andrei l. rac  /  locaholic
ui/ux, product, visual design
Simple idea: Write a question, send the link using whatever app you want, and get all your replies in one place, working as connecting point between many social networks.
Joining at a very early stage, I was involved during all stages of the product development process, from ideation to implementation.
Initially we separated sent requests and recieved recommendations, to which you could add a place, photos, and your comments (try a certain food, best time to get there, etc).
We also explored multiple features like making groups of people, plans, features exclusive to bloggers, bookings, AI to get insight in trends and preferences, and many more.
Realizing the plan was too ambitious, and going back to what's the most important thing the app does, we took down everything else and only left ask and recommend.
Decluttering our vision, focusing again on the essential goal, allowed us to move a lot quicker.
Testing with users outside our circle both online and in person with random people on New York's streets uncovered many questions people had while using our app.
We solved them by having a carrousel of example requests and using icons to better represent what the app is about.
What surprised us was how we didn't see many of this things even after extensive testing among the team. Turns out sometimes the trees don't let us see the forest.
Merging both inbound and outbound recommendations lists into a single type, along with making people's opinion a prominent element, would have eliminated a lot of extra development, as well as making the use of the app a much easier and enjoyable experience.
In retrospective, many choices seem obvious, but every one of them took quite an effort and time for us to see. Each stage, including the last one, has an infinite number of alternatives. Unfortunetly as some bigger players joined the game, we reached the end of the runway before succeeding. The idea transitioned between various concepts, adjusting to market forces and available resources, trying to find a spot, trying to offer something unique, something that gets people closer, that helps you and your friends discover and enjoy new places.