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Brunel University School of Engineering & Design

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an Story-hunting Ma p

Ď&#x;lubdubĎ&#x; An app designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that is full of stories.



Ď&#x;lubdubĎ&#x; An app designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that is full of stories.


A dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Integrated Product Design

Tutor : SARAH SILVE Word Count: 22396

Brunel University School of Engineering & Design United-Kingdom 2013

Acknowledgements Here I want to offer my best appreciation to my supervisor, Sarah Silve, with her teaching, support, guidance and inspirational suggestions, this project could finally be brought to a successful close. Special thanks to my family, without their support, I could never start my master degree; Thanks to my classmates and my friends, without them, this project would not have reliable database. Finally, thank you all for reading this dissertation, with your read, this dissertation can have some values to change the world a little bit.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Abstract Tittle

ϟlubdubϟ An app designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that is full of stories.


Master of Science Integrated Product Design


Professor Sarah Silve

Key Words

Travel app, user-generated content, story sharing platform, mobile advertising, location-based date


This dissertation started with an aim to have a serial of researches to establish a solid database for building up a travel APP, which provides unseen stories as contents for those who want to explore the cities in a different aspect. With one survey and one interview to approach the core issue of the design concept, the dissertation accomplished the design details afterward. The whole project ended with a business plan discussing the commercial possibility of this APP.

Research Questions

Research questions related to poly-sensorial experience in luxury hotel are (1) What form of user interface can carry out the tour system properly, (2) how to define user profile since the content will be greatly different when targeting the locals or tourists, (3) what services should this project apply to renew the stories frequently


(1) A two-level model of ϟlubdubϟ the story-hunting app (2) A business plan of ϟlubdubϟ’s further development based on the final design concept


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................... 3 Abstract ................................................................................................................................ 4 Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. 5 Chapter 1: Introduction.................................................................................................... 7 1.1 Overview ............................................................................................................. 8 1.2 Aim...................................................................................................................... 8 1.3 Initial Research Question.................................................................................... 8 1.4 Outline ................................................................................................................ 8 Chapter 2: Literature Review......................................................................................... 9 2.1 Smartphone Development .................................................................................10 2.2 Mobile Internet Accessibility In Travel ................................................................12 2.3 Travel Information Sources ................................................................................16 2.4 Travel APP Development ...................................................................................18 2.5 Gamification ...................................................................................................... 21 2.6 QR Code Technology ....................................................................................... 23 2.7 Interface design ................................................................................................ 28 2.8 Mobile Advertising............................................................................................. 30 2.9 User Generated Contents/Media ...................................................................... 33 2.10 Summary .......................................................................................................... 36 Chapter 3: Methodology................................................................................................. 37 3.1 Project Prospective Methodology...................................................................... 37 3.2 Methodology Analysis ....................................................................................... 38 3.3 Summary .......................................................................................................... 39 Chapter 4: Brief Design Idea Based on Above Research And Methods .............................. 41 4.1 Design Overview............................................................................................... 42 4.2 Design Aim........................................................................................................ 43 4.3 Design Questions.............................................................................................. 43 4.4 Design Outline................................................................................................... 44 4.5 Summary .......................................................................................................... 44 Chapter 5: User Research ............................................................................................. 45 5.1 Target User........................................................................................................ 46 5.2 User Preference Survey.................................................................................... 48 5.3 Potential Collaborated Stores ........................................................................... 55 5.4 Summary........................................................................................................... 56 Chapter 6: Case Study.................................................................................................... 57 6.1 Real Time Tour System..................................................................................... 58 6.1.1 Sandemans....................................................................................................... 58 6.1.2 Unseen Tour...................................................................................................... 59 6.1.3 The Worst Tours................................................................................................ 60 6.2 Digital Tour System ........................................................................................... 61 6.2.1 Pepys Diary....................................................................................................... 61 6.2.2 Street Art London .............................................................................................. 62 6.2.3 London Official City Guide ................................................................................ 64 6.3 Summary........................................................................................................... 65 5

Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Chapter 7: 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.3.1 7.3.2 7.3.3 7.4

Design............................................................................................................. 67 First Design Concept ........................................................................................ 68 Interview And Troubleshooting.......................................................................... 70 Final Design Concept ....................................................................................... 75 The APP............................................................................................................ 75 The Website...................................................................................................... 86 Advertising Strategy.......................................................................................... 89 Summary........................................................................................................... 90

Chapter 8: Further Development Toward Commercial Solution....................... 91 8.1 Financial Research ........................................................................................... 92 8.2 Product Summary.............................................................................................. 92 8.3 Executive Product Development Cost Summary .............................................. 94 8.4 Investor Collaboration ....................................................................................... 96 8.5 Cash Flow ......................................................................................................... 99 8.6 Summary......................................................................................................... 100 Chapter 9: Conclusion .................................................................................................. 101 Reference ......................................................................................................................... 103


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

1 r e t p a Ch n o i t c u Introd 1.1 Overview Nowadays with easy access to travel information, the number of people travelling by themselves and exploring cities at their own pace has increased dramatically, and besides, with the development of smartphones and easy access to the Internet, not only the locals but many of the tourists will walk into small alleys searching for inspirations; as a consequence, travel apps become more popular than ever before. However, with the booming amount of travel apps, there is no doubt that all the basic travel information is being included among those apps, so that how to design a unique and interesting travel app with unseen stories may be an interesting topic to think about.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

1.2 Aim The aim of this dissertation is to design a travel app with user-generated contents, providing travellers with a new perspective on travelling, and moreover, to combine social networking and big retail stores to form a triple-sided beneficial business plan, providing better service to the app users.

1.3 Initial Research Question The dissertation started with a broad research question. With so many travel apps in the market, how can this app be the one that stands out and provides users with travel information creatively?

1.4 Outline This dissertation is the continuation and further development of an initial design project entitled “ϟlubdubϟ - the urban story hunting app” developed by Szuchi Wang at Brunel University from May to September 2013. A brief description of “ϟlubdubϟ” can be found in the literature review. In the dissertation project, an online survey and a face-to-face interview have been carried out to answer the design questions. The dissertation will start with a brief description of ϟlubdubϟ’s original idea in the beginning of literature review, covering research areas that may be included while developing the whole project. In the methodology, the project’s prospective methodology will be stated and two different methods will be described to demonstrate the criteria of the design concept and to address design questions from researches. After organising the findings from the literature review, the brief design idea will be generated in order to set up the user profiles of target users and potential collaborating stores, followed by a serial of real time tour systems and travel apps that have been chosen as a design case study to analyse their design strategies and make use of them to establish the first design concept. After building up the demo app and website of the first design concept, an interview will be carried out to gather comments toward the system and to figure out inconsistences and flaws in interface design. Finally, the learning outcomes from the project and suggestion for further research will be summarised in the conclusion.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2 r e t p Cha w e i v e R e r u t a r Lite As ϟlubdubϟ is a travel platform providing user-generated urban stories that shared by users, and is designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the in-deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that full of stories. ϟlubdubϟ, is a tour system that provides story sharing services on both APP and website, illustrating a story hunting map for tourists, which will combine with the use of QR code and smartphone, user can upload a story, generate an QR code and posts it back to the location where the story happened. This product will appeal as a platform that allows people to share their stories of some certain locations in the city. In this case, the areas that this literature review will cover are Smartphone Development, Mobile Internet Accessibility In Travel, Travel Information Sources, Travel APP Development, Gamification, QR Code Technology, Recognizable Product Language, Mobile Advertising and User-generated Contents.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.1 Smartphone Development A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a basic mobile phone (Charlesworth, 2009) and have emerged as a powerful tool because of their portability and local tracking can provide highly personalized and localized services (Sun, Su, & Ju, 2006; New York Times, 2010). Users can use their smartphones to buy coffees in Starbucks, book flight tickets for an upcoming trip, or simply just check the weather. With the amount of versatile APPs, they can almost share everything online with others, various databases has been established via these sharing, as the consequence people can have access to information of almost everything once they are connected to the Internet. The growing use of smartphones is driving the mobile applications (APPs) market to be one of the fastest-growing media outlets in the history of consumer technology (Newark-French, 2011). Smartphones (e.g. iPhone, G1, Motorola Droid, Blackberry) have evolved such that they have stronger input capabilities, larger screens, reliable and unlimited Internet access, and powerful location awareness (Want, 2009). Importantly, smartphones now provide access to thousands of mobile applications (APPs) (Business Week, 2010), which offer a wide range of services such as communication, entertainment, news, social network and travel. Smartphone users are increasing incredibly. Smartphone represents a new lifestyle. It allows people to carry information and to access it everywhere they go. International research firm Parks Associates forecasts the significant growing number of smartphone users that over 2 billion peoÂŹple worldwide will own at least one smartphone in 2015.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

The benefits of smartphone stimulate its adoption; indeed, by the end of April 2010, there are 45 million smartphone users in the United States (comScore, 2010). By the end of July 2010, there were 14,107 applications included in the travel category in the app store (Dan Wang, 2011). Smartphones and their applications (apps) appear to offer great potential to assist tourists by providing access to online information at anytime and anywhere (Brown & Chalmers, 2003). A series of studies have been done to identify the mobile services valued by tourists (Rasinger, Fuchs, & Hopken, 2007; O’Brien & Burmeister, 2003) and indicate that travelers’ choices can be changed by the use of smartphone applications (Kramer, Modsching, Hagen, & Gretzel, 2007).

Source: DudaMobile Internal Data, 2012 11

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.2 Mobile Internet Accessibility In Travel How to have stable access to the Internet data is the biggest problem that will occur while tourists travel all along their routes in the foreign countries. Typically tourists with smartphones will use pre-installed traveling APPs with inserted map and the GPS function to find destinations without link to the Internet, but usually these kind of traveling APP lack of details of streets, they can just point out main streets and few tourist attractions, so they just provide basic functions for travel, which is way too less of tourists’ needs. Project ϟlubdubϟ requires stable mobile Internet to have the best performance while users walking through storyful path in cities, for loading information and mapping out the stories to hunt. As the consequence, how can travelers have access to the mobile Internet is an essential question to discuss. So far there are some ways that tourists can adapt to have access to Internet while travel. Portable devices mainly adapt GPS devices, Wi-Fi, 3G or newly published 4G to access the Internet, the following contents are comparisons of suitability for tourists among four sections. Regarding 4G is not yet prevalent to the public and is the upgraded, re-unionized vision of 3G technology, the comparisons are more emphasis on GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G. Speaking broadly, GPS offers immediately updated data for map information, 3G offers a vertically integrated, top–down, service-provider approach to delivering wireless Internet access; while Wi-Fi offers (at least potentially) an end-user-centric, decentralized approach to service provisioning. In this dissertation these two technologies will be used to focus the speculations on the basic requirement of ϟlubdubϟ to access the Internet freely. In contrast to specialized GPS devices, smartphones are already available and familiar to a rising number of people. The familiarity extends to using location-based services (Mascolo 2010). Smartphones are often quipped with GPS receivers, but can also locate the user by the alternative means of Wi-Fi network signatures and the mobile phone network, which conserves the battery and, in contrast to GPS, also works inside buildings. Moreover, with Google Latitude (, there is an application platform, which lets users acquire their history, share it, and (in a limited way) even edit and analyze it. The client software is available for all major smartphone platforms. To the knowledge of the authors, there is only one publication on the acquisition of behavioral data from Google Latitude (Ferrari & Mamei, 2011), where it was shown that daily routines (usually goes to sports club X in their lunch breaks) could be reconstructed from data acquired over a large timeframe.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Wi-Fi allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the Internet wirelessly using radio waves, Wi-Fi products are widely available in the market. Different brands of access points and client network interfaces are interoperable at a basic level of service, Wi-Fi networks support roaming, in which a mobile client station such as a laptop computer can move from one access point to another as the user moves around a building or area, Wi-Fi is also a global set of standards. Unlike cellular carriers, the same Wi-Fi client works in different countries around the world. Nowadays the progressive amount of cities enhancing their public Wi-Fi coverage to citizens, using free public Wi-Fi while traveling in cities is an efficient way to cost-down the budget, and save lots of troubles to understand different programs from telecommunication operators. During 2012 in UK, 3 out of 4 people, about 75% of the general public, used free Wi-Fi at coffee shops and restaurants; 54% used hotel Wi-Fi; and 38% used free Wi-Fi in an airport (Identity Theft Resource Center, 2012). Source: CTIA, 2013


