How can we improve park visitors’ experience in parks?
For my Information Systems Capstone Project, I worked with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC) on a team of four to redesign their Android and iOS applications. The current Pittsburgh Parks application had very confusing navigations which made it difficult to use. In redesigning this application, we were also faced with many constraints. The backend containing the park information was designed by the previous developers and we could only use existing information populated in this backend.
We interviewed our clients, stakeholders of the business, and some potential end users of the product and created the following user stories for the application.
As a park visitor, I want to see a map of the park so I can navigate and discover new park features based on my location.
As a park visitor, I want to discover new points of interest (such as fountains, parking lots, or bathrooms) so that I can more easily navigate the park.
As a park visitor, I want to see park events so I can attend events that interest me.
As a park visitor, I want to donate to PPC so I can support their work.
As a park visitor, I want to keep in touch with PPC on social media so I can receive news about the parks.
Emily is a 21 year old college student. She grew up in the suburbs of New Hampshire and has been a nature fanatic ever since she was a child. Even after moving to the city for college, Emily’s roots remain intact.
Balancing the needs of our users and the interests of our stakeholders, we decided on the following functionalities.
We took the essential functionalities and created wireframes. Since the old application was confusing in terms of navigation, we wanted browsing within our new application to be as simple as possible. The design has five tabs on the bottom (top for Android) so the main features are all visible to the user and the user can easily navigate from one functionality to another.
Before releasing the applications, we tested them in a park by asking real users to use our applications. We got valuable feedback for both the Android and iOS prototype and iterated on them accordingly.
"I’ve said it before, but thank you all SO MUCH for your brilliant work this semester. I already knew that you all did an incredible job, but was extra proud on Friday getting to see the parks app beside those other projects. Parks and Rec was the best group, hands down."
- Lauryn Stalter
Online Engagement Coordinator
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Designed By: Weikun Liang, Taylor Poulos
Developed By: Weikun Liang, Taylor Poulos, Sanum, Sheikh, Evan Wineland
Class: Software Development Project
Duration: 3.5 months