MVP for touristic app
Altopiano delle Rocche is a wonderful plateau located in the regional Park Sirente-Velino in Italy. The economy of the plateau is mostly based on tourism thanks to its natural beauty and the presence of two ski resorts. Although the place is well known to local tourism, the digital offering of the area is not up to date.
Investigating business goals
The local touristic association Visit Altopiano delle Rocche reached out to me to understand how we could improve the overall tourism experience and make the tourists more aware of the surroundings.
Currently, the information related to the activities, events and natural paths of the area are based on paper material, and it’s hard to find comprehensive information online on one single place.
- Identification of the business problem and goal.
- Competitive analysis.
- Feature ideation and prioritization.
- Sketches and low-fidelity wireframes.
- High-fidelity wireframes and prototypes.
- Collaborate with development before and during the implementation.
Stakeholder interview and requirement analysis
During our first contact with the local tourism organizations we tried to understand what type of tourism there was on the area, in order to identify and understand the possible needs of the users and how we could improve the digital offering.
It turned out that most of the tourism is based on recurring tourists: they primarily come in the winter to ski and then, fascinated by the natural surrounding, they return again in the summer.
Compared to the winter activities, summer activities are not as evident to users: in fact, this is a rural area where natural trails are not clearly marked and it is hard for tourists to find them. In this context, it becomes particularly important to empower summer’s sports visibility, in order to rebalance a bit the touristic offer.
In this context we decided that the best idea for a digital project would be to create a mobile application which leverages on the recursive affection of the tourism, where the territory would be seen as one and which can empower the tourist to easily access events, sport activities and businesses of the area.
We believe that unifying the offering of the area in one digital PLATFORM will bring more value for tourists and inhabitants involving our visitors to be more active “ALL ROUND”, bringing more value to each single local business.Visit Altopiano delle Rocche
After the identification of the main entities to promote, and the kind of product that we needed to build, I proceeded with user research and competitive analysis phase. There is almost no direct competitor in the local environment, but I found many different competitors in other territories morphologically similar to the Altopiano delle Rocche plateau. The main references used for the analysis are: Zermatt (Matterhorn) App, My Livigno App, and Dolomiti.org.
|Competitive Analysis||Zermatt App||My Livigno App||Dolomiti.org|
|Weather and webcams||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Trip Planner||Adding to Favorites||Yes||No|
|Ski resort info||Yes||Yes||Yes|
If from one hand the prioritization of the macro-categories was clear enough, the repartition of them took quite a while especially because we needed to understand how to split each category based on their current data set.
We finally agree on a first proposal having the following features:
- Simple landing screen with a hero image.
- Scrolling down: the next section in the homepage shows the closest five upcoming events in an horizontal scrolling container (to not take too much vertical space) with a direct link to the dedicated events section. The event section contains all the upcoming events in a top down order: I designed as such due to the shift of high-low seasons which would make a calendar view half a way empty.
- Scrolling down in the homepage we find the list of categories, ordered according to the strategic business relevance:
- Ski and Snowboard: it represents the biggest business preposition of the plateau. It contains a two tabs representing the two ski areas, each containing a detailed description of the ski resort, with direct contacts, webcams and links to ski schools and ski rentals.
- Sport and Fun: contains all other sports activities as subcategories; hiking, biking and climbing trails, horse riding academies and one subcategory for all other sports (football, tennis, gym etc.).
- Gastronomy: the offering of gastronomy of the area is quite rich, with more than 30 restaurants, bars, pubs and street food places.
- Hotel and real estates: central for a touristic place, right after the most important categories.
- Shopping: any sort shop from sporting, to artisanal shops, to typical mountain food shops.
- Wellness: complementary to the rest of the offer contains SPA, beauticians and hair saloon.
- Art and Culture: finally a reference to art and cultural places.
- Outside of the categories there is only one additional page for the live weather with a widget for upcoming week forecast and the real time webcams of the villages and ski areas.
We also defined other strategic features which were excluded from the initial proposal due to different reasons:
- Notifications for the upcoming events. Excluded from the MVP for the complexity and the low value at this stage of the app (also due to the COVID). The clients are anyways considering to introduce it in a later version of the app.
- Direct in app booking for events, hotels and restaurants. This feature was left apart from the MVP because most of the businesses on the Plateau are not particularly confident with technology and this seemed a really big step to the clients. The feature will be definitely considered for a later version.
- Trip planner allowing users to add activities to their holiday plan. Since this feature was leveraging on the direct booking (excluded from the initial proposal) the value which a trip planner would bring is not enough compared to the implementation effort.
- Add activity to favorites. It was left apart in favor of a future possible implementation of the trip planner. Additionally, the clients said that the app will initially have a small dataset.
I then proceeded with pen and paper sketches to create a draft proposal based on the result of the research. I had a couple of meetings with the clients where we went trough the ideas to define better the content and the possible features to support based on the main entities to highlight: sports, events and business places.
Test & implementation
According to the timeline that Visit Altopiano delle Rocche proposed, the app was launched in February 2021 and is currently available on the Google Play store (iOS will come soon).