Š Szuchi Wang,Brunel University 2013

But regarding the disadvantage that Wi-Fi networks have limited range, it is not so convenient for ϟlubdubϟ users to adapt. A typical Wi-Fi home router using 802.11b or 802.11g might have a range of 45m (150 ft) indoors and 90m (300 ft) outdoors. Range also varies with frequency band, as Wi-Fi is no exception to the physics of radio wave propagation. Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz frequency block has better range than Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz frequency block, and less range than the oldest Wi-Fi (and pre-Wi-Fi) 900 MHz block (WyzGuys Computer Tutors, 2010). In this case ϟlubdubϟ users will face the problem of loosing the signals and directions while searching for stories, so public Wi-Fi may not be the best solution for traveling use. However, an up-to-date technology are provided by telecommunication operators, which is a portable Wi-Fi that can be carried all over the world, users just need to pay reasonable fee to the service for renting a pocket Wi-Fi (around £9 pound per day in Europe, unlimited Internet and up to five devices can be linked, rated in 2013.) Use this method to access to the Internet have became a popular way for regular travelers and backpackers because of the stable Internet quality and unlimitation of space. But the biggest disadvantage of pocket Wi-Fi is its electric consuming, averagely if a pocket Wi-Fi been turned on and broadcast Wi-Fi signals to portable devices, the battery can only last for four hours, which means users need to switch power of pocket Wi-Fi frequently while using to save the power, otherwise users might need to carry numbers of extra batteries or searching chargers during the trip, both of them are quite inconvenient for travelers. To sum this up, Wi-Fi provides high data rates between locally connected clients but is limited by the capacity of the link between the access point (AP) and the Internet.3G is based on technology that has evolved to fill the growing need for data in wireless voice networks. 3G provides seamless connectivity across large coverage areas with advertised data rates of 2 to 14 Mbits/s, shared among all users connected to any given base station. 3G network operators charge either based on consumption or have flat rate monthly plans. These networks are expensive to deploy and the performance experienced by users is sensitive to the number of users in a cell due to the large coverage areas (Richard Gass1 and Christophe Diot, 2009.) For tourist, it is easy to buy a prepaid SIM card with 3G Internet access, for those who travel in the large-scale of area that covered by telecommunicate signals from the same carrier, such as Orange (French multinational telecommunications corporation) in Europe, China Mobile (China telecommunications corporation) in China, this is rarely convenient in use and reasonable in price. On the other hand, if travelers stay in places that do not have union telecommunications corporation like East Europe, they need to buy different prepaid SIM card in each country as well as face the difficulties of various policies and setting toward the Internet, which will not be a pleasure experience during the trip.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

ϟlubdubϟ is aiming to be a multinational travel APP for city live, having stable access to the Internet is the pre- requisite to make this APP functional. From the above research in this section, the suggestion has been made that travelers should understand the local Internet information of where they are going and choose the best solution carefully to have the best use of travel APPs.

Source: IDC, 2011 15

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.3 Travel Information Sources Tourism as an international industry and as the biggest provider of jobs on the planet boasts a greater array of heterogeneous stakeholders than many other industries. The energetic growth and development of the industry are perhaps only mirrored by the growth of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The accelerating and synergistic interaction between technology and tourism in recent times has brought fundamental changes in the industry and on our perceptions of its nature. The significance of crossing the new information threshold of universal, ubiquitous communications access has brought the entire tourism industry to the new levels of interactivity, propelling management by wire. Increasingly, ICTs play a critical role for the competitiveness of tourism organizations and destinations as well as for the entire industry as a whole (UNWTO, 2001). Developments in search engines, carrying capacity and speed of networks have influenced the number of travellers around the world that use technologies for planning and experiencing their travels. Traditional perspectives of information search focus on functional needs, defined as motivated efforts directed at or contributing to a purpose (Vogt and Fesenmaier, 1998). According to this approach, the search for information enables travelers to reduce the level of uncertainty and to enhance the quality of a trip (Fodness and Murray, 1997; Schertler, 1994; Teare, 1992; Schiffmann, 1972). Consumer information sources have largely been studied under the assumption that data acquisition and processing is a problem-solving task, and as a result, the context of research inquiry is more or less limited to purchase situations (Assael, 1984). Most consumer information processing and decisionmaking models deal with prepurchase information search as the key component. Apart from exploring consumer behavior in general, they look for prepurchase information patterns to explain the decisions made by consumers, implying a synchronicity of purchase and consumption (cf. Bonn, Furr, and Hausman, 2001; Bieger and Laesser, 2000; Vogt and Fesenmaier, 1998; Schonland and Williams, 1996). Today’s tourists expect to get personalized access to tourism information at anytime, from anywhere with any media. Mobile tourism guides provide the user with such an ubiquitous access. The prerequisite for this is the notion of customization, requiring awareness of the applications context together with appropriate adaptation mechanisms (WEBSITE. Schwinger, 2012)


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Moreover, Jang (2004) proposed that future research should explore potential travellers’ concerns and difficulties when planning and purchasing trips online, which can be achieved through in-depth analysis of relationships regarding information search and cross-cultural impacts on tourists’ online information search behaviours. Buhalis (1998) stated that potential tourists have become more independent and sophisticated on using a wide range of tools to arrange for their trips. These include reservation systems and online travel agencies (such as Expedia), search engines and meta-search engines (such as Google and Kayak, respectively), destination management systems (such as, social networking and web 2.0 portals (such as wayn and tripadvisor), price comparison sites (such as kelkoo) as well as individual suppliers and intermediaries sites. Tourism organizations and enterprises, especially travel agencies, hotels and destination marketing organizations, have been seriously challenged by the rise of the Internet but at the same time enormous opportunities have opened up. The Internet has opened up and improved communications, distribution channels and transactions in ways, which could not have been imagined even at the beginning of the 2000s. Tourists and travellers have at their command online resources, which enable research of possible destinations, transportation, accommodation and leisure activities, and enable the purchase online of these products and services. This is nothing short of a consumer revolution which has effectively transferred much power from suppliers to consumers, and as the Internet further expands and modifies into the Web 2.0 and the new grid, tourism organizations are well placed to take advantage of these new opportunities (Adam et al. 2007). It has also raised questions about marketing, distribution channels, improving business management and efficient marketing research in the tourism sector (Liu 2005). Information is available on the Internet but is that information accurate, up-to-date and usable? Although people are surrounded by both copious Internet and extra Internet information, how much is actually useful? Can it help tourists to make informed travel decisions and likewise enable tourist organizations at national, state and local levels to make important marketing decisions? The answer is clearly ‘‘yes’’ and tourism organizations were some of the first to utilize the resources of the Internet, but people are seeing one area of significant Internet innovation over the past two years in the widespread development of user generated content and peer-to-peer applications, variously known as Web 2.0, which would appear to have enormous potential for tourism organizations.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.4 Travel APP Development Tourism as an international industry and as the biggest provider of jobs on the planet boasts a greater array of heterogeneous stakeholders than many other industries. The energetic growth and development of the industry are perhaps only mirrored by the growth of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The accelerating and synergistic interaction between technology and tourism in recent times has brought fundamental changes in the industry and on our perceptions of its nature. The significance of crossing the new information threshold of universal, ubiquitous communications access has brought the entire tourism industry to the new levels of interactivity, propelling management by wire. Increasingly, ICTs play a critical role for the competitiveness of tourism organizations and destinations as well as for the entire industry as a whole (UNWTO, 2001). Developments in search engines, carrying capacity and speed of networks have influenced the number of travellers around the world that use technologies for planning and experiencing their travels. Traditional perspectives of information search focus on functional needs, defined as motivated efforts directed at or contributing to a purpose (Vogt and Fesenmaier, 1998). According to this approach, the search for information enables travelers to reduce the level of uncertainty and to enhance the quality of a trip (Fodness and Murray, 1997; Schertler, 1994; Teare, 1992; Schiffmann, 1972). Consumer information sources have largely been studied under the assumption that data acquisition and processing is a problem-solving task, and as a result, the context of research inquiry is more or less limited to purchase situations (Assael, 1984). Most consumer information processing and decisionmaking models deal with prepurchase information search as the key component. Apart from exploring consumer behavior in general, they look for prepurchase information patterns to explain the decisions made by consumers, implying a synchronicity of purchase and consumption (cf. Bonn, Furr, and Hausman, 2001; Bieger and Laesser, 2000; Vogt and Fesenmaier, 1998; Schonland and Williams, 1996). Today’s tourists expect to get personalized access to tourism information at anytime, from anywhere with any media. Mobile tourism guides provide the user with such an ubiquitous access. The prerequisite for this is the notion of customization, requiring awareness of the applications context together with appropriate adaptation mechanisms (WEBSITE. Schwinger, 2012)


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Some of the most popular apps listed by travellers are not travel applications at all (Murdock, 2011). The results of these studies indicate that smartphones can assist tourists in all three stages of tourism consumption (see figure below). The use of smartphone and apps may change tourists experience by changing the timing and pattern of information search of tourists (Kramer et al, 2007).

Source: Murdock, 2011 The smartphone apps can not only support tourists’ information processing activities such as connection and navigation in the tourism consumption stage, but also the activities in the pre-consumption and post-consumption stages. For example, the online travel agency apps can support tourists to plan trips and complete online transactions as desktop or laptop computers do. The integration of experience sharing function in most of apps enables tourists to share and document their experience anytime and anywhere. In a tourism context, the smartphone, working with simple tags such as Quick Response (QR) codes, can greatly enrich the tourist experience at a destination or attraction. QR codes allow the operator of the attraction to post information about specific items, exhibits or locations directly to those locations, which the tourist can then access via the smartphone by scanning the QR code. While conventional bar codes are capable of storing a maximum of approximately 20 digits, up to 7089 characters can be encoded in one QR code symbol (QRme, 2011) enabling a host of static information to be stored such as mobile telephone numbers, contact cards (for example, VCards) and geographic information.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Already smartphone apps are moving beyond the co-ordination of people by assisting in the ‘micro-moments’ of the travel process (Wang et al., 2011), for example, using near-field technology to find toilets, entrances to tube stations, and so forth. Visitor attractions are also harnessing this power as push-based mobile services can customize information delivery. For example, ‘Secret London’ and ‘London for families’ reveal unusual visitor attractions relative to the tourist temporal and spatial location and Flamingo Land reveals the proximity of its attractions and facilities to users, providing essential details such as animal-feeding times. As the technology evolves, the context awareness of smartphones will automatically adjust the search radius relative to the speed of the user, that is, software will utilize the smartphone sensors to work out if the user is on foot, cycle or car (Chu, Kansal, Liu, Zhao, 2011). This radically alters the way people interact with destinations and find visitor attractions, substituting existing tools, such as guide books and tourism information centers. In this area, there are several emerging technical capabilities of note. Improved sensing capabilities linked to the availability of internal maps of buildings will improve indoor navigation and location. This will assist tourist mobility through large museums, sports stadium, shopping malls and other large indoor spaces, with improved altitude readings providing accurate data for tourists as they climb tall buildings and move through particularly hilly towns and cities. As smartphone apps have made use of on-board sensors to support sport and healthy living programmes, such as running, cycling and dieting, it is highly likely that medical and environmental sensors will become part of the smartphone. For example, humidity, temperature and pollution sensors will help inform tourists about local conditions. Pico projection, that is image projection built into a mobile device, will develop to enable the overlay of information onto objects improving the interpretative capabilities of smartphone apps and visitor interaction with destinations.

Source: DudaMobile Internal Data, 2012


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.5 Gamification Like many business concepts, gamification is much older than the word that describes it. Definitions vary but what they all have in common is that a ‘gamified’ activity is one where elements from game design are used to make ordinary non-game activities more interesting. All of them exploit the way people are motivated by achievements, like being awarded a ‘badge’ for reaching an arbitrary milestone which might seem trivial but which makes sense in the game world. The idea is not new and travel companies have long been rewarding loyal customers with points, cards and gifts, but today they are exploiting social media, smartphone and tablet technology to take this to a new level. Plenty gamified applications were developed across different domains such as productivity, finance, health, education, sustainability as well as news and entertainment media. Of course this also caught the attention of digital marketeers and interaction designers to improve their products. For example several vendors offer gamification as a software service layer of rewards and reputation systems like levels and badges. As people can see, the commercial aspect of gamification has a wider audience and it mainly differs between two concepts. The first point is the increase of acceptance and ubiquity of games in everyday life, and the second is to improve non-game products by increasing the motivation of users to engage with them on the same level of unique intensity and duration, which is known from game design elements. Additionally, this also offers new possibilities and data sources for human-computer interaction. Typical of the new gamified programmes is Expedia’sAround The World in 100 Days, where players can win real-life rewards through game-like activities. “Around the World is a fun and engaging way for Expedia Rewards members to earn more points, learn more about Expedia, and learn more about some interesting destinations around the world,” says Julius Lai, Expedia’s Senior Director for Loyalty Marketing. “More broadly than that, we hope this contest raises awareness of the Expedia Rewards programme. If Around the World in 100 Days introduces Expedia and the Expedia Rewards programme to a new audience, and everyone has a little bit of fun along the way, I think we’ll consider that a success.”

