Locations Almanac

App

Movies are synonymous for their iconic filming locations, as they enhance a storyline whilst simultaneously immersing the audience into a short-term alternative reality.

But what happens when the cast, crew and cameras go home? Well, in most cases the location remains, but its previously known spot-light invariably becomes film-trivia.

The Idea

With locations scattered across the globe, and a captive audience wanting to visit them, the idea was to create an innovative app which supported film fans wishing to visit their favourite movie locations.

The concept would provide the ability to discover nearby locations, plus a search facility to explore further a field. To ensure users were engaged and driven to visit the locations an additional layer of gamification was added to the concept. This provided the ability ‘check-in’ once they were at a location. In doing so they would receive an achievement badge.

The Process

In order to understand the current marketplace I conducted secondary research. This provided me with insights into the film locations sector, along with identifying similar products, such as travel apps and social media tools that facilitated check-in’s. I was also able to conduct primary research interviews with film location bloggers and contributors.

Once the relevant information was obtained, and core user scenarios were defined, I was then able to develop a digital idea and relevant user journeys to accompany it. These were then solidified using Sketch and InVision, and in-turn tested and refined accordingly.

Due to the spontaneity of the concept I proceeded to ideate and refine, ensuring that the final output was not only useful but also innovative and in-keeping with the MVP budget.

Ideation

I used lo-fidelity UI sketches to begin to understand the concept, and did some preliminary validation of these with some users. The feedback helped to refine the concepts ahead of creating hi-fidelity mock-ups. Also at this stage I was able to define the user personas and overall flow and narrative of the app. By doing so I was able to formulate a hierarchy of importance in relation to the content which would be required on the screen.

User Flows

User flows provided an understanding of the users movements, whilst also identifying dead-ends and areas of potential friction. The concept aimed to ensure that the user didn’t have to navigate further than two levels deep, whilst guaranteeing the priority for the intended user was captivating, fun and easy to engage with.

Wireframes

Due to the speed in which the project took high level wireframes were used. This ensured that time wasn’t wasted and that our testing audience would be able to test the final product, and receive a more completed experience.

Prototype and Insights

Using InVision, the screens were developed into a prototype which can be viewed here.

In order to gauge an understanding of what people thought of the app, and how it could be improved I tested it on a selected sample. This sample was made up of 10 individuals selected based on previously identified interest shown in the concept. Most were made up from the film locations industry.

The main takeaways were:

  • Individuals found the designs to be intuitive and easy to engage with
  • The map icon wasn’t instantly noticed, and rarely engaged with.
  • Social sharing should be included to allow for the ability to share check-in’s.

Conclusion

Locations Almanac sits proudly on the app store (www.locations-almanac.com) with consistent daily downloads seen. This was a superb experience to work to a personal budget, whilst ensuring I remain self-motivated at all times in order to complete the project.

This project ensured that I was at the fore-front of all aspects, from copy writing, ensuring legals were correct and promotion.

User photos: