Alternative Tourism Experience
Group: Adam Hepburn, Finlay Milne, Jack McSeveney
For this task we had to create an alternative experience for tourists in Edinburgh as a result of the under represented rest of Edinburgh that is neglected. Everyone having a knowledge of skating of some sort and also a knowledge of the Edinburgh skate scene we felt this was a good common ground to base our experience on. We chose to provide a guide to spots that allows skaters who travel to different countries unaware of the best place to skate to find the tailored place that suits them.
We initially began our research by going to familiar skate spots and rebegin our research we went out to a few spots we were familiar with and took photographs of the area and discussed how we could effectively create a great experience for skaters who come to edinburgh.
After researching Bristo Square we found out it is owned by University of Edinburgh which led us to the conclusion it is used by predominantly young students of any gender and race. We waited to see if any tourists used this area of viewed it but none appeared as a result of the whereabouts of it. Bristo square has been used for skating by local riders for a long time. As a result of skaters using the almost perfect area for it redevelopment took place preventing skaters from using it to its full potential by adding metal poles near popular ledges or rails to skate on. It felt almost as if street skaters weren’t welcomed anywhere which we disagreed on and believed they should be embraced by Edinburgh if doing so safely.
We went to the Skelf Pump Track to see how the current areas are being used and after watching the track for a while came to a conclusion that it was prodominantly used by bikers and a few scooter riders. The age group was generally of a younger age group of locals which really showed us this great area wasn’t being used to its full potential. The Pump Track clearly wasn’t known by skaters around Edinburgh that maybe aren’t so local to the track. The track being stuffed away behind rows of flats and the demographic being bikers and scooter riders we thought it maybe wasn’t the best idea for our in-mind skateboard riders.
Finally we visited the National Museum of Scotland which is actually a tourist experience in itself but for skaters it became a prime and widely used spot when Bristo Square was altered to prevent it being skated as it was only five minutes away compared to other skate spots. The ground is ideally smooth and a ledge jumping on and off. We waited for a while to see if the area was being currently used by skaters but none showed. We found skate related stickers plastered on nearby lamposts which notified us of the past skate scene here.
We came together as a group and weighed up our options with the locations and came to the decision we should focus on one area with the most potential which we eventually decided was Bristo Square. We began mind mapping and writing down any idea that came to mind on how we could educate tourists of the skate zone. Very quickly we struck an idea that clicked with the three of us which was an app that could provide skaters with an easy to access database of the skate zone with an interactive location map for the user to easily find their way and also a video or forum section so that visitors can share their experience with everyone else helping to build momentum for the spot. With the idea of the app set in stone we believed it was ideal for the target audience.
After further brain storming we decided an app was a perfect idea with different features such as peak times, nearby alternate locations, clips of the skate zone, review area, history of the area, chat zone to link up skaters and a responsive map view. The peak time feature will help hugely in preventing it being used heavily by skaters during times where students are using the university area which could cause a health and safety risk. This would make the zone mostly an afternoon / night zone meaning efficient lighting would be needed also. Using features like this within the app we can create a fluid and easy to use system that prevents any problems being occured with the university running normally. A chat or forum area would be fantastic in skaters meeting other people to skate with or share their clips from the same spot with and learn from each other. We felt this was a very strong concept and began looking at current app designs and trends to take inspiration from.
Our main inspiration came from Google maps and Uber. The real-time responsiveness of these apps is unrivalled and have a very fluid and efficient design similar to which we had plans for.
Furthermore we felt QR codes integrated with the app is a brilliant and up and coming way to quickly visit pages on the app. These could be printed and stuck on walls and lamposts around the city of Edinburgh with the logo on it doing both marketing the app and allowing skaters to find the best skate zone for them. A website version could also be available allowing skaters to view skate zones online before leaving their home and pre plan their big skate session.
Potential app icons were also discussed after noticing the trend of simplicity throughout the app store. All successfull apps had icons of the most simplicity in order to easily be viewed at a small size such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.