Source: Expedia Rewards, 2013


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Around the World in 100 Days was created by Expedia with the digital marketing agency Mindspace and is powered by a gamification platform developed by Badgeville, a specialist in this new field. “Travel is a natural fit for gamification,” says Kris Duggan, Badgeville’s Chief Strategy Officer, “as the industry has been gamified for years with frequent flier and hotel points programmes. All of the major travel players are looking for ways to secure customer loyalty. Gamification helps them to create unique customer programmes to drive long-term loyalty.” The Expedia programme enables people to earn reward points by exploring new travel destinations virtually and by engaging online. Each player chooses an avatar then sends this around the world on a virtual tour. The more your avatar travels the more rewards you earn, but at the same time you are learning about Expedia products that you might use yourself one day. The theory behind gamification is that users are more likely to adopt (and actively use) an application when there is an aspect of game & play associated with it. A number of location-based services (LBS) have recently adopted this model, combining it with fundamental communication concepts to give rise to a new form of social networking “Alternate Reality Games” as “a game you play in your real life” (Grant McKenzie, 2011). Gamification can be a great way to strengthen customer loyalty and engagement, and to introduce a social aspect to loyalty programs that traditionally have not had any inherently community-based features. Laying the groundwork for social interaction among users can improve a brand’s social media presence and pique the interest of other potential customers. In fact, a recent study by Gigya ( showed that gamification improves engagement by one-third, with online commenting improving by 13%, social media sharing improving by 22%, and content discovery improving by a whopping 68%. A Gartner report predicts that by 2015, more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application (Egham, 2011). And by M2 Research projects (Zicherman, 2013) that more than $2 billion will be spent on gamification services. Given these numbers, advertisers and marketers in hospitality and travel would be wise to watch this space and work to create innovative ways for their brands to stay ahead of the curve.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.6 QR Code Technology With the swift increase of the number of mobile device users, more wireless information services and mobile commerce applications are needed. Since various barcodes have been used for decades as a very effective means in many traditional commerce systems, today people are looking for innovative solutions to use barcodes in the wireless world. However, one of the critical issues in building mobile-commerce systems is mobile data entry. For example, when a mobile customer wants to access a wireless Internet site (ex: using a mobile phone, she must enter the address through 33 clicks using the device keyboards. Therefore, the major challenge in mobile-commerce is where to find an effective interface technology to support the simple and efficient interactions between mobile customers and mobile-commerce systems without mobile keyboard data entry. Barcodes provide a simple and effective solution to cope with this issue due to their advantages over linear barcodes in data capacity and visual representation size. As the fast advance of 2D barcode enabling technology, people have found its great value and diverse applications in mobile -commerce. Clear mobile 2D barcode ads on mobile devices are transaction-oriented ads, which allow mobile customers to purchase products as long as they see their ads at anywhere and anytime. Recently, the mobile industry began to pay more attention to barcode applications in mobile-commerce because 2D barcodes not only provide a simple and inexpensive method to present diverse commerce data, but also improve mobile user experience by reducing their inputs. In the past decade, various barcodes have been used as a very effective means in many traditional e-commerce systems, supply chain management, retail sale-and-buy, as well as tracking and monitoring of products and goods. Today, many people believe digital barcodes provides an effective means for mobile-commerce application systems. Source: QRArts, 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

The QR code, which was developed by Denso Wave, is known as a kind of 2D barcode. The features of this code symbol are large capacity, small printout size and high speed scanning etc. QR code is comprised of the following patterns: finder pattern, timing pattern, format information, alignment pattern, and data cell. The image below illustrates the structure of QR code, and this code is comprised of the following patterns: finder pattern, timing pattern, format information, alignment pattern, and data cell.

Source: The QR-code reorganization in illegible snapshots taken by mobile phones, 2010

Of interest in the tourism domain is the ability to link directly to a webpage (QRme, 2011), which allows graphic-rich media, including videos, to be played directly on the smartphone. This enables the tourist to engage with a specific place or object in its own space, allowing it to effectively tell its ‘story’ via the smartphone and QR code link. ‘Visit England’ is currently experimenting with such an approach, tagging historic sites with stories via QR codes in Leicester, Shrewsbury, Chester, Rochester and Rutland (Visit England, 2012). Print has begun to bridge the gap with digital media with printed 2D barcodes, which when scanned with a smartphone trigger a digital experience on the mobile Internet that can be tracked and measured. Incorporating QR codes or other 2D barcodes into print publications makes both offline and online content more valuable and, in an integrated media campaign, possibly even symbiotic. Essentially a printed, scannable Web link, QR codes add an extra dimension to the static print experience.


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Unfortunately, many print campaigns are hesitant to adopt mobile barcodes for aesthetic reasons, fearing that these ‘ugly squares do not reflect the prestige of a brand or that they might mar a designer’s beautiful page layout. To overcome the aversion to ugly barcodes, QR codes can be converted into a branded ‘designer’ barcode that is more aesthetically appealing. Mobile tags, including QR codes, Microsoft Tags and other formats, can be modified and stylized to seamlessly represent the graphic identity of a brand. A few agencies, including QR arts, have begun modifying codes to make them attractive, using colours instead of just the usual black and white splotches, and blending them into objects and logos while maintaining their core functional integrity. The end result is a mobile tag that adheres to branding guidelines, stands out from standard codes and creates a wow factor, and provides an opportunity to extend a company’s creative vision to the online world. Branded codes lend a sense of validity to a printed design. When a consumer recognizes a familiar brand’s use of a logo or colour palette in a code, the consumer psychologically extends the brand reputation to the customized code and more readily accepts the mobile content the code leads to. This can make the difference between someone not scanning a code versus having a great mobile user experience that encourages the consumer to form a relationship with a brand.

Source: QRArts, 2013

For designers who wishes to experiment with creating their own branded codes, here are a few guidelines that should be awared. The following apply specifically to QR codes. • A code can only be modified so far before it is ‘broken.’ QR codes can have up to a 30% error correction built in. If designers alter or block 50% of the pixels, the code will not scan. No matter how great it looks, if the code is not functional, the design solution has failed to deliver the user experience intended for the code. 25

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• Try to test on multiple handsets and apps. The Android and iOS devices use different code libraries/languages to scan codes, so they will function slightly differently. A successful scan on one app does not guarantee that it will work on every scanner and handset combination. If a large number of people cannot scan a code, the negative reaction can be counterproductive and might even deter that person from scanning codes in the future. • As with any mobile tagging format, give the user some directions and an idea of what to expect when he scans. A clear call to action and a hint of the content behind the code, such as, ”Scan this code for a special offer or a free music video,” will go a long way to boost the success rate of a campaign. • Literally think outside of the box and don’t feel compelled to stay within the lines. Even though the data region is inside the box, shapes and logos can spill out of the active scanning area. Do not block the three alignment squares, however. • Logos generally work best in the middle. • Adding colour is an easy way to make designers’ code stand out and at the same time blend into the look and feel of a print ad. If a user has scanned several codes over a period of time, a coloured code will stand out in a phone’s gallery and can remind the consumer what content is behind it if they want to revisit a mobile site. • Codes can be big. Don’t be afraid to use a code as a focal point rather then an afterthought. • Like any other print job, be aware of how paper haptics and colour shifts can affect the contrast levels of a piece. Just because a code scans on a monitor does not guarantee that it will work in print. Keep in mind that these are two different colour systems (RGB vs. CMYK). Mobile marketing and 2D barcodes are fairly new to most consumers and even to most design professionals, and their value is still largely unproved. But the potential for increased impressions and consumer interactions is too powerful to ignore. In some organizations, creating a branded code might make the difference between it being approved by the creative team and not being used.


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Branded codes literally speak to people and a scan might lead to a new sale, a new level of customer engagement or a social share function that allows your printed ad to be disseminated among hundreds of friends. Given the relatively modest cost and the significant potential upside of extending a static print message to an interactive digital engagement, a company can hardly afford not to make an interactive QR code-enabled marketing piece. QR code (branded or not) adds value to one brand’s campaigns rather then complicates the process or diminishes value. A branded code is a great approach to satisfying both internal stakeholders in creative and consumers to enable a worthwhile mobile experience behind the code. Designer QR codes can connect people to the brand and encourage them to enter into the mobile user experience to further develop a relationship.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

2.7 Interface design Web design in both functionality and usability senses is also becoming of critical importance. Travellers expect websites to be informative, interactive, and attractive (Chu, 2001). Kim and Lee (2004) classified web service quality into six dimensions, namely: ease of use, usefulness, information content, security, responsiveness, and personalization. A successful website should therefore take customers’ interest and participation into consideration, to capture information about their preference, and to subsequently use the information to provide personalized communications and services (Chung & Law, 2003; Doolin, Burgess, & Cooper, 2002). Hashim, Murphy, and Law (2007) consolidated 25 tourism and hospitality website studies from 1996 to 2006 on website quality and features analysis and generated 74 website features. Hoteliers must therefore routinely evaluate their websites in order to ensure that the sites are efficient, appropriate, and useful to customers (Baloglu & Pekcan, 2006). Lastly, Cunliffe (2000) emphasized a poor web design resulted in a loss of 50% of potential sales and the negative experience lead to a loss of 40% of potential repeated visits. With the increased popularity of smartphones and tablet PCs, app comes into our lives as the mean component of these portable mobile devices. Commonly known as ‘application,’ app primarily refers to the application developed on smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices. It interacts with users through graphic user interface, and emphasizes user experience during the operation. App brings emotion and humanity to smartphones and tablet PCs. It seems that app requires no learning process. Its function may not be comprehensive or perfect. But it has to be simple and easy to use. Users can learn how to handle it just through the interface. Interface is a platform of the information exchanging between person and product, the ultimate purpose of intelligent product interface designs is to make human-machine interaction naturally, conveniently as person-person interaction. They do not need a specification, but the icons and words on the interface will tell them. You can just use it, which differs from the traditional software program that needs to be learnt in specialty and might arouse nervousness and boredom. Before the appearance of app, non-smartphone users will get bored of mobile phones after using for a period. Eventually people use mobile phones only to make phone calls, send messages and some other basic tasks. But apps make a big difference on smartphones. It has limitless possibilities to meet a variety of individual demands. Traditional computers are complicated, and difficult to 28

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master, which might stop some people from using them, especially the elders. Yet with larger visual effect (compared to smartphone) and great user experience, app on tablet PCs makes the operation easier and more interesting. As a whole, app is a personal assistant and a close friend with specific functions. Some UI design theories are similar among computer software, web application and app on movable devices. But apps on mobile or tablet PC inherent special problems. Mobile is less forgiving than desktop. The following passage will focus on the main points of app interface design of portable devices, especially smart phones and tablet PCs, which have great difference from traditional interface design. Traditional











three-dimensional. But app interface design has an intersection of the two designs, thus creating a fourth dimension, time and behavior. Through the conversion of the thinking mode, innovation of the interactive mode and detailed design of visual mode, user experience shall be improved. Users can be divided into three groups in the APP market while downloading APPs: non-directional, exploring type and directional type. App should not only meet needs of directional group, but also create needs, thus making it become the target vision to exploring group and no direction group. When users find and download an app, they will feel like finding a lover, full of longing and joy. At least it should be a partner that the user is willing to cooperate with. The interface design of app should get close to people’s behavior, character, and be more tolerating. Unless the behavior causes legal problem, tentative operation should cause very little mental workload. Try to guess and analysis user’s behavior, and provide the right thing in the right place.


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2.8 Mobile Advertising Coinciding with the widespread adoption of 3G and 4G smartphones among consumers, mobile marketing has increasingly become a staple tactic in brands’ advertising and promotional efforts. Target, Ralph Lauren, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Volkswagen, Chanel, FIFA, and Puma represent just a few consumer brands from the United States, Europe, and Asia that have begun to aggressively adopt untethered mobile marketing platforms to forge closer and more relevant connections with specific audiences. In the U.S. alone, companies’ spending on mobile advertising and promotions and their ability to deliver brands to consumers is forecast to grow approximately 600% from $9.3 billion in 2010 to $56.5 billion by 2015 (Marketing Charts, 2011).

