Flushing Queens, a neighborhood that means many things to different people.
The mobile app concept intends for natives of Flushing to build connections to its neighborhood, as well as enabling visitors to gain insight into the various nooks and crannies of this diverse bio-environment.
The immediate project involved assessing the design from a previous iteration of this concept.
UX/UI Designer and Illustrator
Designing and updating the interface and features for the app
Create more connection to Flushing, allowing more people to visit the area while creating more interest in the neighborhood
Flushing natives could leave their mark on their neighborhood in the face of changing times
Flushing is a neighborhood with a rich history and famous as a destination spot for its various Asian cuisines.
How might we enable local residents to document their changing neighborhood as well as allow newcomers to easily explore the area?
First, we wanted to achieve a clearer idea of the market behind Flushing and its residents. Thus we decided to conduct contextual research by visiting Flushing and spending the day observing its people, restaurants, and culture.
- There exists a lot of word-of-mouth for Flushing's great restaurants and hidden venues, adding to a sense of secrecy only available for local residents.
- It is a working-class neighborhood with a primarily Asian population of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Koreans.
User interview findings
Found both users from Flushing and users from out of New York, who have, or thought about visiting the area for food and shopping.
Conducted 6 user interviewers; 3 natives and 3 out-of-towners. We synthesized findings from the interviews to look for common themes / patterns by utilizing Affinity Mapping.
- Average connection to neighborhood (Scale of 1 - 5): 3.5
- 2/3 Native Flushing residents expressed that they found the neighborhood to be changing, and responded positively to a method to leave some kind of mark on their neighborhood.
- 3/3 Out-of-towners expressed interest in finding out new places to eat and explore in Flushing, if not for the grueling commute.
- 6/6 interviewees used Google Maps to locate, find, or "mark" (favorite) locations.
The previous iteration of the Flushing App was jampacked with features that would bog down the purpose of the app, or features that would be more applicable for later versions in the future. Thus, we decided to conduct a MoSCoW features map to determine the best possible course of action.
- Key features: Location-based search finder, leaving a "Memory" , and "Creating new place."
- Features for future considerations: A daily photo section linked to Instagram accounts, transit-info, and a "Local Stars" feature, highlighting local Flushing celebrities.
User Testing findings
We used the same users from our interviews to test several iterations of the app. A considerable amount of our design choices were validated, and yet there were still much work to be done to make the process more intuitive.
- Users felt a favorable reaction to Memory v.s Review. One user noted, Memories seem much more personal, like what I experienced as opposed to just reviewing the place...It's bit of a learning curve but it's definitely cute and fun."
- Task 1: Look for a place to eat and chill with friends, then leave a memory for the place. Avg. Score (Scale of 1 - 5): 4.5/5
- Task 2: Your favorite obscure hangout spot is not located in the list of locations, so you want to be the first to create it. Avg. Score (Scale of 1 - 5): 4/5
- One user suggested an expansion of the Memory concept, so that other users from the neighborhood could comment or contribute to the discussion.
- In terms of the info for "Venue" page, some users expressed confusion over the "Secrecy" rating, and wanted to know who rates for the "Sanitation Grade".