Research and planning

Some important research to take into consideration when thinking about my project is the history of the location we have been given. Bournemouth beach is a very popular tourist destination but I wanted to look how much it has changed compared to ten years ago so I can get an idea of how much it could develop by 2025.

The following photograph is from 1890, just so I could get some deep historical visuals of how it started, it’s actually pretty surprising how the actual zone itself does not look that much bigger to what it is now, obviously there are some striking differences, like all the houses/ shops which are no longer there to make room for the roads and parking.

One of the most noticeable changes over the most recent has been the demolition of the waterfront complex and the construction of the new information centre. The demolition process is shown below.

Developing ideas further

In this weeks seminar we worked in pairs with people we don’t usually work with to help each other critically develop ideas. I helped my partner to go from just having a name of his specific user to having clear direction of where he wants to start his app and having a background story for the Geocache.

He helped me to develop my idea also, at first I had the following background story:

The parents of a young child who is around 3-5 years old leave the Geocache that only he can access. They leave it there because its the last time they will holiday there in a long time and would like to have the Geocache of their family holidays memory as they know the child wont remember much of it.  The design ideas I had for this would be that a souvenir they have in the house represents the Geocache meaning it would be unique but recognisable to the boy when he returns on a school trip 10 years later.

Problems highlighted:

  • How do the parents know that this will be the last time they holiday here
  • How will the child get the the specific zone/ need to think about a specific landmark
  • It will be a very narrow target audience
  • Why would the parents only pick this holiday to be significant
  • How will it be unlocked if its specific
  • Could the boy be the one who is leaving the memory so its unique to him. It will be seen very differently through the eyes of a young child
  • if so he would need to be older to actually be able to make the Geocache.

Revised idea with help from peers:

The Geocache would be left by Grandparents on the last big family holiday they would be able to attend as they are getting on and struggle to travel ect. The Geocache would be containing images of the family holiday and maybe a small message. It will be located at the point where the Noddy train is stationed. The Geocache will be able to be unlocked by members of the family each time they return to this location. The reason no one has returned in the 10 years is because they don’t feel right going away without the Grandparents. The grandson is there on his first small trip with his friends after passing his driving test. When the Geocache pops up.

Research for planning stage

My first two phases are my initial planning and requirement which I started to fill out in my previous posts. I thought it would be helpful to do some research into relevant projects/ app’s that have already been made and which might influence my approach to my own project.

An interesting concept for the foundation of this project is the idea of ‘TagandScan’:

Gerrit Visser (December 17, 2003)
The New Scientist writes on the UK service TagandScan “By tagging messages to mobile phone “cells”, users can post reviews, leave notes for friends, or even organise demonstrations”.

When a user logs onto the TagandScan site using their cellphone, they can opt to be automatically located according to network cell from which they are calling. They can then create a message or view ones already left in that cell by other users. 

This bit of research can link to the idea of a Geocache due to the fact it’s about someone last updating this message in 2015, and then the next person to find this is not until 2025. I need to think of reasons why the user would have left this message and how to make it unique.

Key development points:

  • A gateway into the past
  • The message pops up, but can the user edit it or add to it?
  • User scenarios + USD- think of how they would use it, what they like, their background
  • Why is the message important to the person who left it there, why hasn’t it been updated in 10 years, is it timed? Can it only be accessed every ten years

Developing on my original ideas:

  • Noddy train- might not exist in 2025, so the message being planted where it used to be stationed.
  • Did something dramatic happen?

Relevant Research: ” Berlin’s Abandoned Spreepark”

This is a really interesting take, its not based on an app, but it does show how things can dramatically change over time. This amusement park used to be very popular and then closed down. The images below are the aftermath. Its amazing the impact of the photographs when set at a particular time of year and day. This is something I need to think about. Not just what I want my outcome to be, but what the concept and requirements are.

I also wanted to think of some other directions I might want to approach which are different from my first  ideas. It’s important to make sure I look at all possible outcomes as part of the Iterative Design, I need to show my progress and how I came to pick these ideas and why they are significant and focus on the actual design later.

Other possible settings:

  • Arcade, showing contrast of how its changed in 10 years as the outside is already fairly run down.
  • Jurassic Marble blocks
  • Underneath the Pier, possibly in 10 years there will be a glass bottom floor to walk out on linking it to the sea life.

How these ideas can develop:

  • A flashback linked to a specific person
  • A early memory of family holiday
  • No longer exist
  • An anniversary of the family holiday, last one they could go on?
  • Link to the young family member returning on a school trip

Iterative design process

In order to think about my project in a logical way and make sure I am covering all aspects of the Iterative design process I am going to adopt the following stages:

Iterative Design process: Taken from Kruchten ph Symptoms and Root Causes of Software Development Problems.

My first ideas summed up:

  • The digital message in a bottle could be clues or a mystery to solve.
  • Visual aspects- could focus on the Noddy train, in which you are following train tracks
  • Or focus on the Oceanarium, where the geochace is represented by a penguin, focused on its arrival at the Oceanarium/ its journey.
  • Main audience at the moment is families with young children and school trips.
  • The zones I am picking need to be able to engage a young child
  • Aspect of finding clues/ treasure hunt should link the audience to the concept.
  • Could make the information factual/historical.
  • Graphics= following a treasure hunt, and they get to unlock a fact.
  • Could maybe incorporate digital bar-code scanning?

Design Iterations Project

Design Iterations:
I have been given an assignment that is split into two halves, the first part is to produce a proposal for the IOS mobile app I will be creating for the second part of the assignment. I will need to be able to show the processes I have undertaken to reach my final product with relevant conceptualisation, design and planning.

For my first piece of work this year I have been set the following premise:

The year is 2025, you are walking on the beach in Bournemouth with your iPhone 5. Suddenly an alert appears – your phone has triggered a forgotten geocache, which was last updated in 2015. You decide to create a ‘visualisation app’ to extract and display its information

In our seminar today we met at the Beach and were given the following sheet of things to start analysing in order to create the foundation for planning our apps.


I also took along my camera so I could get some visual scopes of the area and start generating an idea of where I might like to contain my geocache:

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