Source:, 2010 30

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Several years ago, prior to the launch of the iPhone, marketers and researchers (e.g., Sultan & Rohm, 2005) began touting the opportunities inherent in ‘brand in the hand’ marketing via mobile devices, particularly among youth markets. The continued adoption of 3G and 4G Internet-enabled phones among consumers in markets ranging from the United States and Europe to emerging markets like India and China has led brands to increasingly view such technology as an effective marketing platform. Also, while smartphones have yet to see mass consumer adoption, this trend is quickly changing among younger consumers. Consider China, where in 2001 there were 10 million mobile phone subscribers; today, the country hosts almost 200 million smartphone users (Ablott, 2011). Moreover, recent studies have shown that Chinese and U.S. youth consumers are the most active mobile users in terms of mobile Internet access, email, and texting compared to the rest of the world (Nielsen Research, 2010). Experts suggest that almost 90% of the globe will soon be connected via some type of mobile device, and by 2015, there will be more Internet-enabled phones in use than computers. Additionally, near-field-communication (NFC) technologies are rapidly changing the way we view our ‘phones’ as they evolve from communication devices to electronic wallets. For instance, Starbucks recently launched one of the first pay-by-phone applications to be adopted on a broad level in the United States. Mobile technology represents one of the fastest growing marketing communication platforms, and a variety of mobile devices are in widespread use around the world. In fact, by the end of 2011, smartphone penetration is predicted to reach 50% in markets in the United States and parts of Western Europe (Nielsen Research, 2010). Due to this convergence of wireless and mobile device technology, consumers are now freed–—or untethered–—from their homes, desktops, and offices, with the ability to communicate, access and share information within their social networks, play games, and buy products via location-based applications. In seeking to realize the marketing potential of a mobile medium, companies frequently make the too-common mistake of viewing mobile marketing as a one-size-fits-all platform to be applied in the same manner across global markets, irrespective of other media channels. The problem, has been found, is that companies often fail to consider culture specific factors (e.g., consumer’s overall attitudes of the platform) and individual characteristics (e.g., risk perceptions). For instance, while sports brand Adidas attracted more than 1 million international visitors to its mobile portal during the 2006 FIFA World Cup championships, simply mashing cultures together did not always work. The company’s mobile campaign was an enormous success in some markets, such as the United States and China, yet curiously did 31

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not perform well in Germany and Italy, even though Germany was the host country for the games. According to Adidas management, the reasons for these cross-country differences included consumers’ overall attitudes toward mobile devices being used as marketing platforms, rather than simply for communication purposes. As this example demonstrates, a mobile campaign that succeeds in the U.S. may not necessarily do so in Europe, China, or other markets. Another mistake that companies make regarding mobile marketing is misperceiving the medium as a stand-alone platform that functions independently from the rest of the marketing ecosystem, including traditional media. Herein, that both small and large companies incorporating mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy must recognize that consumers’ acceptance of mobile marketing can differ, depending on where they live and work. It has been further contended that mobile marketing should be considered as one, albeit important, element of a brand’s overall customer communication ecosystem. People are now at a crossroads where marketing strategy meets next-generation interactivity and mobility. To thrive or even survive in this new age of marketing, companies will have to figure out how to engage customers across global markets and across the traditional and digital platforms where they ‘live.’ Source: Social Media Advertising – Spending Statistics and Trends, 2013


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2.9 User Generated Contents/Media User Generated Content (UGC) is the term used to describe any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to others consumers and end-users. UGC normally generated from user-generated media (UGM) like YouTube, MySpace, and Wikipedia have become tremendously popular over the last few years. The project ϟlubdubϟ can also be considered as a user-generated travel media. The three UGM usages of consuming, participating, and producing are analytically separate but are interdependent in various aspects (see image below). First of all, the three activities may represent a path of gradual involvement with UGM. People begin their relationship with UGM as consumer or lurkers. In order to seek information and entertainment, people visit user-generated sites to consume the content there, but they do not participate or contribute. After breaking through some barriers, individuals participate through interacting with the content and other users. Such interaction can help them build and maintain social connection as well as virtual communities. Finally, people come to produce the content on UGM. Producing is primarily an act of self-expression and self-actualization, both of which are aimed at constructing personal identity. It is noted that the path of gradual involvement from consuming to participating to producing is not followed by everyone. For example, some people may not respond to others’ content but they may publish their own work on the sites. In addition, there may be an involvement inequality among UGM users. It has been found that most users do not participate or create: they simply lurk in the background. In contrast, a minority of users usually accounts for a large amount of the content and other system activity (Bughin, 2007; Nielsen, 2006). As shown in the following model, producing is on the top part of this model. It initiates the life cycle of UGM since without user-produced content UGM would not exist. Specifically, the content is produced by an individual for the purpose of attracting others’ attention and soliciting others’ responses such as ranking, comment, and dissemination. Through exchanging their opinion/information about such content, other users may fulfill their social interaction needs, and even form virtual communities. On the other hand, the responses of other users imply responses to producers’ self-expression and self-actualization. Theoretically, such responses would encourage subsequent content creation from the original producers. In addition, the participating population can be considered a talent pool that includes many potential producers. 33

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The content is also produced for attracting the attention of a larger number of consumers, and dynamic producing provides abundant information and entertainment for people to consume. Like participating, consuming can reinforce people’s producing behavior since producers’ self-expression and self-actualization can be partly fulfilled by consumers’ clicks. Also, as the button part of the model, the consuming population constitutes a larger talent pool than the participating one, from which more producers may emerge. In addition, participating can contribute to people’s consuming. For example, ‘posting comments’ can help consumers further their understanding of certain content; ‘rating’ can help people easily find the most popular videos, music, or blogs; and ‘sharing with others’ directly brings certain contents to someone for his/her consumption. On the other hand, consumers may become participants, thus helping enlarge the participating population and develop virtual communities.

Source: Understanding the appeal of user-generated media: a uses and gratification perspective, 1991









user-generated media.


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Individuals make three usage of UGM in different ways for different purposes. First, individuals consume user-generated contents for fulfilling their information, entertainment, and mood management needs. As an emerging source of information, UGM have been heavily influencing the concept and results of online searching. Compared with information seeking, however, entertainment may be more important in triggering UGM use. In particular, YouTube and its many imitators have dramatically reduced entertainment content to light, bright, and digestible ‘snack food’ so that users can consume it with increased frequency and maximum speed. Also, through the consumption of the entertaining messages, UGM users may be able to alter their prevailing mood states, though the empirical test of this proposition is challenging. Second, individuals take advantage of user-generated sites to interact with the content and other human beings. This participating activity often functions in enhancing social connections and virtual communities. The huge popularity of such sites as MySpace and Facebook has provided support for the positive view that individuals can fulfill their social needs through interacting online with one another. Interaction among users can also contribute to the formation and maintenance of virtual communities, where people gather due to shared interests, sociability, identity, and s sense of communion. Given that virtual communities are often built around user-generated contents, responding to content is argued to be an integral part of community development since it can reinforce dynamic content creation. Third, people produce their own contents on user-generated sites for self-expression and self-actualization, both of which may ultimately be aimed at constructing their own identity. Self-expression can be achieved through such online behaviors as blogging and video casting. It not only allows the significance of who one is and what one does to show himself/herself, but also enables one to control the impressions others have of him/her. In addition to self-expression, people’s producing activity is also driven by self-actualization, which is reflected in such goals of online producing as seeking recognition, fame, or personal efficacy. Although the three UGM usages are analytically separate, in reality they are interdependent. They support one another, directly or indirectly, by helping people fulfill their respective social and psychological needs.


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This literature review section is a pre-understanding of the areas that will need to be considered in this project, with the solid studies and research data from the experts, the main idea of this concept is clearer in direction, and the uncertainties of essential criteria are been solved. The findings are listed below: • Smartphone ownership growth is a firm trend happens in the whole world, and has remarkable potentials in business. • Wireless Internet accessibility disseminates widely in big cities than ever before, providing new design opportunities in travel industry. • With the use of smartphones and wireless Internet, travel information has much less limitations of time and space, which stimulates the utmost growth of travel APP. • Applying gamification on travel services can secure the loyalty from customers and keeping them interesting in the products. • QR code technology is an efficient way to access online information in modern world and already been used in advertising widely. • Interface design is a huge issue that decides whether an APP will succeed or not. • Mobile advertising is the fastest growing market among digital advertisings, which have great influence in consumers’ buying decisions. • The reason why user-generated media become so popular is because they can gather information from all kind of aspects, which motivate them to generate more contents for others, finally becomes a positive loop. Based on these findings, two methods will be established to understand more details toward the project in the next section.


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3 r e t p a Ch y g o l o d o h t e M 3.1 Project Prospective Methodology The most essential understanding of this project that needs to be developed is about user preference of user interface, what the things are that tourists want to know about the city, and also how much collaborating stores would like to invest. The research will be started by building up a user profile and gathering user preference from an online survey, then after the demo of the first design concept is done, there will be a face-to-face interview with design students in Brunel University, where the participants will be provided with the brief of the design first and then will be asked some questions about how they feel about the idea. Based on their feedback, the second design will be adjusted and improved to meet the needs. Both online and face-to-face surveys will be needed since ϟlubdubϟ is expected to be a platform that provides services both as an app and on a website; as a result, there will be users that sit in front of computers as well as users holding portable devices standing on the streets. While online surveys can gather much more data of rough numbers and basic criteria such as different user preference among different genders or ages, face-to-face interviews can lead to comments from users about their perspectives on ϟlubdubϟ, and from the step-by-step practice run of the demo app, some inconsistences and flaws in the system will be revealed, providing opportunities to improve the design in the final step. Therefore both methods will be applied in this research. 37

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3.2 Methodology Analysis The reasons for adapting two diffident methods in this dissertation are, firstly, to establish design criteria and research directions for the project using online surveys, and secondly, to attack possible weaknesses of the first design concept for further development using face-to-face interviews. By these two methods, the final outcome in this dissertation will be more solid from an academic aspect. The online survey will be designed to gather people’s preferences toward seven critical aspects. These are access to travel information, access to websites directed by QR codes, information types and contents, ways of sharing attitudes towards advertisements, and award system for uploading stories. In order to target users typically in their 20s and 30s that value independent thinking and have a passion for their surroundings, the survey will be put online and shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter or blogs that target users typically in their 20s and 30s that value independent thinking and have a passion for their surroundings. The advantage of an online survey is that it can generate huge amounts of data in a very short time and the result can be easily transformed into charts or graphs to analyse; however, the disadvantage of using online survey is that sometimes it can be the weak point of the whole report. It is hard to control the sources of participants in an online survey as one Internet user can redo the same survey several times to make the result doubtful in terms of quality. As a result, the online survey of ϟlubdubϟ will be designed to have a reasonable amount of respondents (ideally 90 participants) with a comment box asking participants to leave their comments and personal details if they would like to be involved in this project, so that the data from this online survey can be fair in both quality and quantity. The face-to-face interview will be designed for adjusting user interface details and workflow fluency, in this case, a testing ϟlubdubϟ website and a demo app will be built first, and there will be few stories put online for testing. The prospective interview process will be done in a classroom as participants pretend they are on the street at the location of the test stories. First, the participants will be asked to try using the “upload a story” workflow through iPad on the website in order to see how the system works and check how to use the “Like” credits which come from their stories shared on social networks to trade discount coupons. The second step is scanning the QR code and reading the story, then using the demo app to find the nearby stories, and after running through all these processes, they will be asked to give some opinions on the app and then to try and brainstorm about possible solutions. 38

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The design of operating the face-to-face trial in a classroom is trying to make control variables as simple as possible, which can benefit the final design concept, a clear analysis and improvements. However, this trial will be led with a design special aspect. Considering Ď&#x;lubdub Ď&#x; will be a profitable app in the market, there will be business research undertaken in this dissertation to fill the gap in the face-to-face trial.

3.3 Summary Based on the feedback from both survey and interview, the final step is to adjust the design details in the final design concept and build up a final prototype, which will also be used in analysis of business development and setups for further development, making the tour system friendlier for users and enhancing the fluency of using.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

4 r e t p a Ch

n o d e s a B a e d Brief Design I s d o h t e M d n A h Above Researc


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

4.1 Design Overview The project ϟlubdubϟ is designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that is full of stories. ϟlubdubϟ is a tour system that provides story-sharing services as both an app and website, illustrating a story hunting map for tourists, which will combine the use of QR codes and smartphones. Users can upload a story, generate a QR code and post it back to the location where the story happened. This product will appeal as a platform that allows people to share their stories of certain locations in the city. Hunting instincts are part of human nature, but nowadays people have less chance to satisfy this desire in city life. Therefore, the system provides local travel information such as seasonal events, local history, landmarks or good restaurants in the form of little stories. By using ϟ lubdubϟ, people can have fun during the story-hunting process. After the uploaded stories have been checked to make sure they contain nothing inappropriate, the uploader of the story will get QR codes which can be posted at the location where the stories happened, so that tourists can use their smartphone to read the stories. The aim of this concept is to add gamification to travelling and entertain tourists so that they can have fun by searching out stories hidden in corners. I also want to build up a business plan that can encourage users to upload stories by giving them some benefit, generate profit from advertising, and work on the ways to promote this website and app, but the most important thing is how to build up the identification of this website or app so that people take notice and are willing to use it. The content of those stories should be little stories or urban legends, as the website will not check it they are real or not, only if they include inappropriate content like violence, and that is the spirit of this storytelling tour system. And it will be lots of fun to search for these stories. Besides, this project will be developed into an advertising platform that allows local stores to use interesting stories to attract customers, and a business plan will be established in this dissertation project to discuss the details of operating the app. With the share function to the main social networks, ϟlubdubϟ stories that have been read by users will show up on their personal network pages, attracting their friends to find or share more stories on ϟlubdubϟ.


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4.2 Design Aim ϟlubdubϟ provides a platform for users to share their little stories of certain locations with other users who can scan the QR codes provided by ϟlubdubϟ to read funny things that happened to someone with bad luck, stories of great heroes that used to live in a building, maybe some secret restaurants run by a serial killer, or even ghost stories – these are all welcome at ϟ lubdubϟ, no matter if they are urban legends or not. The aim of this project is to design a new map-based app plus website, allowing users to feel like they are taking part in a treasure hunting game, only the treasure is stories. While a user finds a story and reads it, the ϟlubdubϟ app will show nearby stories for the user to search.

4.3 Design Questions The target groups of ϟlubdubϟ are mainly travellers with smartphones who have access to the Internet, this project is trying to enhance the travel amusement as well as the understanding of the city. There are few initial research questions that should be discussed in this project; first is what form of user interface can carry out the tour system properly: should it be a whole city map with all the locations of stories or should users just see the directions to nearby stories and go looking for them? Besides, user profile is difficult to define, since the content will be greatly different when targeting the locals or tourists. The locals probably will be the main source of uploaded stories, and maybe they will get bored by seeing the same stories every day, so what services this project should apply to renew the stories frequently is another question. Tourists, on the other hand, may not have access to the Internet and link to the story pages easily, which means, when they download the app, it should be a content story database and use GPS to give directions; this is the other question that should be discussed. The final question is how to encourage people to upload stories, is it by providing coupons from cooperating stores or should ϟlubdubϟ simply play the role of a story-sharing platform like the famous photo sharing app Instagram? As a result, understanding the market requirements has the highest priority in my project.


