Project Overview
This was a college project aimed to teach us how to apply the design process on UX and UI design. In this case the subject was a hiking app for a tourist spot in Costa Rica. "Ruta entre Volcanes" is a hiking route between two volcanoes, this place is usually used by hikers to train. There are also some tourists that enjoy walking in this area because of the landscapes.
My Contributions
I was the only responsible for this process. I was in charge of the investigation, analysis, conclusions and proposals. During this process I had to make several tests and interviews with the potentials users.

Phase 1. Research

Step 1. Hypothesis

In this specific case, we can say there is no other app of this kind. Because it is specific for a touristic place in Costa Rica. This was the first time an app was developed for this place so there was no background. So the first step was to propose an architecture for the new app

For this step I proposed an architecture of four main parts: Map, Explore, Events and Profile. The objective of the app would be to promote local events for this route and to let people track their progress in this route.

Step 2. References

Once the idea of the architecture was settled, I started to investigate in similar apps. In this case now that I knew the app was focused on the hiking, I decided to study hiking apps and other that were related to this area

This is an example of the analysis, the idea of this task is to understand the layout of the apps and what functions they have and how they work

Once the analysis was finished, the results were compared in a table. This way it was easier to see which features were more common and which ones were not as common but they could differentiate the app.

In this case, the most important features were a 3D map, personal achievements, route's stats and download route

Step 3. Users

In this project two users were defined. The first one and most important was the "Pro Hiker", this was because of the actual use of this hiking route. It's known that this hiking place is used most of the time for people that like this activity professionally or very seriously. The needs and context were defined with interviews with actual hikers.

The second user is a "Hiking tourist", due to the difficulty of the route, this type of hikers is less common but they still represent a portion of the final users and needs

It was important to define the users to understand their needs and this way I could focus the app with functions that would satisfy them.

Once the users were defined it was important to leave clear their actual needs. And see which ones they had in common

Step 4. Traffic

Once the needs were defined they were grouped based on affinity. For example all the needs that had to do with stats about the place  were grouped on a category called "Place's Information".

That was done with all the needs, so it was easier to understand which functions would be used the most for the users and the project.

It's important to mention that, even though the users did not mention security functions it was important to have some safety system inside the app to keep users safe and make the app different from the rest.

Phase 2.
Propose and test

Step 1.
Alpha Architecture
& Card Sorting

In this case, the app evolved to 4 main parts, Explore (Info of route in map), Start hiking (tracking or guide of current route), Personal Stats and Profile.

The core of the app would be the "Start Hiking" section, in this section both users would find the actual use of the app. Here they would be able to track their progress or if they wanted to they could have a virtual guide, that would show them the route and the best spots with the help of AR.

The users would be able to track other routes
as well, this way they could give app more use than just this specific route

With the Card Sorting test something interesting came up, the users didn't group the security features in just one place, it was usually in different places. So I made the choice of having the security section available in every part of the app.(Floating button)

For security features of this app I added a section were the user could make teams during the route and track everyone during their route

Step 2. User flows and tasks

Before testing the architecture I defined user routes on the main functions the user would interact with. In this case with just the preview of this tasks I decided to make some changes in the architecture.

The Explore section was changed to Information and Start Hiking was renamed to During Hiking.

Step 3. Wireframes

Now with the architecture ready to test, the wireframes were designed and tested through tasks done by users. The layout was based the best parts of similar apps that already have some functions alike.

In this test, the Information section changed to "Route Between Volcanoes" this way users would know it was information about this specific route.

"During hike" changed to "Map" , this because other apps (waze, wikilok and others) start the tracks or guide in the map section

Step 4. Beta Architecture

Now the architecture got redefined, now it only has 3 main parts, (Route between volcanoes, Map, Profile) the Personal Stats section is now inside Profile but it will be the first page shown on Profile.

The emergency section would be shown only when the hiker is hiking and during this hike the app would only show the functions related to the current route and teammates

Step 4. Look & Feel

The concept would be Volcanoes, this would translate in a red chromatic with high contrasts

Step 5. Heuristics

With the Look & Feel applied, the app was tested again to confirm that it was helping the user

Final Result

Go to Mock Up