Cerca

I’m working on a new app, here’s what I have so far. Feel free to jump in with ideas, suggestions, or questions.

Arvin Dang
Nov 13, 2015 · 3 min read

Cerca is a mobile app to help manage lists of places you’d like to go, or have been and love. The goal of the application is to make the decision process on deciding where to eat, or drink a lot easier.

Cerca helps by:

  • Giving you a place to curate your own lists of recommended places.
  • On launch, Cerca will re-sort your list by distance, placing the closest locations at the top of your list.
  • You have the option to refine your index view, possibly by categories or lists.

Findings from User Interviews

Initial interviews showed that people tend to group lists by cities, and less by category or type of cuisine. Lists are kept in general notes apps, and are soon forgotten. It’s really difficult to remember why a place was added to the list in the first place. Was it because a friend recommended it? What part of town was it in? Was it a bar, or restaurant?

People rely on word of mouth for places to go. Their friends have a great understanding for the type of places they visit, and can offer very targeted recommendations.

Some people tend to plan ahead. They like to search for things in a specific area and can accommodate their needs (vegan, gluten free, etc.). When looking places up on Yelp or Foursquare, the number of ratings, comments and reviews are overwhelming to the point it’s becoming less a deciding factor. Ambiance, price, and familiarity are the deciding factors people use.

An interesting point: seeing a friend who added the location to their list is an easy way to understand a place. For example, if you have a vegan friend who has a common location on their list as you, you can assume it’s vegan friendly.

Assumptions

My first assumption is that proximity is important in the decision making process. By default, opening the application will re-sort your list of places based on what’s closest to you right now.

It seems important for users to be able to change their current position for instances where they’re planning ahead, knowing they’ll be in a different location.

Initially categories seem important, but very subjective. In early card sorting activities, users have identified only a few overlapping categories. My thinking isn’t to use categories, but instead user generated lists.

Design Explorations

I jumped into Sketch and began wireframing a variety of ideas and flows: what a list view vs. map view might look like, defaulting lists by city, and features like favoriting.

Arvin Dang

Written by

Interaction Designer working in Chicago.

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