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4.4 Design Outline The project runs in two different ways, one is “upload a story”, another is “read a story”. In the “upload a story” approach, the uploader can use both the app and website to write down a story, then, after submission, the story will show the whole story map on the website for people to find easily or plan a story-hunting trip. In the meantime, the uploader will get a QR code for him to post on the location. The “read a story” approach is mainly used by portable device users while they walk through alleys in cities. ϟlubdubϟ will have highly recognisable symbols on its QR code, so when users see the unique QR code, they will know that there is a ϟlubdub ϟ story waiting for them. The “read a story” section also includes a story map only shown on the ϟlubdubϟ website, which allows users to find all stories on the city map and make plans for the story-hunting trip; however, users cannot read the story in detail on the website, only a few sentences. The main purpose of this tour system is to explore the stories right on the spot. If users can read everything on the website the fun will be less than when reading the story at the location, nevertheless, users can still share the stories through social networks, so their friends can read it and be attracted to that place. To use the ϟlubdubϟ app, every user needs to establish an account first. After users upload a story, readers can “Like” the story if they think the story is worth reading. The more “Likes” the story gets, the higher the chance is that it will show up on the home page and get more “Likes”. The uploaders can use the “Likes” to trade coupons provided by ϟlubdubϟ’s collaborating stores. ϟlubdubϟ is also an advertising platform for local stores to put their advertisements up in the form of stories. ϟlubdubϟ will help those stores to establish their own stories to attract customers, as well as hold campaigns occasionally, such as a treasure collection game associated with the stores, in addition to advertising the stores.

4.5 Summary The brief design idea of this project has been settled based on the research findings of the literature review. The other area that needs to be discussed further in the next section is the user profiles of target users and potential collaborating stores.


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5 r e t p Cha h c r a e s e R r e s U


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

5.1 Target User ϟlubdubϟ is a story sharing traveling system on both mobile APP and website, illustrating a story-hunting map for tourists. Our target audience is based on smartphone owners. In order to define the user profile, research about general smartphone users will be elaborated in this section. According to Edison Research, The Smartphone Consumer 2012, the proportion of smartphone user increased 40% in the last year and it is considered to be a growing trend in the future. Among all age ranges of smartphone users, young people (age 18-34) occupied nearly half of the per-centage.

Source: Edison Research, The Smartphone Consumer 2012

Comparing with non-smartphone owners, these young smartphone users spend much more time on the Internet, approximately 3 hours per day and social networking is their favourite online event. They admitted that the frequency of checking Facebook is around 5 times a day and they also post status updates quite often. Once young smartphone users share posts online, the influences are relatively huge because these people usually have twice amount of friends on Facebook than non-smartphone users. On the other hand, a social networking site or service could also be very influential for purchases. Nearly half of smartphone owners think Facebook influences their buying decisions. It is easy to see that the rising of smartphone industry has made a great impact to young people’s lifestyle and the booming development of smartphone applications has just started. 46

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Source: Edison Research, The Smartphone Consumer 2012

Source: Edison Research, The Smartphone Consumer 2012


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

5.2 User Preference Survey The ideal users of ϟlubdubϟ are smartphone users who enjoy exploring the different aspect of cities, and thus young professionals who are familiar with operating apps will be the target group. Besides smartphone use, there are also some distinguishing living habits among these young individuals. A young smartphone user survey asking questions across six critical aspects has been conducted (91 participants/potential users): (1) Access to travel information (2) Access to websites directed by QR codes (3) Information types and contents (4) Ways of sharing (5) Attitude towards advertisements (6) Methods of award system from uploading stories The results from the survey lead to the conclusion that more than 85% of young individuals check travel information during a trip by taking a glance at a travel app to decide on their next destination and to get directions. The answers tell us that smartphones have replaced travel books as the main channel for getting travel information (38% compared to 34%). The main sources of QR code uses are special event websites (54%) and advertising (25%) from various stores, and most of them are on billboards along roads (39%), there is no certain frequency of scanning the QR code as they usually do it by chance. In this survey participants were asked about their attitude toward the contents of stories, there were three example stories shown to the participants first, including “Bigger image, smaller text”, “Smaller image, bigger text” and “Bigger image, bigger text”, followed by a few questions comparing the details. The first result in this section is that people prefer “bigger image, bigger text” the most (65%), as the information will be read on a smartphone. This was followed by a question asking participants how many pages they can stand to read; 45% of them can read up to four pages, but 43% of participants think one page is the maximum for them. Yet it is worth mentioning that if they are attracted by the story topic, 69% of them can read more than five pages of one story. Considering the increasing use of social network and the commercial power of them, this survey also asks about attitudes toward sharing stories via social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. In the results, there was a considerable number of participants (almost 80%) willing 48

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

to share interesting stories with their friends on social networks. However, the number dropped slightly to 71% of positive answers when it came to the question if they could trade the “Likes” they get from their shared stories for discount coupons. But it is still possible to tell that some form of reward will motivate people to share more stories via social networks. Another discovery that has been made through potential users is their positive attitude towards mobile and online advertisements. They come across advertisements mostly on billboards, closely followed by mobile apps or websites while travelling, and they think the contents of advertisements are helpful and more attractive if they provide interesting stories about the advertiser. A study conducted by Jong Uk Kim, Woong Jin Kim, Sang Cheol Park in 2010 found that advertisements influence customers’ shopping decisions three out of ten times, which reflects the great selling opportunity created by promoting products through digital platforms. The final outcome of this survey is trying to understand the usage of QR codes. More than half of QR codes that participants noticed during their trip redirected them to special event websites, followed by advertising contents at 24%, and the main source of these QR codes are billboards. Out of curiosity, almost 60% of participants scanned QR codes that they saw on the streets one to five times per month, which creates a design opportunity for ϟlubdubϟ to attract potential users with this kind of behaviour. However, only using the dull, plain, traditional QR codes will not be attractive when posting on the roads, so in the survey, participants were asked to look at an image of specially designed QR codes and then were asked whether they think attractive QR codes can motivate them to scan and see what the codes are about. The answer for over 80% of participants is yes. As a consequence, ϟlubdubϟ will design a recognisable QR code not only for excited users to recognise easily, but also to draw in potential users to have a steady growth of users as well as a story database. The following pages are the survey results:


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

This survey is designed in Google Drive 91 participants 13/9/2013 Hello, Thank you for taking time to answer this short questionnaire for users of an urban story sharing APP, Ď&#x;lubdubĎ&#x;. The research aims to identify the possibility of user generated story tour, and the opportunity of urban story sharing system, the questionnaire therefore asks general closed and open questions regarding the user preference of story contents and user interface. It will take approximately 15 Minutes minutes to complete. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and there are no foreseeable risks associated with it. However, if you feel uncomfortable answering any questions, you can withdraw from the survey at any point. It is very important for me to learn your opinions. Your questionnaire responses will be strictly confidential and data from this research will be reported in the dissertation anonymously. The due date of this project is 15th Sep. 2013, If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, please contact me by email me at Thank you very much for your time and support.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Source: QR Arts /

Source: QR Arts /


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Beside the user survey, a website has been built to count visitor number of one QR code which has been posted on a wall in Brick Lane. The QR code which links to this website has the brief introduction of ϟlubdubϟ, if passers-by see the QR code and scan it, they will be redirected to the website and learn the brief idea of the project. This single QR has been posted on Brick Lane since 21 July 2013 without any other explanation or image, in this case the number of website traffic comes from people who simply scan it out of curiosity. The latest check of the website was 25 September 2013 and the number of visit was 105, which is still growing so far. It is quite important to learn that without any advertising or lip service from other users, a single QR poster on the wall can attract considerable amount of people to pay attention, which shows the opportunities of using QR codes as attractions to gather more users.

!! Around here


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

5.3 Potential Collaborated Stores For users to locate ϟlubdubϟ, the APP will be promoted through the Apple APP Store. For continuous promotion, ϟlubdubϟ also enhances the influence by cooperating with social networks which users could share ϟlubdubϟ contents with friends. On one hand, ϟlubdubϟ is travel APP establishing a long-term business partnership with both social networks and grocery retailers. ϟlubdubϟ will be disseminated on their websites and real-time store, as well as their advertisements will be shown as stories on ϟlubdubϟ’s APP. These stores’ loyal customers would find that ϟlubdubϟ is a free new channel to reach their interests of listening stories in their beloved cities and it actually provides an escape with their daily life. On the other hand, a more effi¬cient way to get more people involved is spreading information through social networks, because people tend to feel a shared link from a friend is safe and reliable as well as delightful experiences. The sharing process of ϟlubdubϟ is a very natural interactive experience that users could share a ϟlubdubϟ look on their Facebook page by simply clicking the ‘Share’ button on top of the story page. Once the look being posted on Facebook, ϟlubdubϟ will keep getting exposed every time a person sees it or someone hits the ‘Like’ button. As a reward, ϟlubdubϟ users get points from each ‘like button hit’ they got from Facebook friends and 50 points will generates a promotion code which they can get 5% discounts from ϟlubdubϟ’s partner retailer stores. Furthermore, user preferences of story contents could also be recognized from the figure of ‘like button hits.’ The data is absolutely valuable for collaborated stores as one aspect of ϟ lubdubϟ’s digital mar¬keting service. Gathering feedback from social network users is a fast and economic way to help grocery retailer stores to truly understand the needs of consumers then revise their advertising strategy in the future.


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5.4 Summary From this survey, the basic criteria of Ď&#x;lubdubĎ&#x; has been established. The tourist market tends to be more digitalised than ever before, which creates a great opportunity for travel apps to develop; however, considering user preference and smartphone reading habits, the best story layout is in the form of within four pages with bigger images and bigger font size, or designed as a single scroll-down page allowing a different amount of contents to be shown in the same form. Besides, social networks can be great cooperative platforms to expand market share and become mutual benefit business partners, and moreover, when engaging with grocery retailers, the opportunities for more ways to provide services for users and more benefits for businesses have increased considerably, since app users will be more likely to share stories on social networks if they can receive discount coupons in return, both apps and social networks can draw potential users through each other. Grocery retailers can gain more sales and potential customers by providing some discount coupons through the app. With the understanding of potential collaborating stores, the business-to-business (B2B) plan can be established efficiently. These findings are valuable for further research in this dissertation, and will be developed into different sections of the first design concept.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

6 r e t Chap y d u t S Case


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

6.1 Real Time Tour System 6.1.1 Sandemans Sandemans Free Tours is available in all the famous cities in Europe, such as Berlin, Munich, Barcelona, and ect. But the ‘Free’ here, means tourists can tip whatever they want to the tour guide based on the budget they have. If tourists tip nothing, it will be impolite, because even if the stories are boring, at least tourists got some information from the guide. Founded in 2003 by Yale University graduate Chris Sandeman, Sandemans NEW Europe thrives on a simple concept: Everyone, no matter their budget, should be able to discover Europe through the eyes of an expert. Connecting great guides with smart travelers, they believe in supporting their local communities and are commited to giving a voice to self-employed guides who have chosen that city as their home. By ensuring that every native English or Spanish speaking guide represents Sandemans’ unique style of mixing history and story telling while maintaining their own personality and flair, Sandemans has become one of the most popular tour companies in the world. Helping superb independent guides connect with thousands of travelers a day, Sandemans provides these local freelancers the possibility to inform and entertain tourists, and they employ Sandemans to spread the news about this great concept. This tour system is wildly available in big Europe cities, and the tour contents are designed by each guild of Sandeman, so users can search online to read other users comments about different types of information provided by different guilds, then decide which guild they want to follow. In this case, travelers can choose the type of aspect they want to see of the city, which gives high freedom of content choose that ϟlubdubϟ can adapt in the way of providing stories.

