andrei l. rac

locaholic
startup product designer

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discover and share new places
with people you trust

context and concept

Write a question, share the link, and get all your recommendations in one place. Joining at a very early stage, I was involved developing this idea during all stages 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, voting system, features exclusive to bloggers, bookings, AI to get insight in trends and preferences, and many more.

going back to basics

Realizing the plan was too ambitious, we went back to the essence of the idea.

Declutering our vision, we asked what's the most important thing the app does? We took down everything else and only left ask and recommend. Focusing again on the essential features allowed us to move a lot quicker.

feedback hits hard

Testing with users outside our circle uncovered many questions people had while using our app.We solved them adjusting the copywriting and visual communication to better represent what the app is about.

Tests were conducted both online and in person with random people on New York's streets. 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.

there's always a better way.
what would I do differently?

Merging both in and outbound recommendations lists into a single type, along with making people's opinion a prominent element, would have simplified the user experience and erased a lot of extra development.

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.

building a product?
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