THE BELTLINE GUIDE
The BeltLine Guide was created to aid visitors and frequent users of Atlanta's BeltLine path in finding nearby food and drink, events, and art installations, as well as helping to introduce users to new and previously unexplored sites.
The timeline for this project was two weeks and was completed by myself and four colleagues: Jarred Henry, Julie Hurwitz, Phuc Phan, and Xiomara Sifuentes.
My roles included research, prototyping, user testing, and visual design, though as a team we found ourselves collaborating on many sections.
Mockups of the swipe, nearby search, and detail pages.
"Guided by principles of equitable and sustainable development, the Atlanta BeltLine is delivering transformative public infrastructure that enhances mobility, fosters culture, and improves connections to opportunity."
We began by researching The BeltLine Organization itself to get a sense of their core values. One of their major focuses is building community and culture, so we began compiling a list of questions to ask users to gauge their experience on the path.
Since we were located just off of The BeltLine (at Ponce City Market), we decided our immediate course of action was to go out on foot and speak to people using The BeltLine--guerrilla research style.
Our opening question to users we encountered was "do you have a moment to talk about how you use The BeltLine?" Surprisingly, most people were happy to stop and chat.
Next, we composed a Google Form with more focused questions to send out and collect responses.
Overall, we gathered information from 47 users.
How often do you use The BeltLine?
Do you ever visit the BeltLine website?
With the data we collected from our users, we had to sort and organize the information, and so we used affinity mapping to pick out trends and develop our personas.
Some of our main takeaways included The BeltLine's most common uses:
Leisure, recreation, and exercise
Socializing with friends and family
Food, drinks, and retail
Most BeltLine users have never visited the official BeltLine website:
Website is confusing to use
Relevant information isn’t easily accessible
Users turn to Google or social media for information
Once we established our trends, we developed our persona--but with the vastly different experiences among locals and tourists, we found that really, we had two.
Chris Jones: The Local
Lives in Atlanta on the BeltLine's Eastside Trail
Doesn't explore much but wants to
Avoids BeltLine crowds on weekends and during events
Dani Davis: The Social Butterfly
Art student, new to Atlanta
Has to drive some distance to get to the BeltLine
Loves hanging out with friends to have dinner, drinks or to explore
Wants to find out what else she can do on the BeltLine
An overwhelming amount of information
Traffic & crowds
Attractions and destinations based on preferences
Recommendations based on interests
Easily accessible information
Help users efficiently navigate the BeltLine
Help users discover local businesses, arts, and locations of interests
Keep users informed about the BeltLine and foster a sense of community
Though our personas have different needs, we found commonalities in their pain points and the opportunities for us to design something useful for either situation.
These needs and opportunities informed our Problem and Solution statements:
Chris and Dani both want ways to explore The BeltLine and discover new places to go and things to see, but the information is scattered and the official website is cumbersome to use.
We created a native app to aid users in navigating The BeltLine to places of interest. It will include such features as recommendations and live traffic updates.
We ran a competitive analysis of apps similar to what we had ideated for our solution. Our major takeaways included having swipeable navigation, an interactive map, and ratings and reviews.
We used the Design Studio method to start building the base for our app. We each brought in sketches of main screens and as a group we picked the best elements from what we produced.
The user flow demonstrates the experience options: swiping view and list view.
With our prototype, we began user testing; first by going out and asking people that we met (again, on the BeltLine), and then with people inside Ponce City Market, and lastly with our colleagues. This is the part of the process I enjoy the most: talking with and observing how people use the products we make.
ITERATIONS AND SELECT SCREEN MOCKUPS
FEEDBACK AND NEXT STEPS
Though feedback was largely positive, we did have to adjust some of the images and iconography to make things more recognizable.
Some of the changes we'd like to implement next:
A section for BeltLine news, updates, events and meetings
Expand the radius of the map to include businesses just off the BeltLine, within 0.5 - 2.0 miles
Ability to plan an itinerary
Create an account
Pop-ups to suggest new locations
How to volunteer and donate