A Social Media App that allows people to share their past, present, and future locations safe and easy with their friends.
User Experience Design,
Interaction Design, UX Research, Prototypes, Wireframes
Swipsh is a location-based Social Media App that allows people to share their past, present, and future locations safe and easy with their friends. Using three columns (Past, Present, and Future) swipsh allows the users to interact with each other, seeing where their friends have been, where they are right now or where they are going to be in the future. Past, Present, and Future merge into one, giving users an overview of activities and locations of friends and family.
While creating a new communication environment we wanted to attach importance to the centerpiece of the interaction – the posting process. Build and designed to give the user a fast and exciting experience we tried to delete unnecessary touchpoints leading to a feeling of control, mastery, satisfaction or even pride. We integrated an automatic location algorithm that recognizes a user's location, town, and country within seconds. With the enhanced sharing process, a user can share his current city within 3 single taps. If desired users can tag friends, activities or add a comment to their post.
With Swipsh we enabled users to make plans for the future, give them insight about present ongoings and provide a history of visited locations. Therefore we integrated a three-column layout: Past, Present, Future was born.
Observing the market for potential competitors and the ongoing innovation 2 kinds of services showed up. The majority of location-based communication apps are using live tracking. Displaying the position of a user at all times results in various problems like high data and battery consumption, as well as giving up your private location at all times. The problem is that live tracking is constraining users to use the application only in small intimate groups of friends or family members. Furthermore predictions for future locations or visited places are not possible due to the live location. Other applications are treating location-sharing just as an add-on to their main services leading to an absence of innovation and excitement generators for the users. Posting processes are therefore often slow, unoptimized or are lacking socially driven features to enhance the user experience in general.
Starting with the fundamental approach we wanted Swipsh to face the challenge of sharing a location in an innovative way. By getting rid of the live tracking aspect and switching over to a sing post sharing process we avoided critical touchpoints like battery consumption, mobile data usage or privacy issues. By actively going through the posting process which is supported by an automatic location recognition users only share their location if they have the desire to do so - giving the interaction more value. Addressing the actuality of the displayed information we integrated 3 Columns (Past, Present, Future) enabling users to make plans, perceive present ongoings and take notice of past events. Combined with a check-in check-out algorithm the information displayed is always on point. The goal was to create an environment that is stripped free from informational clusters like advertising, pictures, videos, leaving a clear and easy to understand experience for the user.
Providing an exciting website based on the corporate design was another challenge for the team. The main goal was to explain an showcase the most important features of the app in an innovative and interactive way.
With Swipsh we trying to push the boundaries of location-based communication and reinvent how users are dealing with locations in their daily life. Adding new value to existing GPS-technologies by shifting the way of how people think about the related privacy issue was a major goal of the project. We are trying to connect people not only on a virtual platform but bring them together in real life.
During the creative process, the scope, as well as the design, shifted several times. Every version of the application had to undergo an arduous test trial to test the overall usability and ensure that we are on the right track for creating a pleasurable product. Step by step we pruned the features down to the basic needs of the user by eliminating unnecessary steps along the way, leading to a seeming less experience.
“Every time we increase features, we increase complexity and therefore degrade the experience.”
– Jared Spool
After several feedback loops and research with potential users, we prune the product down to the essentials. Shifting the focus on the more important features was part of the creative process. Deleting unimportant touchpoints, features and interactions helped us to create an easy to understand product.
The whole project started during my high school days at the age of 18. Meeting acquaintances in a restaurant, a bar, or while traveling is a common situation we all experienced in our lives. In most cases, the result is a valuable experience but its hard to set up a connection in the first place. I was not able to relinquish myself from the idea of bridging the interpersonal gap between close friends and acquaintances to connect them in real life and not only on a virtual platform. Therefore I planned to set up a mobile application to tackle this problem in an innovative way.
After setting up the first sketches, draft designs and video animations I was able to have my first pitch at a local startup event in Reutlingen, Germany. Soon after, I got in touch with representatives of the Business Incubation Centers of the European Space Agency. The ESA BIC is an Accelerator for GPS/space-related startups offering non-equity funding as well as business and IT support from the ESA and the European Union. Following several business plans, pitches and interviews the concept of Swipsh got accepted as a partner of the ESA BIC in Darmstadt, Hesse. While getting in touch with the first developers and forming a team around the concept the startup got accepted to an additional accelerator of the ESA in the Netherlands researching the topic “Peoples mobility”.
Lukas Kmoth (Co-Founder & Lead UX Designer)
Marvin Schwaibold (Co-Founder &Lead UI Designer)//www.marvinschwaibold.com
Baptiste Briel (Lead Web Developer)//www.bbriel.me