Source: SANDEMANs, 2013


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6.1.2 Unseen Tour Sock Mob, an informal volunteer group that reaches out to London’s homeless with friendship and socks, created unseen Tours. “We wanted to incorporate our homeless friends’ stories as well as offer a way for them to engage with the public, and quickly the idea of a walking tour came about,” said Tisha Brown, Temple Tour Coordinator with Unseen Tours. They wanted to help homeless people integrate into society, they distributed socks to break the ice and befriended them. Spending time with them and listening to their stories, Mavra realized living on the streets gave homeless people specialist knowledge of the city, and developed the Unseen Tours. Training homeless people as guides empowers them, while visitors and Londoners hear an alternative story of the city. The people who best know a city are the ones who walk it day and night, sometimes all night. It is this common sense concept with a splash of social consciousness at the heart of Unseen Tours, a company that enlists the help of homeless guides to lead tours through the streets of London. While still historical and professional, the result can’t help but be an incredibly poignant look at a city from a rarely seen perspective. The tours present the homeless in a more positive light to the rest of us, removing our fear while giving them ownership of their lives. Also, the majority of income goes straight to the guides, which has helped a few move into homes of their own. The tours are a creative outlet and a source of income for the homeless guides. “They are able to engage with other members of society without being stigmatized. They also start to look at themselves differently and begin to take the steps to change their lives,” explained Brown. East London is filled with graphic designers, fashion students, artists and gallery workers, and is the startup of Unseen Tours. But look a little closer and tourists will notice the street people who’ve been here for years. Both sets occupy the same area but they are living in separate worlds. As Liz says: “Most people don’t truly know the places they think they do at all.” This case shows up people’s acceptability of the abnormal contents in a tour system, which can be used to evaluate the risk of providing services to a niche market in ϟlubdubϟ APP. Source: UNSEEN TOUR,


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

6.1.3 The Worst Tours Portugal, 2012. Austerity killed the economy. Three out of work architects facing sudden economic destruction refuse leaving town and decide to open an unlikely walking-tours-agency in Porto, with everything from good to bad, architecture, history, politics, urbanism, slow food, and hearsay. Refusing to leave the boat, these architects started ‘The Worst Tours’ of Porto. They define it as “a low rated tours agency for anyone who really doesn’t want to be a tourist while getting to know Porto, the coolest city in Portugal – tourism buses don’t fit in the best places, anyhow…” The Worst Tours takes tourists to places that give an idea of how the economic crisis dramatically changes the lives of people in Portugal. In an interview for the Sustainability Stories blog, they say that one of their most popular tours goes into the typical ‘islands’ of Porto, a type of collective housing that “appeared with the Industrial Revolution as a way of accommodating the cheap labor arriving to the city.” They further explain that their aim is “to show a city that despite being a ruin is a beautiful ruin,” ” The crisis is easy to see: the city is eroded due to austerity, it is abandoned, empty, it has poverty… and it has very interesting buildings and places too. It has contrasts; it is not a postcard, not even an illustrated one. We think that tourism is a damaged and commodified word. To travel is to let yourself involve in the places you visit. To go beyond the contradictions-free, clean and shiny touristy circuits.”


This case can be the trail for ϟlubdubϟ to test travel contents that do not fit normal tourists’ expectation, sometimes can even be negative, but there are tourists specially keen on these kind of tours, explain the opportunities of being the abnormal travel APP.


© Szuchi Wang,Brunel University 2013

6.2 Digital Tour System 6.2.1 Pepys Diary The Diary of Samuel Pepys has been called a literary work like no other. Unlike other diarists of his time, Pepys had no aspirations for publication. This freed him up to paint a frank, uncensored portrait of life in London at the time of the Restoration. Throughout the work, which spans from 1660 to 1669, Pepys offers his firsthand perspective on the major events during the Restoration, including his own role in helping to bring Charles II back from exile to become king, and his aid in both the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666. This coverage gives The Diary of Samuel Pepys a historic distinction as well as a literary one. His famous diary has long been available digitally in the form of a daily blog. He’s now made the natural transmogrification into an iPhone app, Pepys Diary. Pepys Diary displays the diary as a daily feed from the existing web site (although the two are not connected from an admin point of view), everyday it opens on the apposite entry for that month and day. Users can save their favorite entries and browse through the entries by month and year. It also reminds users when they forget to read their daily insight. The app also makes use of the iPhone’s geo-awareness, with interactive maps of the City and Westminster. Each map highlights features of interest associated with Pepys, and suggested walking routes linking them up. Users can also upload their own snaps of Pepysian miscellanea and leave comments to add to a user-generated map. One small niggle is that only a fraction of the diary is contained within the app (in the form of the recent daily installments), so if users want to delve a little deeper, they are bounced off to the web browser to get the full text and references. Source: Pepys Diary

This APP uses stories as elements letting users to have emotional connections with the tour spots while they are reading the stories, which is entrusted with not only the brief history, but also the memories of others’ to the spot. With the high rank of this APP in Apple Store, the designed pattern of the story-based APP can be used to improve ϟlubdubϟ. 61

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

6.2.2 Street Art London The Street Art London App is part of the wider Geo Street Art Apps Project. The Project’s goals are to both help people locate street art within their cities but also to provide insight into the global street art scene and the artists who create these artworks all over the world. With that in mind, the features of the Street Art London App are shown below. There are also some interesting new features in development. • Locate: The database currently boasts over 280 locations, all viewable on the map, which lets users track their location. A piece that can be seen below designed by El Mac in Shoreditch close to where users are. • Filter: Easily filter the map by artist and date. If users only want to see work by Banksy or Eine, or just the latest pieces, users can use any combination of filters that they like and the filters are easily reset. • Track: In ‘Map Mode’, users can track their position relative to the street art locations displayed on the map by activating the tracking functionality. Tracking makes it easier to zero in on the pieces that users want to see. It is easy to turn tracking on and off by the simple design of user interface. • Stay up to date: The databases will constantly be updated to reflect the appearance of the new and the loss of the old. To update the Street Art London App just press the update button on the Home Screen and any new images and/or locations will sync with the app. Source: Street Art London


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

• Bios: The App currently features the work of 90 street artists all with fully researched bios. Below the bios for ROA and Swoon can be seen. • Document: Through the App London’s Street Art will be continually documentting and recording. The App will comprise an encyclopedic reference point for street art in London. Past and present pieces will be browsable. Below is Pablo Delgado’s work in London. These pieces can be browsed, shared and where they are still riding on the streets located on the Map. • Locate: To locate the above piece by Banksy (to be found on Bruton Lane near Bond Street), all users have to do is hit the locate button.

Source: Street Art London

It is easy to share street art images directly from London’s Street Art Apps on facebook and twitter, images will appear on users facebook profile or in their twitter timeline via clickable links to the image. Users can also read London’s Street Art’s blog straight from the App to stay abreast of the London street art scene. The best feature of all is perhaps that people immersed in the street art scene at Street Art London and Geo Street Art put this App together. As a result, the App is always up to date with the latest information. This location-based tour APP with well-designed user experience system is the closest concept to ϟlubdubϟ so far, its user-generated content system is working perfectly with users renewing the must-seen spots enthusiastically moreover, the sharing system also attract new users steadily via social networks. The above features can be the references if ϟlubdubϟ wants to add this as one of the main functions.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

6.2.3 London Official City Guide ‘London Official City Guide’ APP is powered by IMImobile. This APP has been created to help visitors avail the best of entertainment opportunities the city has to provide. It can also be used by locals to locate or identify places. It is available on all popular devices that are used by people such as iPhone, iPad and Android. With London Official City Guide on users’ phone that they can locate the city’s happening arts, clubs, comedy, dance, music, theater, and sports areas with ease. The app provides users with a personal welcome video by the mayor of London City, Boris Johnson. The Mayor of London and the capital's official promotional organization, London & Partners have launched a new free mobile app. The London Official City Guide will help Londoners and visitors enjoy the very best of what the city has to offer, as it celebrates the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with an unprecedented festival of world-class cultural events. The London Official City Guide features unrivalled content powered by London's official digital visitor platform and is the perfect companion for Londoners and tourists. As well as the Mayor of London Presents programme it will keep users up to date with the hottest events, the city's many outstanding attractions and recommendations for the best restaurants offering fine cuisine from across the globe. The app incorporates Google maps and has easy-to-use search functionality with thousands of listings to enable users to browse by venue or attraction. Alternatively, users can browse by location with the app recommending a range of nearby options. In addition, the app includes six easy-to-navigate Discovery Trails, guiding visitors along some of London’s most scenic streets and iconic sights. Featuring 84 uniquely decorated sculptures, the trails will enable users to discover the sights and sounds of central London and provide some fantastic photo opportunities. Cultural trails will guide visitors in exploring the best of the capital’s culture whether in world-famous London locations or the city’s lesser-known hidden gems.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Source: London Official City Guide

This overall APP is the reference for ϟlubdubϟ to have the recommended contents provided from the APP’s operating team, which insinuate activities from their collaborated businesses that worth tourists to spend their money for. In order to be a free-to-download profitable APP, the operating way of London Official City Guide will be the reference for ϟlubdubϟ to establish the business strategy.

6.3 Summary From this case study section, it is clearer to understand the operating patterns of existing business, which can be applied to improve ϟlubdubϟ in the information types of contents, the interface, the motivations of user-generated contents and the ways of promoting advertises through the travel APP for the next step.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7 r e t Chap Design This project originated from personal travel experience with travel apps. When using the normal travel apps, there is a high rate of repeated information with similar contents, such as where to shop, history of famous buildings, and background of that country. ϟlubdubϟ is designed to avoid giving out that tradition travel information, and it tries to become an app that grows with city lives, always full of first-hand urban stories that enrich users’ daily lives. From the above research, the brief design idea has been transformed into the first design concept with the first vision prototypes of both app and website, and the prototypes will be used as trial elements of an interview. Based on the comments and the brainstorming outcomes from the interview, the final design concept can be made more complete in the last step.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.1 First Design Concept ϟlubdubϟ has both an app and a website at the same time, so the introduction will be broken into two parts. The first design concept is based on the above research and the result from user preference survey (Chapter 5, 5.2: User Preference Survey).

Sign Up

Get a story of a corner to share?

As New User

About 100 years ago, there was a horrible story...

Log In

Email Address Upload it on tuttut! Get your story QR U rb

Password Submit


a n S t o r y -h u n t i n g M a p

Post it to that corner so people can read it, done !



When users enter this app, the most important step is either registering for a new account or signing in as an existing user. The reason why this step is essential is because all their activities, coupon credits and preferences will be recorded in their account. Starting with the introduction of the toolbar, in the middle is the scanning button which can automatically redirect users to the story pages if the link comes from ϟlubdubϟ. Then the user is taken to the page of stories and on the demo images there are three buttons, which are “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “Add a bookmark”. The share function only works with big social networks as promotion platforms to attract the similar user groups, which is also the main target group in this project. And now for the introduction of “Upload a story” function. As a user generated story-sharing platform, ϟlubdubϟ will research and set up a series of stories, first as examples to motivate users to share their own stories with others. Users can upload stories both to the app and website in similar steps. In the application, users can find the “Upload a story” button on the toolbar represented by a symbol of a map. On the uploading page, users need to key in the “story title” first, put in the “location of the story”, and then they can choose a photo from their camera roll or take a shot for the story. After they submit the story, the ϟlubdubϟ system will generate a QR code for them to print out and post at the location.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Title Location

Nearby Stories @ Whitechapel

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

Congratulations! You Get Yourself 5% Discount

Next step: Link to our co-opparated online retailers key in the code number or go to their stores showing the QR code while check out.


tuttut wish you a happy shopping day.


I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in 1888 when he sent a kidney of a murdered prostitute to them and wrote: “ that’s one kidney. I’ve cooked and eaten This promotion code can be used in one account only, for the discound can only be used on tuttut’s co-operated Websites or stores. Team initial reserved all the right to change or recall the code.

The “Search for nearby stories” function displays all the stories that users have discovered as pins on the whole map, so they can tell which stories they already read, as well as where to find new ones. The unread nearby stories will be highlighted on the users’ app and users can click on those stories to see the synopsis and locket on the one to hunt. It will then show the distance and direction to the user who just needs to follow the hint to find the story spot. “Scan” refers to the QR scanner in this app, which can only read the ϟlubdubϟ links. After scanning a QR code posted on the street, users will be directed to the story page that once happened there. Users can use the three buttons on the story page to share the story via social networks or add a bookmark to this story in case they want to read it later. The “Likes” that users get from shared stories can be traded for discount coupons provided by collaborating stores listed under the “More” function. “Handbook” allows users to save their beloved stories so that they can use them as a story database for a new way to understand the city. Finally there is the “More” function where users can manage their personal setting and trade the “Like” credits for discount coupons provided by collaborating stores, which will be a series of numbers for users to use for online shopping and a 2D barcode for users to use for in-store shopping.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.2 Interview And Troubleshooting After coming out with the first design concept, it was necessary to have physical trials of the design to improve the project, so there was an interview with four design students in a classroom in Brunel University. Before the interview, the researcher posted a QR code in the corner and prepared an iPhone and a laptop which was already loaded with the step-by-step demo of both the ϟlubdubϟ app and website. Participants then clicked on the next image as they would in the final app/website. The interview first started with a brief introduction of ϟlubdubϟ, the story-hunting app, and then the researcher showed participants a series of demo interface images on the iPhone, telling them how to register for an account and the different functions of each button. Each image represented one step of the real app. While participants were taking the trial, they would be assisted by details of the first design concept by the researcher. After participants understood how to use the app, they were asked to try “Search for nearby stories”. In this trial, researcher pretended to be the navigator leading participants to find the QR code and scan it to load the story page. The whole trial ended by sharing stories and trading “Likes” for coupons in an image-based demo. After the trial they were asked two questions about the design by brainstorming about how to improve the design, the questions are listed below. • What is the most confusing process of this app do you think? • Can you provide some suggestions about this app?


