Areas of Interest
Going on a trip, big or small, can be either smooth and simple or stressful and challenging based on how well the person is prepared. Questions may rise such as, “Where the destination is?” Or “How long will it take to get there?” Unless you know your way around the world, most likely not, certain tools can make your travels organized and easily understandable to make your life while traveling easier. Providing convenient alternatives to a solution is the foundation for the ideas I will develop to improve my users’ everyday life. In order to utilize this route of development, finding areas of similarities between my interests in music, video games, and traveling will help to develop a useful invention.
Throughout my childhood music and video games were interests that grew on me based on the drastic acceleration of technological production that occurred as I was growing up. I generated an appreciation for the two interests and still continue to currently. Exploring other parts of the world has recently become another big interest to me. Gaining exposure to different cultures and lifestyles varying where you go is such a cool and exciting experience to have. Having traveled to a number of states within the US as well as visiting my family back in Japan has helped me grow a liking towards traveling and learning new things I have never learned about other parts of the world.
The domain that suited my areas of interests was either in the music or the GPS industry, due to my usage and appreciation for the existence of both industries. Traveling to foreign countries have proven how reliable GPS software in smartphones are to allow individuals to navigate throughout the world. Language translations and times posted for buses and trains make international travel more doable.
The goal is to create a smartphone application that will give the user the ability to navigate their local area using their map, given the option to view details on the current location such as the weather, traffic, stores, and other information similar to Google Maps. But the app will also allow the user to set up a music playlist, choosing what songs will play with the specific route being taken. The app will then calculate the estimated travel time to the destination and tell the user which songs will play throughout the trip. If the user isn’t happy with the songs, they can modify the playlist, adding or removing songs to how they prefer. Otherwise, the user is all set!
The GPS domain seems to be rising in the market as more smartphones and vehicles become equipped with GPS equipment. According to Grand View Research, “The global positioning systems (GPS) market size is anticipated to reach USD 146.4 billion by 2025” (Grand View Research, Inc.). The timing for a music playlist and GPS application is great from an economical standpoint since the GPS industry seems to be ready for a high demand for new inventions utilizing GPS tracking in the near future. A majority of the global population own smartphones which provides GPS tracking functionality. Those who desire to travel will be accustomed to using GPS tracking applications along their travels. Although, there are problems that may possibly grow as the application is being manufactured involving politics.
Looking at the political trends relating to the GPS industry, GPS and location tracking by phone is commonly known to invade people’s privacy which would lead to potential complaints by users. Regardless of whether you own a smartphone or a regular phone, “as long as your phone is turned on, it registers its location with cell phone networks several times a minute, and all U.S. cell phone companies hold on to that data, some of them for years” (Crump). The amount of freedom that the government holds, having the ability to track every phone throughout the country, is an invasion of privacy to the citizens of the country. Developing an application that utilizes GPS tracking may run into future problems relating to customer privacy, but providing users with the luxury of a portable map on their phone are the trade-offs that comes with implementing a GPS tracking application.
GPS systems are utilized by users in a number of ways: Tracking a location, which involves determining a position searched by the user; Navigation, showing the user how to get from one location to another; Tracking, which is monitoring the user’s movement; Mapping, creating and providing maps of the world; and Timing, giving the correct timing of the world. There are many of those who enjoy listening to music while doing whatever it is they are doing at the moment. Creating an app that would offer a reliable GPS system and at the same time provide an interface to link your music and set up playlists would be perfect for music listeners (“What Are GPS Systems Used For?”).
Other technological inventions that relate to the same problem my product is focusing on are smartphone applications such as: Google Maps, the majority choice of map apps; CoPilot GPS, the best offline maps app; inRoute Route Planner, the best for road trips; Waze, the best for dodging traffic; and Komoot, the best for going outdoors. Each of these applications perform similarly, but also specializes in a specific problem that their users need solved. They all offer users the ability to look up any location in the world as well as setting a route to show the user how to get from one location to another. Although all of the listed software applications are worthy competitors of my new application, Google Maps seems to be the toughest competitor to face. The Google Maps application offers a functionality to its users which performs in a similar way to how my application is supposed to function. Google Maps allows its users the option to link their music-listening applications to their Google Maps application, giving the users quick access to their music while still having Google Maps open. The special advantage my solution has which makes the application unique is the addition of combining the user’s music and GPS navigator so that the user’s application will offer different options on how they want their music to be played based on the given route on the GPS. Instead of only linking the music application to the navigation application, the app would go further and give the user the freedom to set up playlists for trips, save playlists to be reusable, and additional features based on the user’s preference. By implementing additional features for more accessibility and flexibility in customizing the user’s music, this app will be able to provide the features offered by apps such as Google Maps, in addition to the advanced customization ability of the user’s music and playlists (Stokes).
Other technologies that relate to the same problem my product is focusing on are applications such as google maps which offer users the ability to look up any location in the world as well as set a map to show you have to get from one location to another. The special advantage my solution has which makes the idea more unique is the addition of combining the user’s music and GPS navigator so that the user’s application will offer different options on how they want their music to be played based on the given route on the GPS.
Careful research and planning play an important role in producing a successful product. Gaining a detailed understanding of the demands varying between different potential users of my new app will provide. Performing user interviews offers developers the opportunity to collect data from random individuals, asking questions relating to the specified problem which the new product intends to solve. Regardless of the answers, any feedback provided in the interview will contribute to the developer’s to-do list of potential additions or modifications needed to improve the product.
