Project Description

Project Objective
  1. Develop a travel guide for Android devices which will offer the users a virtual friend and guide while traveling online or offline. The application aims to offer rich and interactive interface with an intuitive navigation flow.
  2. The key and unique features will be its voice packs which will enhance its usability and relate to a larger audience that is people who cannot see and read. The application should pull location data from the server according to the location the device is in. Information will be scraped information from various websites like Wikipedia, lonely planet and other tourist information portals.
  3. To come up with a simple, intuitive and responsive design that maximizes user experience. Tourists visiting new destinations should be able to easily access information about monuments, museums, restaurants, tourist hot spots, and even remote locations like hiking trails and sanctuaries.
Problem Statement
  1. Tourist places put in a lot of effort to improve on tourists’ experience like maps, information help desks and recorded tours. But, these existing services are not readily available to tourists in a handy manner.
  2. Information available on the web about these places is not aware of location which leads to spending a lot of effort in searching for the appropriate information.
  3. Also, people who are traveling or hiking on trails in remote places cannot carry heavy guidebooks and may not have internet connectivity/service to find new locations.
Solution: Guidebook App
  1. Provides its users with access to relevant information about the locations they are visiting
  2. Enables users to post information for the locations they have already visited
  3. Allow users to create voice packs for various destinations and share it with others providing them with an easy mechanism to plan their travel efficiently
  4. Voice packs can consist of tracks which break down the information provided for a location (e.g. Leavey library pack with how to print and how to check out books tracks).
Usability Analysis

The design has been kept as simple as possible, so as to not cloud the user with too much information on any screen. An analytical look at the interface can inform the layout, content and overall look of a page to ensure maximum impact and user interaction. We also considered the different types of users that would use the application. Here is a walk through of some of the analysis we did.
  • First page first time will be sign up screen - User creates an account.
  • Next time first screen will be sign in screen.
  • After logging in, depending on where the user is located, the screen is dynamically populated with places of relevance. Such dynamic population of information could be of use to the novice user or even an expert user at a holiday destination, looking for information about places around him. This instantly gives a good user experience, as the application does not wait for user input. Also keeping in mind the expert user, he/she could directly type in an area/location of interest in the search bar, which would give the user the required results. There is also a map view for users who like to view available packs. The user’s current location is shown on the map.
  • The user would then go on to navigate to the Location View or Location Pack and depending on which, the can do a number of different things. The wire frames section has a flowchart that describes the simple navigation between screens, and the various choices a user would have to make. We have kept it as simple as possible and tried to give maximum user experience.
  • In each of the other screens, we will stick to the basic rules for any interface. We plan to standardize the task sequences, use unique descriptive headers where possible. We are also considering text alternatives for relating it to a wider and diverse set of users.
  • Also, with respect to organizing the display, we plan to keep it consistent requiring minimal/no memory load from the user.
System Design
Guidebook is designed for easy portable use, and fulfills the requirements for exploring and finding new locations. It avoids laborious text-entry and reading by enabling recording of voice notes and playback of guided tours. Guide book is designed to provide users with a simple, interactive and intuitive experience by applying the following practices:
  • High contrast colors in the text and background color enable visibility in direct sunlight as well as in bad lighting
  • Position and size of tabs/buttons are optimized according to Fitts’s law     Clear and consistent labels help with fast learning through recognition over recall     Optimal but minimal features for exploring locations help overcome the limitations of compact screen size
  • Different font sizes are used to show the hierarchy and importance of content
  • Scrolling is always in the same direction (axis) and allows the user to view large content
  • Minimum amount of clutter such as navigation, decorative images and other non-relevant material.
  • Easy and effective navigation
  • Mobile devices often do not have good color contrast and are often used in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Hence information highlighted in color may not be visible to users.
  • Metaphoric tab images are provided for all screens to allow easy identification
  • Metaphors like voice note and guided tours match the real world scenarios
The above design principles are used to create all of the below screens for a consistent and error free application.