UX/UI Design, UX Research, Product Design
The client's app is one of the most powerful surf forecasting tools but they didn't want to stop there. The goal was to find new ways to please customers and increase engagement.
User Interview Takeaways:
1. Surfing is territorial. Users are unlikely to make public reports.
2. Users rely on reports to determine conditions before they go.
3. Conditions & reports change quickly requiring users to check app frequently.
4. Surf cameras are helpful to users but are not available in many locations.
5. Surf reports are complex. A simple star rating system isn't sufficient for accurate predictions.
Many competing apps try to incorporate a social component such as users generated reports however, this solution proved to be unreliable and untimely. Research showed surfers are unlikely to report good conditions publicly not to mention updates cannot happen when surfers are still in the water, the most likely scenario when conditions are good.
One of the most helpful features of a competing app was local forecasts by local experts, however, this feature would be difficult to scale and was not available in many locations.
Analysis & Ideation
The app was a proven tool for checking surf but it didn't allow users to be notified when the surf changed or when conditions became ideal in their area. Using the knowledge gained from research, I came up with a few features that would add value for users.
1. Send notifications in advance of user defined conditions.
2. Send notifications in advance or historical conditions, previously saved by the user.
3. Update user on changes in conditions at times they’ve defined to go surfing.
4. Allow users to talk and post photos in public chat about conditions at surf spot.