Alternative Tourism Experience
For this task we had to create an alternative experience for tourists in Edinburgh. Our group has a fair amount of knowledge of Edinburgh’s skate scene. With this in mind we decided to look towards an experience tailored towards showing tourists how different Edinburgh is through the eyes of a skate and where and why are popular spots are. That initial idea also led us towards us also creating something that allows skaters who travel the globe or country to skate different spots and where is tailored to their form of skating.
To begin our research we went out to a few spots we were familiar with and took photographs to see how we could create the experience for people.
Bristo Square is an area owned by the University of Edinburgh. It connects McEwan lecture hall to surrounding university buildings. With that information you already know that the people who are visiting here frequently are students from ages 18 to 30 of any gender or race. From studying the area for roughly an hour we didn’t see many people we could call were tourists as most of the buildings around the area are small student bars, pharmacies and general stores. Bristo Square has a long history of skaters an is a well known spot within the skating community of Scotland. In 2015 redevelopment took place and prevented skaters from using it for the time being. It has since reopened for the public but a lot of the area has been capped (pieces of material such as metal or chunks out of the design) to stop skateboarders from using the ledges, rails or stairs. As photographed above some of it is still skateable but nowhere near as much as it used to be.
The idea behind going to the pump track was to show how areas for people who do biking or skating usually have to be explored and searched out to be found. This pump track is situated behind multiple streets of flats and then behind it is wooded areas and then Arthur’s Seat in the background. Doing our behavioural mapping we found that the people here weren’t just skateboarders but mostly bikers as this who it was designed for in particular but also people on scooters too. The demographic were generally much younger and could potentially have been just local children from the surrounding residential area. With our idea of skateboarding tourists this wouldn’t really work as more thank likely these people would be older and this area could be slightly too secluded for what it is worth.
For this to be an ‘alternative’ experience for tourists the National Museum of Scotland doesn’t seem like a very smart choice but there is logic in looking at this area. When Bristo Square closed down for redevelopment a lot of the skaters were left without a place to skate other than Saughton which is about 30 to 40 minutes distance from Bristo so they relocated themselves 5 minutes away to the Museum due to it’s smooth ground and set of stairs that works as a ledge. When we went there was no skaters around but there is evidence of the past presence with skateboard companies such as Harvet, Pieut and Focus stuck onto lamp posts and signs as well as the ledges being worn down from grinds that they have done.
After looking at our three different locations for our experience we wanted to focus on one area to work as an example. Due to us knowing more about it personally and how much history it hold with skateboarding in Edinburgh we decided to use Bristo Square. Now that we knew the location we had started to create mind maps to think of ideas of how we could create and display the experience for the tourists.
With our mind maps we started looking at potential for an app. Creating an app would allow us to have more mediums to present the information such as graphics, interactive maps, videos, and other features such as reviews and use data to filter results more catered to the tourist. It also wouldn’t limit our audience as generally our target market of young adults will have access to a smartphone.
We also looked at information boards but found that this is a lot more limited and wouldn’t exactly work with the exploring/travelling idea we initially had in the beginning.
Set on the idea of creating an app we started looking at the logistics of it. We looked at what features it would have and what would be held within them. The features we thought of were, peak times, history of the spots, nearby locations, video footage of riders at the spot, reviews from other skateboarders, and a map view to help skaters explore other surrounding areas. With features such as peak times we could relate this back to our behavioural mapping research through knowing that Bristo Square is used by students at university so it will be busy during 8am to 4pm and this information could be displayed to skaters so they know when is the best times to go without causing bother or being bothered. For each spot on the app we could also talk about it’s history which would tell users about why people skate here, when they started skating, if anyone famous has been here, it could also display footage from YouTube or skate videos to show what it is like skating here. Then when they are done with the spot skaters could leave reviews on it to give skaters more information about the area that they have found themselves, working like a community like what skateboarding is.
Looking at the design app we took inspiration from Google maps and Uber. We used these because they are high functional and the apps combined have a similar function to what we plan on having for the skate app. To access the app we will have QR codes as stickers placed along skate spots in Edinburgh. With this users could scan them and install the app, then open up to the location on where they are to display the information. The information shown will give the history and information about the spot. And then once the user has read all of that they can then access other features such as similar spots nearby and reviews of other places, similar to TripAdvisor but for skaters.