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Besides the interview, there were also some design questions that were listed (Chapter 5, 5.3) that need to be discussed. In this case, all the comments and suggestions from the interview are organised in this section to be defined clearly before moving on to the next step. • Question: What form of user interface can carry out the tour system properly, i.e. should it be a whole city map showing all the locations of stories or can users just see the directions to nearby stories and go looking for them? To discuss the question, the first thing to do is to analyse the pros and cons of both situations. The original concept of ϟlubdubϟ was not allowing users to view the whole map with all the story locations or the full text of stories; they could just track nearby stories by using their smartphones and read only the title and synopsis of stories in order to keep the surprise and excitement until users found them on the spot. However, considering that users may not be in the city they are going to travel to with ϟlubdubϟ, the original concept would not give them the chance to check where the highest density of stories was for them to visit efficiently. Moreover, if one QR code of a story is damaged, then no one can read it unless a new QR code is posted to replace it. It would become a time and labour consuming job for ϟlubdubϟ’s operating team to maintain. In view of all these uncertainties, the design will be changed to a system that can meet the needs of users by incorporating both ϟlubdubϟ’s app and website. On the website, users can open the whole story map and click on the pin to read the full contents of stories, but users cannot add the stories to their “Handbook” because they have not taken part in the story hunting process; they need to be at the location and scan the QR as a proof that they really found the story, yet they can still share the story on social networks telling others there is an interesting story to read, and the “Likes” they get from this action will still go into their account. In the app, the function of “Search nearby story” is still limited to a certain distance around the users to illustrate the scenario of limited sight while hunting, and this will also work with the pre-downloaded map. Without scanning the QR code, both users with or without connection to the Internet can read the story once they are within 5 metres from the location of the story. If they meet the conditions they can still add the story to their “Handbook” in case the QR is damaged or missing. Even though users can read the story and add it to the “Handbook” once they are within the distance of 5 meters from the location of the story, the QR code posted over cities still cannot be eliminated. Considering the survey result (Chapter 4, 4.1.2: User Preference Survey), if 71

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

there is a special designed QR code that draws eyes easily, 81% of the participants are willing to scan it to see what it is about. As the consequence, ϟlubdubϟ will keep the QR poster system to attract potential users who scan the specially designed QR code out of curiosity. Once they scan it without installing the ϟlubdubϟ app, they will be redirected to the story’s web page, and from there they can read the story and learn what ϟlubdubϟ is and start to share their own stories. One of the advantages of users being able to check the whole map is that if users want to make a travel plan in advance, viewing the whole map can help them decide the route along with stories. Since there are complicated traffic conditions in cities, by pre-planning the route, users can control their time, select the transportation during the trip. This way is more suitable for travellers who will not stay in a city for a long time and need to schedule their time carefully. However, because all the stories that travellers plan to visit are mainly read by them, the story hunting trip is less exciting than if one just feels like one wants to have some fun and take out a phone to explore nearby stories randomly. • Question: User profile is difficult to define, since the content will be greatly different when targeting the locals or tourists. ϟlubdubϟ’s target users are smartphone users that travel in cities. The term “travel” not only refers to tourists travelling, but also to locals enjoying a walk in their own city, so it can be a local resident simply wanting to change the route to the grocery store to refresh the mind or it can be a foreign tourist who stays in a city for three days but wants a special travel experience. So the aim of ϟlubdubϟ is to minimise the boundaries of operating this app and letting everyone who travels in the city able to engage in the story hunting game anytime and anywhere. The difference between the locals and tourists is their familiarity with roads and directions and also the knowledge of local history. So if there is a story shown on one street, for the locals, the feeling of finding the story is like they are checking the news in real time: close to their lives or place that they grew up in, and there will be some emotional connection stimulating their curiosity to find interesting things on their daily routes. On the other hand, ϟlubdubϟ plays a city guide role for the tourists. When they first come to the city, everything is new and fresh and waiting for them to discover; however, with the unfamiliar environment, all they can do is follow the traditional tourist trail to see tourist spots, but when it comes to experiencing the deeper culture of local lives there is still a gap to cross. This is where ϟlubdubϟ takes the stage. With similar streets on each block sometimes tourists feel no difference, but if they open ϟlubdubϟ 72

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

when they feel stressed or annoyed by the tourist spots and tired of following others’ steps, a whole new city that is full of urban legends and memories will motivate their sore legs to discover the vivid aspects of the city. So for the tourists, using ϟlubdubϟ is a new way to enrich their travel experience, but for the locals ϟlubdubϟ is an app that helps them renew their perspectives of their hometown. In order to keep the stories attractive for both the locals and the tourists, this app is designed to become a user-generated story sharing platform; hence, the sources of stories will come from everywhere thanks to the development of the Internet. Everyone can provide stories from faraway places with a link to the Internet. The stories will be renewed frequently so they will stay fresh for both locals and tourists. As the consequence, ϟ lubdubϟ will neither put extra emphasis on the locals nor the tourists. • Question: The locals probably will be the main source of uploading stories, and maybe they will get bored by seeing the same stories every day, so what services should this project apply to renew the stories frequently? There is no doubt that city residents will be the main source of uploaded stories, because nobody else can be more familiar with the location than the locals and the city is like a living organ changing every second. Users just need to take out their smartphone, take a shot of interesting things happening around them, write some explanation and upload it on ϟlubdubϟ – a new urban story is there waiting on users to discover it. In this scenario, the story renewal rate will be high and users can always find interesting story to hunt. However, as mentioned before, the story hunting process needs to be completed by scanning the QR code posted at the story locations, so the problem becomes what kind of service ϟ lubdubϟ should provide to keep the QR codes standing for longer or if there should be a self-contained QR code renewal system that encourages users to check their QR poster from time to time. Still, there is another tricky problem, if a user wants to share a story from a faraway place and there is no way for her to fly overseas to post a QR code, what kind of solution should ϟlubdubϟ adapt to make sure this app can run smoothly. Considering this is a user-generated story-sharing platform, users are part of the business runners. The first function that should be added to the app is “Report a damaged/missing QR”. The whole process of story hunting will become: open the app and search for the nearby stories, get to the story location physically, find out if the QR code is damaged/missing, use the button “Report a damaged/missing QR” to notify the ϟlubdubϟ operating team to fix it. Nevertheless, it will be a heavy workload for the operating team to run though the whole city 73

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

trying to fix those damaged ones, so another function is provided on both app and website to reduce the workload for the ϟlubdubϟ team, which is the “Adopt a QR orphan” function. After damaged QRs are reported, they would show up on an extra page as a list so that all users can see what the contents are about, and users can decide whether to print and renew those QR codes for others. In order to motivate users to upload more stories, a reward system should also be added to ϟ lubdubϟ. Once users upload a story or adopt a QR code to renew it, they can get five points that will be automatically transformed into “Likes” that equal the “Likes” they get from sharing stories on social networks and can also be traded for discount coupons. This is solid reward for their help in the ϟlubdubϟ community, but there are abstract rewards that also motivate them to do so, which are self-expression and self-actualisation for making something happen. This is mentioned in literature review (Chapter 2, 2.10). For the above reasons, ϟlubdubϟ can have a reasonable renewal rate to satisfy users.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.3 Final Design Concept 7.3.1 The APP Based on the suggestions and discussions from the interview and troubleshooting, some improvements have been made to enhance the design. After organising the improvements of the first design concept, the final design concept has been concluded here. With the flowchart in the next page, the final app has been built.

Get a story of a corner to share?

Sign Up As New User

About 100 years ago, there was a horrible story...

Log In

Email Address Upload it on tuttut! Get your story QR U rb

Password Submit


an Story-hunting Ma p

Post it to that corner so people can read it, done !



When users first open the app, after the cover page which shows the logo and development of this app, it will turn to the loading page with simple instructions on how to use this app in the form of images with text. In order to record user information and preference, the user needs to sign up for an account first before she can operate the app. The account is also used to record own and shared stories, others’ comments of user’s stories and the number of “Likes” which can be traded for coupons from collaborating stores which will be mentioned in another section later. When users share the stories on their social network pages, their friends can read the synopsis of the stories as well as the location and can pay a visit to that location in their free time. After the loading page, users will be directed to the home page of the app, which provides daily news surrounding this app, such as the “Story of the day”, letting users know where to find special stories in the city, or a “Story hunting competition” for users to participate in and win the rewards provided by collaborating stores. In this app, all functions can be found in the toolbar fixed at the bottom of the screen, and the following introduction will explain the details of them.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

ϟlubdubϟ APP

My coupons




Read through all the bookmarks that were added in the user handbook


See how many "Likes" users get

Order a print of the handbook

Read the details

Story of today, story hunting game, news


Follow the navigator to find the location

Target a story on map

Search for nearby story


Title, location, text and image

Uploade a story

Final design concept flowchart:

Trade "Likes" into coupons

Scan & read the story

Report a demaged/missing QR

2. Tips for posting the QR

1. QR code links to story page

Use barcode in instore shopping

Use coupon number in online shopping


Add a bookmark

Put it on "Adopt a QR orphan" page

Put it on "Adopt a QR orphan" page

Download and print the QR

Likes from story sharing

Can be find in "Bookmarks"

Read the story by click it on the map

Post the QR to the story location

The first button is “Upload a story”, which can be operated both from within the app and website in the same way as in the first design concept. Users need to provide the title, location, contents and optionally upload some related images to support the stories. After submitting the stories, users will be directed to another page that shows a QR code that links to the story pages for users to download. It is worth mentioning that an improvement has been made here, which is a new page including a few recommendations for users to follow if they want to keep their QR code last longer on the streets, and an option button that users can choose to post their story links on “Adopt a QR orphan” page seeking other users to post the QR codes for them.

Title Location

Title Location You get 5 points Thank you for your sharing, here is the QR of your story, you can post it at the location Contents... or ask someone for help.


Tips for posting Download & Print Post to QR orphan page Submit


The uploading page

After submission, users can get 5 point as reward

The “Search for nearby stories” function has also been redesigned. After users use the ϟlubdub ϟ app to navigate and approach the story location within five meters, they can unlock the content of that story by pressing a button in the app or using the “Scan” button on the toolbar to scan the QR code posted there. They will also be directed to the story page as in the first design concept, only with one more button called “Report a damaged/missing QR” for users to help maintain the system. On the story page, the layout of story contents has been improved by making it only one scroll-down page with a bigger font and bigger image; users can just keep scrolling down the page till the end of the story and there are still social networking buttons on the story page that allow users to share the story, as well as an “Add a bookmark” 77

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

button for users to add it to their collection or “handbook”. Moreover, there is texting box for users to leave their comments about the story. ϟlubdubϟ will hire the Application Programming Interface (API) mapping service to provide map information to users, and this works with two other functions of the app, “Search for nearby stories” and “Handbook”. After adding a bookmark to a story, users can press the “Handbook” button from the toolbar which allows users to check all their favourite stories in their handbook. The contents in the book are all achievements that are accomplished by users, reflecting their honourable effort to hunt stories. The meaning of the handbook is letting users feel like they are the modern troubadours, recording interesting anecdotes throughout the whole city. They can hold something in their hands to tell their friends about the unseen side of streets and lanes, and the books are their badge as story hunters. In this project, a printing service is also provided for users, by which they can order a delicate book designed by ϟlubdubϟ with their name on it. The contents will be their favourite stories of the world and will be categorised by locations, so that they can save their own vision of urban stories and pass it on. Nevertheless, there are still a considerable amount of travellers who cannot access the Internet easily. Considering their situation, there is a support service provided for users. They can download city maps district by district independently, with stored stories and in advance, so even if they are disconnected from the Internet they can still enjoy the fun of story hunting. However, the disadvantage of the pre-downloaded map is the required storage on smartphones and map data is quite large, especially for those maps detailing the alley, because the stories on ϟlubdubϟ can happen in small backstreets. In this case, the amount of pre-downloaded maps will be limited by users’ available smartphone storage space. Normally a story with two pictures and three pages of text is around 5MB, and the whole file size of a zone one, street level London map is approximant 2.5GB. With two hundreds stories to search (add one more GB), eventually the total file size will be near 3.5GB for a district, which will be a heavy load for portable devices. Though this service takes users through more steps to enjoy the fun of urban story hunting, it still keeps the spirit of ϟlubdubϟ.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

“Search for nearby story” workflow: Search for nearby story

Search for nearby story Secret romance

Offline mode

Offline mood

51.512175,-0.139843 Charles II St. Distance: 12.3 m Walk: 6 mins

Abstract: This is a story about a brave policeman saved a beautiful secret agent.... Direction Back

Normal mode, users can switch to offline mode

Offline mode Saved maps

Click the red spot to see the abstract of the story

Saved map London

Online mode

Back to maps

London Edinburgh Los Angeles New York Tokyo Taipei

In offline mode, users can open their saved maps

Then they can use GPS to find stories 79

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Direction Secret romance

Search for nearby story

Offline mood

You are here!!

Now you can...

Scan the QR code Unlock the story on app

Click “Direction” and start the navigation

When users arrive the location, they can read the story

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

Users will be redirected to the story page 80

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

“Read a story” workflow:

Scan QR code

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

Users can use scan button to scan a QR code of a story

Users will be redirected to the story page, this story is not yet in users’ handbook and has a functional QR code


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

Users can use the button to report a broken QR code

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

This story is in user’s handbook and has been reported of a broken QR code

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

Add a bookmark to a story and add it in the handbook 82

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

“Read a story” workflow: Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in

I would like to tell you something about the case of Jack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times. He lived in London at the end of XIX Century and the police first saw the effect of his “work” in in 1888 when he sent a kidney of a murdered prostitute to them and wrote: “ that’s one kidney. I’ve cooked and eaten another one”. Since that time there was no doubt about the fact, that he was one of the most dangerous and unpredictable killers.

