ONLINE PRESENTATION The project is based on our group discussion about our experience with Google Maps. Our diverse backgrounds allow us to see Google Map' shortcomings as an app that is meant to connect users with local experience. The app isn't lacking any tools, as it is a powerful app with a huge database, but the app's complicated-user experience was where saw a huge potential for us to rethink how we can approach connecting users to their local neighborhood.
Hence, we have Mapple 📍🍁, the app that's supposed to bring you your customization without overcomplicating your user experience. 🚚
What it does 📌
The app revamps your user experience as it will customize your map experience by asking about your current preferences, such as how you are traveling, who you are with, what's your budget, and coming up with the best matching place! It does a better job at displaying what type of desire can be satisfied at that destination.
How we built it 🏡👷♂️👷♀️🛠
For Design Team 🖌📱 After drafting up the general user experience flow of the app in Figma, we started creating our own Design system, going through each possible color-combination iteration, possible shapes, and icons. Then after we agreed on a set of Fonts, Color, and Theme, we started designing the prototype to demonstrate how the features would be interacted by the user, then passed it to the Development team.
For Dev Team 👨🏻💻🖥
We used Google Maps API to display the user's current location and surrounding map. Then based on that location, we used Google Maps Nearby Places to find nearby properties that would fit our user’s chosen criteria, and recommend it to the user. From there, the user will be individually shown a card of a location, which shows the picture, and general name of the particular place, and what criteria it can manage to satisfy the user. Then, they can choose whether they want to save the places for later or not, which if they do decide to revisit, Google Places Search as a tool to display the locations the users saved by storing places id.
The Dev team uses React-native Java Script
Challenges we ran into 😥 & What we learned 📚
We ran into a lot of challenges, both in terms of hard skills and soft skills. As a team, we all struggled with balancing our commitment as time zone differences and personal issues can come up unexpectedly. However, we learned to be more communicative, and be more sympathetic towards our own teammates because we understand our team's passion and dedication to making this project a success. Thus as a team, we cannot be prouder of our project, no matter the outcome.
Design Team 👩🎨👨🎨 From a design standpoint, we ran into several problems, especially since we wanted to rethink/redesign the whole customer journey map on our mobile app. At first, we were able to identify several features that we would've to want Google Maps to have or to improve on, however, due to limited time and resources, we had to think of how to best improve the user experience from only a certain point of view. As a team, we began with understanding who are the type of people that are struggling to use the existing Google Map , and based on our own experience, we discovered how common it was for non-tech-savvy people to reject a powerful app like Google Maps for a simpler traditional Apple Maps. We then began to map out every single touch point in the app, and identify the complications or problems that our "determined" user would've experienced.
Then, we start discussing possible solutions for each of those pain points and come to the 2nd challenge, how to demonstrate the endless possible solutions, and how to identify which one is the best one. We then finally learned how to unleash our software app potential, and fully uses its capability to help us optimize our workflow better.
*Dev Team * //enter here // This is the first time we are working together so we mainly needed to plan out how can we work together as a team to have the work done and neatly. The most complicated part is that one of my teammates who is in the Dev team is remotely working but we did come over that struggle with the detailed planning in Notion.
To make an app, the hardest part is how we coded to integrate with the Google Places API since this is the first time we are working with Google Places API. Moreover, we need to read carefully in the Json files for each place, and changed it to the correct Json with more details in order to make a good recommendation system to suggest good places based on user choices.
Accomplishments that we're proud of 🏆✨✨✨✨✨👈👀
As a fully virtual team, with each person in a different state, we are proud of our ability to stick to what we promised, and our ability to deliver this project.
From a design perspective, we are proud of our Figma design system that we've gone over so many different drafts of.
From a dev perspective, we are proud that we have the app working.
What's next for Mapple - Neighborhood Delivered. 🔮🗺
For Mapple, we hope that someone could realize our dream of making a more interactive and customized experience for the user, and pursue that dream. Because a map's full potential is to not only tell directions, it is to tell a story, and if an app is unable to unleash that potential it might be a GPS-only device.
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