Outer Reach is an app that specializes in connecting adventurous travelers to interesting remote locations and unique experiences. The app uses influences from social media apps such as instagram to create a connected feel and personalized experience.

The Problem

Travelers love to explore unique and adventurous places, but we are often limited to documented search results or google or other search engine. The top results on many site are typically the most popular attractions, but what if travelers want to explore beyond those top results, how will they find great places to explore?

The Solution

The goal of Outer Reach is to connect adventurous people with recommendation for places to explore that are not on the map or not a part of a tourist attraction. With it’s “social media-esque” style and post based engine, Outer Reach strives to give its users a way to escape from corporate vacation spots and start explore our wonderful earth from a different perspective. Creating an app that specializes in locating remote or local places for the spirited adventurer will create an outlet for them to finding amazing locations to explore.

My Role

UX Researcher, Product Designer, Prototyper, User Tester

The Design Process

Competitive analysis

By looking at both competitors in travel applications and social media applications, I found potential features to include in my own app that could be useful for users when navigating. This analysis showed the strengths I could implement and also, weaknesses I should avoid.

User Interviews

Since this app’s users will be adventurous travelers, I needed to interview people who frequently travel. I was able to interview several different people from different backgrounds and gathered insight as to how look for in a travel experience and a few of their paint points while they search for places to visit.

Affinity Diagram

When organizing the data from my user interviews into an affinity diagram, I noticed that most everyone seemed to crave local and unique places the visit while they traveled. This discovery informed my decision to further explore the local aspect of travel and consider where one might find sucha . place to visit.

User Persona

Catherine Lark is a freelance travel writer who is always in search of interesting locations to visit in order to get great content for her blogging company.

Key Insights

The most difficult part of this project was figuring out how to create a flow that made sense to the user. I had to back track several times adjusting the flow to create a design that was stream line and fun to use. The goal is a “social media-esque” travel app so it must have a feel similar to app such as instagram.

Main Features of the app:

  • Ability to add adventures to your profile by adding photos, videos or stories.
  • Searching for places to visit
  • Adding places for other people to visit & connect with.

Storyboard

I then mapped out a Storyboard, keeping in mind the entry points and emotions of our user, Catherine as she discovers the app and uses it on her vacation.

The Design

I created several different moodboards with Pinterest and InVision to find inspiration for the app’s visual design. The style of this app needs to be adventurous with attractive bright colors. Imagery should be of primarily landscapes in order to promote the adventurous feel.

Home Page

Post Direction page

Testing

After test the app, users expressed a few confusion and also a few things they wished were including in the app. These were the points I focused on in the next iteration of the app.

  • Craved connection with people rather just places.
  • Wanted to view other users profiles.
  • The directions page was too confusing to operate.

Final Iteration

After through testing and receiving feedback, I began iterating my design. The feed back I got from user testing informed most of my decitions in this iteration, a long with an updated style and flow.

The Future

The most difficult part of this project was figuring out how to create a flow that made sense to the user. I had to back track several times and realize that “I am not the user” and iterate on my design.

I’m a multidisciplinary designer with experience in UX design, UI design, traditional graphic design, and video production.