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Overview

TownWise is a mobile app for residents to be up-to-date with their town's news and events all in one place while on the go. The app provides updates for topics such as town hall, events, and road delays among many other town news.

Timeline
Jan - Apr 2023
Project Type
Solo | Capstone
Scope
App Design
UX Research
Branding
Motion Graphics
Role
UX/UI Designer, Graphic & Motion Designer
Software
Adobe XD,
Illustrator, Photoshop,
After Effects

Motivation

The goal for this app is to provide an easy way for residents to receive news about their city/town in one app.

Currently, majority of people receive their news from many outlets, such as social media and friends and family. Although they are reliable in their own way, they have limitations such as delayed reporting or keeping up with the various apps. Even though TownWise might not eliminate these sources, it's meant to reduce the time on searching around for the town's latest news.

From the survey I conducted to see whether people are interested, I learned that:

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Research
Data Collection
Survey

To see whether this app is appealing enough for people to use, I conducted a survey with 18 participants to scope out what users are looking for with an app like this.

Reviews & Forums

Along with the survey,

I also looked into the competition to view user reviews on any benefits and pain points as well as checking on forums on what  sources others go to.

Statistical Research

I researched through resources like U.S. Census and Datasmart to get more insight on city populations and the percentage of those who know about certain aspects of their city.

Thematic Analysis
1
Lack of Updates
  • Some established city websites/apps are not up-to-date with their information.

  • Hard to find anything current.

"I use it sometimes, but it is pretty confusing to navigate and find exactly what I want to find."

2
Navigation Issues
  • Users find searching through their city's website or app to be overwhelming.

  • Some apps or websites are not easy to navigate.

"My city has a clustered mess of a website."

3
Multiple Resources
  • People search through many resources to find what they are looking for.

  • Most just use social media or other apps to get updates.

“I sometimes use Nextdoor (the app)."

Competition Analysis
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Various City/Town Websites

They are the official source to offer their residents lots of information about their city.

Social Media

Social media like Twitter and Facebook are easy to use for quick information while on the go.

Newsletters

Similar to the city/town websites, they are an official source, but more for events, recent news, and other local interests.

Personas

Target Audience: 25-35 years old

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Design Requirements
Login Not Required

Unless the user wants to add in another town and/or receive notifications, the app would be free to use without a login.

Residential Needs

The app would offer users easy access to forms, services, and other information that they need as residents.

Easy Navigation

Provide users to access their city's information and news easily with simple navigation links.

Ideate & Design
Brainstorming
Style Guideline
Colors
#73956F
#0092E0
#454851
#F5F5F5
#FF8C61
Navigation Icons
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Typography
Prompt (Semibold) - Headings
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Helvetica - Paragraphs
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Prototype
Connect to Your Town or City

With TownWise, you're able to get the latest news on your town's government and other city interests.

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View Other Cities

With the option of logging in, you will have the ability to add in other cities or towns that interest and view their news anywhere.

Map It Out

Although there are many map services out there, this app will present you the main locations of interest of your town including parks and the town/city hall.

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User Testing

For user testing, I use Google Forms with the link to a prototype of TownWise. The purpose of the test is to gauge what can be improved for the final prototype for the capstone project.

Process

With the short notice, I was able to receive seven responses. Throughout the testing, users are able to type in their thoughts of their experience within the app and notice things that I might have overlooked.

Findings
1

Most of the participants found the onboarding process easy to understand.

2

With the previous prototype, some users found the "city option" screen confusing due to the continue button and the introduction screens.

3

All users found the overall design functional, but some mentioned that it looks outdated.

Reflection

As the project took four months to complete, I feel that I could've improved on the design more to look both inviting and modern. Also, as people are used to the sources that they already use, I know that if this app was published, it might be hard to find footing among the competition. So, another thing would be to add something new to appeal the target users towards this app.

Overall, I found this project a great challenge to think to create a user experience that is focused more on offering an informational source.

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