Big Pond
August - September 2023
During this one-month project, I acted as a core member of the design team. This was an independent app concept project that acted as a skill building and research project. I designed the UI elements and created the design format that ties the app together.

My role:
Lead UI designer, UX researcher, assistant user-testing coordinator
The challenge:
There has been a reported decrease in places to hangout within communities all around the world. Many people are discouraged from going out because they are unsure of what to do. If there are things to do, they may be too far away.
Our solution:
Often times, there are local activities available to explore, but they are often left undiscovered by the general populous. Big Pond would encourage users to explore their local community and beyond—unearthing hidden treasures that can bring them many great memories.
My college friend Jason handled the research side of the project. His first goal was to get an idea of how aware the local populous was of the activities available in his hometown. He surveyed several friends, family and coworkers in his local town. He found that each of them had their own recommendations for places to visit in the area, however there was overlap in these suggestions. He then broadened the range of activity suggestions and the answers naturally diversified as the range expanded.
The most surprising takeaway was that there were a wide variety of recommendations in the immediate area. And upon asking the members of the survey about the various suggestions made, many of the participants came away learning about something new about the town they lived in for many years.
We then conducted a brief competitive audit using Yelp, Google Maps, Waze and the city government website. We spent most of our time studying Yelp since the majority of the knowledge presented during the survey was sourced from Yelp.
We knew that in order for our app to make a difference, we would need a system that relied on algorithmic suggestions based on user preferences and travel history.
User personas:
The goal with the app’s design was to design something that looked familiar. This is an app that recommends curated locations to travel to, so the layout would be a hybrid of Yelp and a navigation app.
Lo-fi Mockups
Hi-fi Mockups
User Testing
We uploaded our prototype to a private Discord for some of our college friends to try. Additionally, we showed a working prototype to friends and family. We found that our design intentions of making the interface familiar were successful. There were some hitches when it came to navigation, but the overall user flow was successful, and the idea was universally well-received.
Project Conclusion
This was a fantastic learning experience that tested my design skills. I wanted to keep things aesthetically familiar while simultaneously creating something fresh. My friend Jason taught me a few things about the research side of UX. Overall, it was a successful exercise of research and creativity.​​​​​​​
Hi-fi Prototype
Click the link below to try out our hi-fi prototype: