Why Sundayz:
When I started this project, I was looking to create a weather app for “water-activity aficionados.” I realized early on, after doing a competitive analysis, that there was already a red ocean of apps for surfing, sailing, and other water-related activities.

However (almost) everyone loves the beach. Globally, it’s many people’s go-to location for relaxation and social activities.

That’s why it can be extremely disappointing when an unexpected turn in the weather ruins plans or the beach is too crowded, or it lacks the necessary amenities. Why not offer people a tool to help avoid these frustrations?
What I Did:
I designed a mobile app that supplied weather and beach information to users. My goal was to create a sole connection of information and communication to make the planning experience simpler and easier.
View Prototype
User Research
User Interviews:
To get a better idea of what people wanted and needed in a beach planning app I set up a survey and some interviews. I interviewed 4 people between the ages of 22 and 40.
Interview Insights:
From all of the people I spoke to, they wanted an app to provide them with anything they needed to have an enjoyable time at the beach. The convenience of information was a keynote and weather data was the number one top priority.

They wanted the app to be simple and easy but not overrun with information.
‍From all of the people I spoke to, they wanted an app to provide them with anything they needed to have an enjoyable time at the beach. The convenience of information was a keynote and weather data was the number one top priority.
They wanted the app to be simple and easy but not overrun with information.
User Persona:
I took the information gathered from the survey and interviews to create an empathy map. From there my primary user persona was born.

Robbie K, a web developer, lives in California and is privy to weekends at the beach and on the water. He’s taken up surfing as a hobby and is taking surf lessons. The beach is also Robbie’s main social dig, and he spends a lot of his time hanging with friends at the beach. He wants to be able to check the weather and wave conditions for the day, while also having the resources to plan in case a morning surf turns into a fun late-night bonfire.
Site Map:
After performing a card sorting exercise I created a sitemap of the main features for Sundayz.
User Flow:
From the site map, I then created a user flow map. The map shows three different scenarios users may experience when interacting with Sundayz.
Wireframes:
The tasks I created in the user flows gave me a solid ground work to sketch some low-fidelity wireframes first on paper and then in Balsamiq.
User Testing:
My first round of testing was more formalized. You can view my test plan and script in the button below. During my iteration phase I explain the second round of testing that involved one specific feature that helped evolve the flow of communication within Sundayz.
View User Test Plan & Script
The goal of the test was to determine the usability of the app and user satisfaction while surfing through our features. This app is aimed at users who are looking to plan a day at the beach and share with their friends.
Objectives Tested:
-     To determine if the user can quickly and seamlessly create an account
-     To determine if the user can search for a new spot and share it
-     To determine if the user can create a report
-     To observe if the user enjoys looking at the app and using it
Insights:
Overall, we received positive feedback from testers. Users felt like the features provided were useful for planning a day outdoors and by the water. These were the few major callouts that required an update:
-     Reports icon at top right on Homepage was mistaken for a chat page.
-     Onboarding was confusing.
-     Icon imagery not uniform.
-     Filtering process was not very clear.
-     Some usability/prototyping glitches.
View User Report
Sorting the Data:
From the user tests, I took the feedback from the people I tested to help narrow down what needed to be fixed and where users’ pain points were.
Iteration:
In a more informal round of testing my updated prototype, a major change was made to the communication feature at the top right bar of the app. After showing Sundayz to a few more users, I realized the idea of ‘live’ reports rivaled with reviews. Users were not interested in both - the need was not there.

From the feedback of people liking the idea of sharing spots with friends, I designed an in-house chat feature. This eliminated the frustration of sharing information out of the app.

Users can find beach spots on the map or by searching and then share with friends they’re connected to on the app. Now communication is more seamless and can be accessed without having to open text messages or email.
Scroll through to see the evolution of my wireframes.
Style Guide:
The bold yellow evokes happiness and energy. I decided to contrast with black and greys so that they would be easily viewed. Bolder lined icons that were simple where necessary to better convey their message.
Prototype:
My prototypes are available to view below. To showcase the evolution of Sundayz I wanted the viewer to see where I started and the improvements I made from testing and feedback.

Please feel free to comment!
View Updated Prototype
Takeaways & Next Steps:
The next steps for Sundayz will be more testing and feedback on the current prototype.

Sundayz challenged me to think emphatically with the user and to understand what needs weren’t met and how to find solutions to those needs. At first I thought a live feed of information would be very informative and useful only to discover that the idea wasn’t so easy to implicate. Shifting that idea into a tool for people to share information with peers was a more personal and functional end-product.

I would be interested to delve deeper into this study to know what it is users want to communicate when they share information.