Splor Exploration and Discovery App

Splor mobile app research and design

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For that moment when you just want to explore. Splor gives recommendations to keep you in the present moment and on the current path. Say how far you are willing to go and what you want to learn on your journey

Problem Statement

Why do we do what we do? Everyone wants to see new places, but how can tap into those desires to grow and act on the vast world within our reach. Splor seeks to understand intrinsic motivations that harness our internal desire to see more and unlock a new way to interact with our surroundings. Scratch that itch to see and share places unseen.

Go beyond visiting familiar places, expand your comfort zone, and see don't wonder about what's the next interesting thing you can do. For the bored, the thrill-seekers, the wanderers, and anyone who dares to venture into the unknown; Splor is the app to guide you along the way with new places, challenges, and experiences.

Desired business objective

To allow a set of explorers the ability to record and expand on the places they travel to. Continued user growth and engagement are not the primary goals, as this is meant to be a private record detailing places that were previously visited.

Splor will give people new places to look forward to, and let them modify their journey to make it as scenic as you want. Save future travels, or keep track of past ones, and see how much more needs to be discovered.

Measure of Success: Amount of purchases. The business model is dependent on application sales. Metrics would seek to improve the number of journeys and locations visited. Initial Exploratory Research results were conducted to test interest and viability.

Users and Audience

Travelers and Explorers of ages 16 and up who want to chronicle where they been and discover new places. For tourists who want to visit the nearest sites and plan the day, backpackers hiking across the country, or someone exploring a new place that they just moved to. Anyone active outdoors, like joggers, bicyclists, kayakers, and snowboarders can benefit from new terrains to explore. Personas and Behavior actions were devised and tested when coming up with which users to target.

Roles and Responsibilities

Performed duties related to research and analysis. Created designs and interactive prototypes. Outside of my role as a designer, there was a business analyst, user researcher, and two developers.


Research methods include interviews and observational research with interactive prototypes. External research methodology and methods were selected by the user researcher along with targets needed for focus group research methods. Sessions personally conducted alongside the user researcher and results were used to create designs and lead to

The idea was to firmly establish audience type, and have them experience the application and detail how it could fit into their existing means of exploring. The Business analyst would translate research results to detail, rank, and plan prioritization of new feature requests.

Process & Ideation

There is always more to explore and improve yourself. Build your profile and keep track of all the favorite places you want more memories of, and enjoy more of what this world can offer. Your profile features an ever revealing map and statistics that can help build esteem, a sense of belonging, and competitive passions to go further. Customize the categories of places you want to seek out from bars and beaches to parks and stadiums. Tailor your journey to bring out the excitement with every step. Splor can accentuate the already intrinsic desires to go out and explore.

Initial discovery research was done in the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia to ascertain what is valuable when it came to exploring. One-off sessions were planned with the most engaging parties getting follow up observation sessions. The initial feature set revolved around finding new places to visit, visiting those places or saving them for later, and changing your profile to account for how places are visited.

alt splor information architecture

An initial structure was needed to define basic features and functionality. After Testing and observational research, the structure and organization went through various changes.

There was initial consideration to include game mechanics, where users can gain advantages similar to role-playing games. Visiting certain locations would benefit charisma, or strength, or magic, and more. Several users gave feedback about system complexity and suggested focusing on either the intrinsic value of seeing a new place, learning more about where they are, or seeing their favorite place in a new way.

Splor is meant to get out of the way, allowing you to enjoy your travels while still guiding you to new memories. It's a wonderful companion for filling the world with wonder and serendipity or planning that next vacation in unfamiliar lands.

At the home screen, users pick how far they want to travel, and why they want to explore, with a simplified game mechanic to highlight traveling reasons.

alt Splor home and destinations

Get a list of path and destinations based on how far you want to travel, and whether you want your journey/destination to improve your stamina, intellect, or spirit

The home page is predominately focused on finding you a new place, and getting results quickly is key for letting the explorer get on with exploring. Search results can come through filtering a result list, viewing options on a map, or performing a text search. After getting a destination, the explorer can just navigate to their destination.

alt Sploring Destinations

After finding results, an explorer can start their journey, or add destinations to fit in more places to visit. Searches can also be done by categories and text or voice search

When visiting someplace new, the journey matters as much as the destination. Even though the result may be set, there are infinite ways to get to the same place. Splor allows people to map out a tour of all the places they want to see. The same process can be used to expand the journey and plan out an entire day of fulfilling events, and all the little things that happen in between them.

alt Sploring Destinations

Add new locations to your destination to make a journey and expand the journey to be as long as you need it to be

Beyond the central goal of finding new places to explore, people wanted the means to make plans and record logs for their expeditions. Adding focus for saving future and current journeys and destination encourage people to make a bucket list of all the places they want to visit. From there they can sort and group location based on geographic features and other criteria. Explorers can also set their favorite locations and journeys which can be accessed in their profile.

alt Splor Profile and Settings

View previously saved journeys along with your profile. Change the settings to dictate what categories come up and adjust the traveling distance. From the jogger to the jetsetter, splor can keep track of your adventures

The Splor profile kept some of the game mechanics in simplified forms. There is a simple leveling system, matched to variables for stamina, intellect, and spirit that corresponded with the means of transportation, the locations that were visited, and if the locations were newly visited.

Outcomes & Reflections

Understanding the explorer's knowledge of their capabilities and desires can help provide new avenues for growing and expanding their reach. Considering different cultural perspectives and incorporating universal traveling desires was necessary to deliver a final solution. Ultimately it takes the explorer and interacting with others in that mindset to get conclusive results.

A new world is as close, or as far away as you want it to be. Capture the romance of stumbling upon a place unvisited and seeing it with your eyes. Improve your body while pushing yourself to physical heights. Learn the culture and history-shaping your surroundings to go farther and dig deeper into areas unknown.