Spot is a mobile application I co-founded with Kenny Barone. I designed Spot and lead user experience and research. We are proud to be a proud member of Launch Chapel Hill's Cohort 11.
Keep an eye out for Spot in the App Store this spring.
Spot gives users access to a public map of interesting places found by other users, and empowers anyone to add spots of their own. Each spot has its own community and digital guest book of content that can be unlocked by going to the spot and checking in through GPS.
On the surface, the travel market may seem oversaturated when we already have social media and city guide apps. But things-to-do services are completely missing the mark with younger demographics. While 80% of people ages ranging 16-24 actively search for new places to eat, drink, spend time in nature, or sightsee, less than 10% use apps like FourSquare or Yelp.
Why are these numbers are so low? What are these services missing? There are 3 main reasons why younger demographics are not buying into the current travel market, and why there is a huge opportunity for Spot.
One, the social aspect. Generation Z discovers their world socially and grew up connected to their friends. Right now the travel market is impersonal and offers little sense of community.
Two, authenticity. One of the paramount traits for this age group is individuality, so it makes sense that the touristy recommendations from travel services like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Foursquare, are turning off younger people.
Three, exclusivity. That feeling of being “in on something” is strikes a chord with the younger demographic. Right now there is no sense of secrecy, exclusivity, or privacy with any any city-guide or things to do apps.
Spot is a map-based mobile application that connects users to unique spots around them found by other users. Spot creates a purpose-driven space that bridges the gap between social media and discovery, allows users to differentiate themselves from their peers, and lets users to archive and share their own experiences privately.
Social media gives a people a glimpse of the world around them all the time, a tap away. And unfortunately, this is causing a growing and untrue belief that adventure and worthwhile experiences are out of reach, reserved for the rich, beautiful, and well-traveled. At Spot, we believe that adventure is accessible to everyone and doesn’t have to cost money. Spot’s mission is to create a mindful use of technology that empowers anyone to rediscover their world
(works best on desktop)
Below I outline the process of creating Spot over the past year, including ideation, research, wireframing, and finally prototyping. However, it would be impossible to include everything, so please reach out for more information about Spot or prior iterations!
With more research currently ongoing, I've conducted over 100 surveys with people ages ranging from 16-24, and 25 in depth user interviews. So far the results are showing a clear gap in the travel market with younger demographics.
1. Do you frequently try to find unique places for you and your friends to hang out?
24.5%– not really
2. Do you actively search for new places to eat?
14.9%– not really
3. Do you actively search for new bars / places to go out?
20.3%– not really
4. Do you actively try to find new places to spend time in nature?
21%– not really
5. Do you actively try to find new sightseeing or public art?
43.5%– not really
6. Which of the following ways do you find new experiences? (Mark all that apply)
6%– Airnbnb (Airbnb Experiences)
72.3%– Asking friends about pictures they post on social media
100%– word of mouth