SceneScout - Travel Mobile App
Tools: Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, InVision
Scope: 10 weeks
Role: UX & UI Designer
Overview: SceneScout is a mobile app aimed to help travellers explore Toronto, by highlighting places of interest that were used in film and television productions. Users would be able to plot and follow walking tours catered specifically to a certain film or tv show.
As a fan of a certain film or tv show, wouldn’t you love to visit that location and take a tour to embrace your fandom? There are also times many places of interest don’t get their acknowledgment and people can lose sight of the history these places possess. Here’s where my app, SceneScout comes into play.
The goal with the SceneScout is to get people to venture out across Canada to visit and see the real-life locations featured in their favourite films and tv shows. This inititative is to help boost tourism across Canada with Destination Canada. The primary function of the app is to be able to search by title, or by filter search by province, territory and genre. From there a curated list of places of interest featured in that production, would generate a tour guide route for the user to follow and engage in.
The questioning revolved around two parts I wanted to converge on; travel in terms of tours, film & tv. I wanted to wrap my head around the current steps and activities involved in how Canadians currently travel. Ranging from their experience overseas versus how they travel inside of Canada province to province.
From my initial conversations and interviews, it was apparent some Canadians have a fatigue in travelling to the well-established places of interest. You can only see the CN Tower or Niagara Falls so many times. This felt like a good opportunity with SceneScout to shed light on establishments that were not getting their dues and promotion. Leveraging their prominence in film and tv production.
After evaluating my interviewees and looking over the user survey, I had a better understanding who my targeted user base would be for SceneScout. With my initial focus on the Toronto area, I wanted to capitalize on a young adult audience who were looking for fun. The college and university demographic who would live in the downtown core, and did not mind walking and taking public transit. These would be my primary users who were looking for inexpensive entertainment to participate with friends.
The secondary users were the family type of person. The mature adult at age 36–50 with children, living outside the metropolitan area. In the case of Toronto, it would be the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. They would likely take the option of driving into the city or public transit as a viable option. The secondary user would like to incorporate their children into some sort of family activity. SceneScout has the possibilities to cross generations in the appeal for past tv and film properties including future titles.
Primarily for SceneScout, I used Sketch as my design application for the most part. For the prototyping of wireframes and high-fidelity screens, I used InVision for that purpose. Still getting a hang for that. When I sent out links to my candidates for user testing, I had to take into account how InVision reacts to web browsers on Android vs Apple. It was shown that Google Android appeared to run my prototype better on iOS and Android, versus Apple Safari and Samsung Internet.
High Fidelity Screens
Conducting the user testing was really a challenge. It was done up in sections, the first part was sharing my wireframes with my peers in class. From the initial tests of the InVision prototype, I knew that there was a matter of consistency I needed to hit. Use of proper icons and actual pop-up window aesthetics needed to keep proper form.
From the initial user testing via Facebook Messenger, people thought this was the completed app. I had to settle down the fears because some thought they could be getting malware. The other issue was replicating the reactions for every input. The users thought they couldn’t enter the data. I had to convey to them to pretend they were searching for “Suicide Squad”. Overall from the user testing were people would use an app of this nature. It also shed light that the next function to really focus on the prototype would be My Tours.
I managed to do one in person user testing session with my brother. To capture his reactions and use of my prototype in real time, I used the streaming broadcast software OBS. I was able to capture my feed from the webcam and my iPhone for testing purposes. It was actually very helpful to actually go back and replay sections of the testing.
Logo / Branding
I would like to gauge more in-person testing of my prototype. I’m still new to a few of the features of InVision, so hopefully the more I get accustomed to replicating the reactions I want to convey, will give users the results they were expecting.
Potential to Scale
Yes, SceneScout can be applied to other countries with thriving film and tv productions. It can definitely help boost the profile of cities in countries looking to capitalize on their old history. At the same time archiving a digital footprint for the every changing landscape in redevelopment.
Freedom of Information Act
In my early research, I made a visit to the travel kiosk located in Union Station. I inquired if there are many types of tours that showcase locations, featured in film and tv productions. The response was a puzzled no but I wish there was. The staff suggested I contact the Toronto Film Office at Toronto City Hall. While their website does publish ongoing productions, most are kept a secret under special codenames. I was then told that to retrieve all the information cataloguing past and current productions and their set locations, I would require filing for a Freedom of Information with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). I’m going to look further into this, but I feel there will be a lot of red tape. If I want to have solidified information of this content, verified curation is the key goal.
Privacy & Participation
The issue of privacy can be on the place of interest. They may not want the attention of their location that was featured in a production. It can result in an influx of crowds, which might hinder daily operations or be of security issues. The other party that can be affected is current productions working in the city running SceneScout. I would like SceneScout to work on past productions that are completed. Current productions would not be included in the content. Participation from film studios can be hindered as most international productions would have to sign off on their intellectual property being used on the app. As I was mocking up the screens I would allow a profile page made for the studio to handle the content that was shared with the app.
Verified curation from location holders and film studios would be the best way to fill the content accordingly for SceneScout. If there was a way to get film content aggregated from say a service like IMDB, that could cut down on development time. Film reviews could also be added from sites like Rotten Tomatoes.