With society increasingly transitioning to a fit and healthy lifestyle, more people are starting to seek the outdoor adventure life. However, finding inspiration and the necessary resources to plan a smooth and easy adventure can be a difficult and tedious process.
With the founder of Altitude Seven being an accomplished adventurer herself, having climbed six of the seven summits (the highest peaks of the seven continents), the goal of the company is to serve as a media outlet and resource for inspiration, discovery, access, and reassurance for women seeking an adventure life. With brand stories provided through partnerships with Altitude Seven, they seek to help inspire women to feel passionate, courageous, and empowered to go on a trip or adventure. However, even with an abundant amount of resources needed to inspire and equip the adventure life, Altitude Seven was faced with the difficulty of maintaining user retention and engagement.
Thus, with 2 other UX Designers, the challenge for our group was to spend three weeks helping Altitude Seven increase user retention and engagement to bring together a community of female adventurers and provide them with the necessary resources to plan a seamless adventure.
Although Altitude Seven had a specific goal in mind to serve as a media outlet and resource, our 50 surveys and 9 in-depth interviews with target users as well as secondary research from 3+ academic research articles brought us some interesting news.
After gathering our data and analyzing them through an affinity map, we found the following insights:
People plan ahead because they care about having a smooth and easy trip.
Most women care about function more than style.
People want to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
People value expert opinions to help their decision-making.
Adventure means something different for everyone.
Having a connection with nature and/or people is important during their experience.
To further understand the emotions and experiences that are accompanied with women planning to have an adventure, we then gathered the information from the research and used Sketch3 and Illustrator to create the user persona that best matched our target user descriptions and created a journey map and empathy map to provide a visual representation of what women might be feeling and experiencing when planning an adventure.
From our insights, we were able to come up with the problem statement that best fit the struggles our users were facing:
All of these assets were useful when coming up with the features that would help Altitude Seven’s users feel inspired and equipped for the adventure life. To brainstorm some initial ideas that incorporated all of our users’ needs, our team wanted to conduct a design studio to get as many ideas as we can on the table.
At this point, with so little time and so much to do, it was clear that our goal was to provide our client with recommendations for content strategy by separating our design directions into two phases, each with their own distinct goal in order to accommodate the company constraints. Ultimately, the two goals would provide the users with:
• A meaningful reason to want to return to the site
• An easy trip/adventure planning experience
• A network of resources that can improve their connection with other adventurers and brand sites
Help users discover great brand stories to get inspired for a trip by providing an easy way for customers to discover and plan their trip, including abundant visuals and inspirational stories based on a location/activity based search.
Help users feel prepared for their trip by including easy access to adventure details and shoppable links in the stories as well as having a source of expert opinion, review, or recommendation to increase credibility and reassurance.
To begin with, Altitude Seven’s site was having difficulty receiving traction, so they first needed to increase awareness and user retention in the numerous inspiring adventure stories that the founder curates. Thus, my group provided Altitude Seven with research showing what competitors were doing.
However, with our team wiring down on time, we conducted some rapid prototyping and designed some early stage lo-fidelity wireframes that showed Altitude Seven users being able to connect with other users in a social network that allows them to provide their own adventure stories that could inspire others to do the same. In this community network, it requires that users provide packing lists and recommended items that they can shop for conveniently through the resource of shoppable links that Altitude Seven provides.
Although this project possessed several technical and time constraints, our team was able to learn about time-management and setting priorities while conducting effective communication. Next steps in this project would be working on the site navigation, more user testing, turning the wireframes into interactive prototypes, and developing a brand index and style guide.