In the process of performing user interviews, it is crucial to provide unbiased questions in order to prevent collecting any biased data. If the interviewer were to ask biased questions to the interviewee, the interviewer has a risk of receiving an answer that may have been influenced by the given question. To avoid receiving biased data when performing a user interview, the interviewer should prioritize letting the interviewee have control over their answers. This can be done by staying away from yes or no questions since these types of questions will restrict all of the interviewee’s answers to only yes or no. Alternatively, the interviewer should ask questions that will allow the interviewee to provide as much feedback as they can.
Gathering feedback for my new software application was an interesting experience due to the great number of rejected attempts I had. Although there were several occasions where I was rejected by the interviewees, I felt like receiving those rejections allowed me to feel more comfortable to interview as well as being rejected. When I wasn’t rejected, there were those willing to cooperate to offer useful and unbiased feedback. The locations I chose to collect data was: at the mall, interviewing the different clothes store workers; In Union Square, interviewing a number of men and women between the ages of twenty and forty; and the local area around Union Square, interviewing more people between the ages 20 and 40. During my interviews, I was careful to ask unbiased questions to my interviewees, with questions such as: “Are you from San Francisco?”; “Do you enjoy traveling?”; “How do you navigate around the area?”, “What transportation do you use most when traveling?”; “Do you listen to music?”; “Do you listen to music while traveling?”; “What genre of music do you prefer?”, and “Do you use playlists when you listen to music?” Asking these questions allowed me to receive feedback that will specifically help improve my software application. I was able to get a general understanding of: How many use their smartphones to navigate around the area; What kinds of transportation do the interviewees take while traveling; What kinds of music do the interviewees prefer; and whether or not the interviewees use playlists when listening to music; and additional info that will help to adjust the app I am creating.
Performing these user interviews allowed me to gather all sorts of data, based on the interviewees’ answers to each of my questions. I can assert that almost every single interviewee uses their smartphone to navigate around the area, and almost every single interviewee listens to music when they’re traveling.
My PRODUCT IDEA
I help individuals who enjoy listening to music while traveling achieve the ability to manage their music playlists while traveling through GPS technology. Creating an app that would provide users the same functionality provided by the Google Maps software application. Users can navigate their way to a specific destination, look up a location, all the functionalities that Google Maps offers, as well as additional features to improve its usability. The additional features offers users the option to customize their own music playlists based on a given travel conditions.
Understanding the user’s experience with your product is crucial to making the product a success, figuring out what is missing in the application and making changes to improve the overall experience for the user. Based on the current features of my application, here is an example scenario of what the user can do:
“I’m Kelly and I would say that I enjoy listening to music whenever I get the opportunity, whether I’m at home or going outside somewhere. When I am out and about I sometimes run into situations where I have a hard time managing my music while navigating around using my GPS application. I recently installed HearWeGO from the app store which allows me to listen to my music while being able to navigate around my area. If I were to go out, I usually would use a GPS navigation app on my phone. HearWeGO lets me open the app and find my current location. There is a search bar provided at the top of the screen which allows me to look up a location to travel to, including all sorts of stores and locations, and set a GPS route to where I want to go. Towards the bottom of the screen is a button that I can hold and drag to the right, which allows me to open my music applications directly. If I drag the button left, the app lets me manually search a song and play it on the spot, adding the song to my queue of songs to play next, and a button that will display my song queue. Lastly, if I drag the button upward, a menu of all of my existing created playlists are displayed, a tab that shows my existing music application playlists, and the option to create a new playlist including songs. I am able to navigate through my playlists smooth and quickly using HearWeGO since it lets me set up my playlists and edit them all from the same application!”
User surveys offer a new approach at how a specific product will be used by its users. You can understand what would be going through a users mind, focusing on the critical features of the product to meet the needs of the users. Producing a plan based on the user’s needs and expectations will set a great starting point in terms of making sure that my app satisfies its customers’ needs. User journeys are great procedures to take while coming up with a great product invention. With a list of the different functionalities being implemented into a collection of user journeys, brainstorming these user journeys will be the steps I take to make sure that my software app is able to run properly. The application is intended to function relatively similar to Google Maps, which leads to user journeys describing useful features that would be implemented from Google maps, such as the ability to navigate from one location to another. Besides the features in my app that are similar to Google Maps, syncing the user’s music applications to the new application and customizing your own preset music playlists that are ready to be played.
Utilizing wireframes to support a new software application allows creators to Utilizing wireframes to support a new software application allows creators to draft their designs towards the final product. Using hand drawn blueprints of your app, offering multiple layers of screens to show what would happen based on the buttons the user clicks and the words the user chooses to enter. Each screen is broken down based on the certain functionality the software application should have, performing user tests on the wireframes to check that the application is functioning properly. The goal is to continue to map out and plan how the software application is supposed to function and display using wireframes. Tracking all possible situations and inputs will allow me to prepare and structure any edge cases that may be received from a user.
Grand View Research, Inc. “GPS Market Size Worth $146.4 Billion By 2025: CAGR: 18.4%: Grand View Research, Inc.” PR Newswire: Press Release Distribution, Targeting, Monitoring and Marketing, 1 May 2019, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gps-market-size-worth-146-4-billion-by-2025--cagr-18-4-grand-view-research-inc-300841545.html.
“What Are GPS Systems Used For?” NovAtel, www.novatel.com/focus-pages/what-are-gps-systems-used-for/.
Crump, Catherine. “How GPS Tracking Threatens Our Privacy.” CNN, Cable News Network, 7 Nov. 2011, www.cnn.com/2011/11/07/opinion/crump-gps/index.html.
Stokes, Natasha. “5 Best Navigation Apps.” Techlicious, Techlicious, LLC, 4 Jan. 2019, www.techlicious.com/tip/best-navigation-apps/.