Phase 1 was the project proposal to put together an idea of what expeTRAC could be, the problem it could solve, the market it served and the process I would go through to make it a viable product. Now was the time to evolve the project further!
User Experience - Always go back to the user!
Who is my user?? Narrowing down the audience.
Serious hikers interested in gaining and capturing the complete experience of strenuous hikes like the Half Dome. These people use trending technology to capture their experience and make the most of it.
Now had to talk to these people who claimed half dome. Know about their experience.
Interview (Phase 2)
The interview is mostly based on hiking questions and concentrated on hikes like Half Dome.
An engineer by profession, passionate about hiking, but does not get too much time nowadays. Went for the half dome hike 10 years ago, and it was the most amazing experience even at that time.
- Used a digital point and shoot camera and a walkie talkie
- Would have liked to use a handheld GPS and a Compass
Gone with 18 people (Work collegues)
- Prepared for a month
- Hiked mission peak various times
- Good pair of hiking shoes
- Gloves for the last part of the hike
- Carried a lot of food
- First Aid
- Time needed
- Weather conditions (especially for Half Dome, it is essential to know if there isnt going to be a thunderstorm as there have been incidents when people have been hit by lightening on that hike)
Why do it?
“The mountain beckons”
He says Yosemite is a gorgeous place and the hike is legendary. He also does it for the challenge.
“Its a badge of honor! It burnishes your credentials as a hiker.”
Liked the most?
The hike itself!
Liked the views from the top. Loved the 2 waterfalls on the way. He feels like he is on top of the world.
“When you see that view from the top, you feel that it is all worth it”
Liked the least?
- The streneousness of the hike.
- Its hot!
- He clicks a lot of pictures.
- He couldnt click a picture on the last section of the hike where you are standing on granite holding a cable at a 65º angle
- Wishes he would have got the courage to take a picture there as there were some people who were brave enough to do that!
- If had to do it again, might use a go pro for the last section of the hike, though it takes only videos and its difficult to point the go pro on your head to a particular point.
He was sitting at a spot just before the last section of the hike with the cables. He was skeptical about climbing further. Thoughts of returning from there were running in his head. As just as he was thinking about it, a group of young scouts started climbing the steep last section of the hike. Looking at them he thought, “Now I have to do it. If these kids can do it, I should!”
Keeping track of friends
He split his food with one other friend. And some time during the hike, he lost that friend. Didn’t know where he was, not even sure if he was before or after him. After he climbed down, he realized that his friend had returned from the hike halfway and didnt make it to the top.
Another incident on some other hike was that a friend of his was feeling sick and said that he is going back to the car. So the whole group left him behind and went for the hike. After they returned, they didnt see their sick friend. It so happened that as his friend felt better he decided to go up the trail and catch up with everyone else. But that never happened and Rohit and his friends had to go hunting for their friend.
- Being on top and the sense of achievement
- Amazing views / Waterfalls
- People (The company makes a difference!)
Suggestions about expeTRAC
- Practicle challenge - Mobile network
- Would use the communicate option the most, to find out where somebody is.. ahead or behind?
- Getting directions would be good. It would be good if there could be an information about where the trailhead starts.
- A map, if the app know which hike I want to do.
- Taking pics with a smartwatch is a nice thing to have.
- Timeline - Would like to see the point at which I took photos and any other information. It would be more fun to see a merged view of all the friends, to see how the other people with you experienced the hike.
- Fitness “I am not interested, but I know many people who would be.”
- Emergency feature is required in half dome. Everyone in the group synced with the app for that hike should be alerted in case of an emergency and there should be option to call for outside help.
User Journey - Experience Map
After interviewing some users, I got to know their pain point of the entire process. The experience map defines the user's experience from before the hike, where he prepares for the hike, goes through with the hike and after the hike when he re-lives his memories and shares them. This entire journey is captured in this map in a nutshell.