fourth most-popular outdoor activity in the U.S., after running, fishing and biking, according to The Outdoor Foundation's 2018 Outdoor Participation Report. The report noted that 44.9 million people hit the trails in 2017, up from 30 million in 2006.
I was challenged with creating a relevant app that provides information and recommendations about where people can go and what to see around the world.
Because of the rising popularity of hiking as well as only a few niche apps filling the market with trail systems, my solution was to create Ramble: a hiking app dedicated to finding hikes in any local area as well as searching for highlighted hikes around the world.
Understanding the Problem
With only a few apps on the market that specialize in hiking, there is not comprehensive coverage of global hiking outside of the United States. Ramble specializes in helping travelers identify hiking destinations before they leave home as well as provide detailed trail maps and directions to trailheads. Ramble is not only for international travel but for travel inside the United States and has a visual emphasis on the scenery and pictures that hikers take.
International travelers need a way to discover hikes and plan vacations around hiking while also having a digital trail map that is available without cell service.
Defining our User
Jessica Davis the target persona for an App like Ramble: she is outdoorsy, hikes at home and likes to take international trips which are eco tourism-oriented. We chose a woman as the target persona because our research showed that in a couple, women were more likely to plan a trip then their male partners.
I love going to new places to push my boundaries and explore this beautiful planet. Life is too short to just work, buy a house with a white picket fence, and never see what is beyond my own Backyard"
Designing the Solution
When first designing a feel for the app the two forefront designs where a desert-themed and one that was dubbed “forest theme”. In testing with users, the Forest theme was taken more seriously and was met with a higher approval rate.
Ramble allows users to search hikes in their area in either list form or map and add parameters as a filter function.
One of the core functions of the bottom navigation is “Destinations” tab, in which users can view categories of places and then view articles and top hikes.
Users can save hike to their profile as well as add photos of hikes they have done.
Saved Hikes are automatically grouped by area, allowing for ease of reference.
All hikes are downloadable so that they are available offline.
During this 6 week project, we interviewed to 10 of people, created an extensive domain understanding and competitive landscape, and created a hypothetical solution that solved our initial ask but also scoped down to a specific sector of the travel industry.
My personal takeaways
This project was an experience that challenged me to refine my visual design chops as well as fully scope the project to make a valuable MVP. There are a few key things in this case study that were added later due to my personal opinion and research leanings but were not included in my initial presentation of Ramble. This was also valuable experience in taking a project through high fidelity wireframes and completely the fully UX-UI process.