Google Community

Problem Recognition/Solution Ideation/Wireframing and Prototyping

Objective: Communities are using outdated methods to communicate. How might we better communication between locals.

The aim of this project is to identify a problem or pain point, brainstorm solutions, and conceptualise a product or service with low fidelity wire frames using Axure, and finally high fidelity prototypes using Adobe Illustrator and InVision. This project was also to practice skills in branding and infographic design.

Problem:

In beginning this project, I had already decided that I would be tackling problems faced by my community. I began by brainstorming issues that I myself experienced, and then, through general conversation, found issues that affected friends, family, and neighbours.

I noticed that majority of the problems that my community and myself were facing had similar themes: communication. Communication is the root of problems like sharing community events (festivals and garage sales), sharing community news (lost dogs and missing persons), and general lack of awareness of the goings on in the community. Without an efficient way of communicating with fellow community members and the local council, this experience desperately required a solution.

Solution Ideation

When brainstorming solutions, I wanted to shy away from a digital service, however, the alternatives that arose using paper and bettering current notice boards seemed to add nothing to the experience. Two solutions stood out to me: beacons placed around the community that sends updates for those people looking for them, or a community based app that integrates with current Google services. I ultimately chose a new Google service because integrating a new feature to something like Google Maps would not only come with mass awareness of the service, but if executed well, could blend with an already intuitive app.

Google Community is a new Google service that integrates into Google Maps and also has it’s own stand alone app. It’s integration with Google Maps shows nearby events, similar to how it currently shows nearby businesses. It’s stand alone app acts as a digital notice board where users can post news and updates regarding their community.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Before starting, I used several Google web and mobile apps to get a feel of how to best provide information by either integrating with an existing service or creating a new service all together. I found that Google Maps provided a well established medium and had features that would compliment my solution.

High Fidelity Wireframes

I created high fidelity wireframes using Adobe Illustrator and InVision. I have pre-made assets which increases my productivity ten-fold. Adding each screen into InVision was a longer process and brought up new screens that I hadn’t of thought of before hand. I learnt that I can’t rush into wireframing without a complete site map and information architecture.

Outcome

I learnt a lot doing this exercise. I mostly learnt about the importance of a solid site map before wireframing. Reiterating site maps and constantly doing sanity tests can save you troubles down the line. I feel like I bettered my skills in InVision, with my productivity dramatically increasing as I worked through the project.

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