Story page

Swipe the page to read following story


Handbook Sep.13








“Handbook” allows users to save their beloved stories so that they can use them as a story database for a new way to understand the city.

30 Sep.

Secret romance

@ Charles II St., LOndon Abstract: This is a story about a brave policeman saved a beautiful secret agent....more Like 284.Comment 153.Share 54 12 Sep.

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel, LOndon

Abstract: ack The Ripper – one of the most interesting and dangerous serial killers of all times....more Like 498.Comment 312.Share 120


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel Everybody knew he suffered from a mental illness. After the last murder of Jack The Ripper he was sent to hospital, where he died 1892. The same year the police dismissed the case and one of the suspected men jumped into The Thames. The identity of the killer was never discovered. He committed about 14 crimes. Share to

Sharing buttons are in the end of the page

Swipe the page to read

Jack the Ripper @ Whitechapel Everybody knew he suffered from a mental illness. After the last murder of Jack The Ripper he was sent to hospital, where he died Post to Facebook 1892. The same year the police successfully !!of the dismissed the case and one Thank you for your suspected men jumped into The sharing, the “Likes” you Thames. identity the get The from sharing of will killer was nevergo discovered. He straightly to your account, then can committed about 14 you crimes. trade them into coupons. Backto Share

Confirmation of sharing 84

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

“Trade likes into coupon” workflow: More

More Accounts You get:

Profile Accounts


My coupons Notification



points expire after 31/12/2013

Click logos to see what you can trade for:

Privacy Help Tell a friend About lubdub

“More” section allows users to change their personal settings, in user accounts they can check their account details

Users can see the details of their likes/points and trade them for coupons

More User account Congratulations! You You get: get yourself a 5%



discount coupon from

Next step: Link to after our expire 35 points co-opparated online 31/12/2013 retailers, key in the coupon number while shopping, or go ask Click in to see whatthe you can assitant to scan trade for: while in-store barcode shopping.



Confirmation trading 85

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.3.2 The Website The website in the first design concept was just an assistant tool allowing users to type and upload the story easier than when using a smartphone, but in the final design concept the website provides different kinds of services for users. The first is the whole story map for travellers to pre-plan their story hunting trips. On the “Story map” page users can scroll through the whole city map, checking story pins they are interested in, and planning them into their travel routes.

Each pin on the story map can be clicked to open a story page so that users can read the story just on the website. The biggest difference of the final design story page is that other users can leave a comment at the end of the story, adding their thought or some more information on the story. Users can also share the stories on social networks or add them to their “To go list” via the ϟlubdubϟ website, but they cannot add them as a bookmark because once a story gets a bookmark it will be added to the users “Handbook” and show up in their handbook which is evidence for users’ story hunting achievements. Besides the story map, the ϟlubdubϟ website also provides a “ϟlubdubϟ blog” that will be updated with ϟlubdubϟ news like “Story of the day” daily, letting users know where they can find 86

© Szuchi Wang,Brunel University 2013

a new exciting story. The “Occasional story hunting game” provides the seasonal campaign designed to stimulate sales for collaborating stores and to keep users engaged in ϟlubdubϟ. While the “ϟlubdubϟ blog” is run by an official operating team, the new “ϟlubdubϟ forum” is a space for users to communicate and discuss their experiences of hunting stories or contribute their ideas for story hunting games. Anything they want to discuss with others about ϟlubdubϟ can be shared here. The “Upload a story” has the same pattern as the app; it is only presented a little differently on the computer screen. After providing the necessary information that a story needs and submitting it, users are lead to the QR code link page with a few tips to follow if they want to keep their QR code last on the streets for longer, and an option button by which users can choose to post their story links to the “Adopt a QR orphan” page, seeking other users to post the QR codes for them. The other new page that has been added to the website is “Adopt a QR orphan”. Once a QR code is added to this page, it will be added to the list of stories that need help to be posted on the location. All the users can come to this page and read those stories; if they think a certain story is interesting and it would be a shame for people not to see it, they can adopt the QR code of that story and re-post the QR code at the location. In the meantime, they can get 5 rewards points that will be transformed into “Likes” in their account automatically for the appreciation of help, but to ensure the QR adopter has done their job, the QR code should last at least one month without any damaged/missing reports or the rewarded points will be cancelled.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.3.3 Advertising Strategy The purpose of ϟlubdubϟ is not only to manage a new way of entertainment, but also to be a profitable business for operators, so that a business plan will be the next step that needs to be established in this dissertation. ϟlubdubϟ will have contracts with social networks to access the feedback services. In this way ϟlubdubϟ can gather user information for collaborating stores which can be used to draw more visits to their social networking sites. Based on the survey result from Section 4.1.2 (User Preference Survey), if participants can trade their “Likes” for discount coupons, they prefer to have discounts from grocery retailers the most. As a consequence, ϟlubdubϟ wants to form a two-sided market for collaborating stores to put their advertising on and stimulate sales. For ϟlubdubϟ itself to generate profits from some percentage of each sale that comes from scanning barcode provided by ϟlubdubϟ, ϟlubdubϟ will cooperate with various grocery retailers and arrange practical plan details of how users are going to receive discounts. For example, after users log into the ϟlubdubϟ app and share stories on social networks, it can be tracked how many total “Likes” a shared story has. By getting 50 likes a month, users will receive a promotion code lasting for one month. The promotion code will give a 5% discount to users. This discount actually comes with a 5% profit for ϟlubdubϟ as a process fee, so collaborating stores will be giving out 10% as their advertising fee.

“How Could I Get Discount From ϟlubdubϟ?” Share Story

5% Off

Promotion Code

More User account Congratulations! You You get: get yourself a 5%






Next step: expire Link toafter our 35 points co-opparated online 31/12/2013 retailers, key in the coupon number while shopping, or go ask Click in to see what you assitant to scan thecan trade for: barcode while in-store s h o p p i n g .




Promote ϟlubdubϟ Through Social Network Platform


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

7.4 Summary In the design section, the main product details have been decided. Thus, a further development of a business plan can be established for this product, followed by the other mixed contents that need to be further discussed in the next section.


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

8 r e t Chap

t n e m p o l e v e Further D n o i t u l o S l a i c r e m m o C Toward


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

8.1 Financial Research To persuade investors, the first thing to do is set up a clean plan of a integrated idea, beside this, the thing that investors care a lot is how much profit they can have from this plan, where is the money goes and how long they can start to have revenue, so it is very important to make our cash flow transparent to our potential investors.

8.2 Product Summary ϟlubdubϟ is a both website-based and mobile-based application concept developed by digital interaction design startup. The application generates mixed digital content of urban legends and story-hunting suggestion of nearby stories for people to have fun and maybe have some new inspirations on the road of their daily life in cities. The APP has given the users the power to follow the lead of interesting story sug¬gestions on the application story map that show on their portable devices as a personal story-hunting scrapbook for an abnormal way understanding the cities. The discovered stories are also formatted to be shared on user’s social media account like Facebook for users to have chance to be awarded with new travel spot to pay a visit and shopping discounts from collaborated stores when the posts reach a certain amount of hits on the Like Button. The stories user shared on Facebook from ϟlubdub ϟ APP is track-able and convertible. Numbers of re¬ceived clicks on the Like Button of shared stories can be utilized as a reference for to monitor customer’s taste and trend in the market, which will allow collaborated stores to have better management in advertising budget allocation in the future. The concept based on a believe that the process of desire to know the rumors and gossips happened nearby is in human nature, which can be develop into an exciting and pleasurable experience. Boredness and tiredness of seeing the same street views without knowing what changes happening goes hand in hand. ϟlubdubϟ colourize the everyday activity of passing through look-all-the-same corners in cities by offering vivid stories shared by unknown story tellers that want to tell others secrets behind dull walls to make exploring cities a more exciting activity that adding spices to daily life. ϟlubdubϟ allows users to share first-hand street stories featuring everyday down to the earth fairy tails happening around people on the APP to serve users who have interests in exploring cities in a more delicate way, experiencing the in-deep culture by positioning themselves into every corner that full of stories. The ϟlubdubϟ application interface is consisted of dynamic visual elements to keep viewers engaged. The goal is to 92

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

utilize digital experience design as a vehicle to capture the shared story-knowing interests of the APP users, and encourage them to take action on their interest by finding QR codes across the streets to discover the rich and updated content that provided by those who want to share their experience toward the cities. In order to bridge ϟlubdubϟ APP users greater with the belief in human nature of curiosity, ϟlubdubϟ is looking forward to create an augmented service by collaborating with investors of stores or retailers which need to advertise to local residents to produce attractive variations from time to time and stories and guide the users to purchase seasonal discount items they seen in the stories on APP as a part of the inherent product experience. ϟlubdubϟ is positioned as both a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) business. Apart from providing different travel experience to consumers, ϟlubdubϟ is dedicated itself in creating an evolving digital advertising platform for local based stores such as restaurants and retailers on the B2B side to help them connect with consumers from an al¬ternative channel aside from their own seasonal campaigns and distributed leaflets. According to academic re¬search, it has shown that human brains work more efficient and tend to have the sharpest memory in the morning. New information humans conceive between 8:00AM – 12:00AM during the daytime has a better chance to be imprinted in their brains (Marilee B. Sprenger, 1999), which means marketers have a greater chance to enwrap the audience with their products during that period. ϟlubdubϟ utilizes this particular scientific discovery as an aspiration and integrated it with the innovation to help collaborated stores make efficient exposures in the market. The APP will notified users about new stories and story searching events every morning between 8:00AM and 12:00AM so that users can decide where worse to pay a visit during the day and make shopping plans based on advertisement provided by collaborated stores.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

8.3 Executive Product Development Cost Start with digital marketing, summary of channels of digital marketing, and for ϟlubdubϟ mobile APPs. Normally before hiring a developer to do the coding and background design for an APP, a company should define the stages of product development and the features of its APP. Average cost to develop an APP was £3,871, small APPs is £1,800 to £4,800 and more complex or recognized brand APPs can cost £30,000 to £90,000. For a occasionally campaign like boxing day special sale or some temporary music events, a company usually buying existing code from technology company and hire them to run the APP till the event is over, this way is cheap (around £2,000-5000 see the chart below) but has lots of limits because the code is copy from another APP and can just change some images and buttons, and there are big possibilities that come out with bugs for using the APP because it is design for other use. If one APP is for a long term business use and need some more customized functions like re-directing to e-retailers, detail product search or basic style of user interface, they all need developers writing codes from the very beginning so that nothing will go wrong later. Developing a new APP cost quite a lot (ranged from £8,000- £12,000 see the chart below), but usually these kind of well-developed APP will start to get revenue within few weeks even if the APP is not really popular. It has been calculated that ϟlubdubϟ starting cash is close to £22,000, 5 months to hit the market. ϟlubdubϟ is for digital traveling entertainment, which can be defined as a long term business, providing story sharing services on both APP and website, illustrating a story hunting map for tourists, and also a platform for adding local shop associated stories for advertising, which is one of the ways this APP generates profit.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

The APP development cost mainly goes to human capital of hiring interaction designers and APP developers. In the first three months of research and development, Team ϟlubdubϟ will absorb the developing fee in the beginning decide the whole user interface and data bas, then the plan is ready for hiring two developers (one takes £2000 per month) working around two months to come out with a working prototype which can be published and let our investors (retailers) have a trial first, and Team ϟlubdubϟ can adjust the service by user information. After the APP officially public, ϟlubdubϟ will need around £1,000 per month to operate it. Equipment is the secondary spending, after an APP starts to run, it will need huge space for data storage, the excesive amount of data need to be stored such as user information and image data, so minimum one APP will cost £4,000 in server for normal image base software, as the APP grows the cost will increase depending on how popular the APP is. Consider of ϟ lubdubϟ’s service, it need an office with space to put hard drives and staffs to process stories which minimum cost is averagely £135 for a ready-to-use room (165ft2 for 4 to 5 people in east central London) weekly (Anderson Norton, 2012), so for this part it will cost £540 per month.

Executive Product Development Cost


22,000 In Need

Designers + Developers


+ Staff + Server

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

8.4 Investor Collaboration The following chart compares five popular APPs about their developing details:

APP Develop Case Study








4 people

13 people

4 people

12 people

6 people


9 weeks

8 weeks

3 years

1 year

1 year

ϟlubdubϟ’s Cost Management Is Similar To Camera+ Note: About 70% cost goes to salary, 20% for storage equipment (server), 10% for other sectors. The first four APPs are invested by big companies or have a lot expertise in mobile APP design, but for Camera+, it was start up by a group of friends who love photograph and want a APP able to meet their need doing research before real shooting, then they hired developers writing code for them. All the team members in Camera+ sucked up spending by themselves until the APP started to make profit; their salary had been re-calculated after they went through payback period. ϟlubdubϟ’s cost management is similar to Camera+, the spending will be absorbed by project design before showing a working prototype to the investors. After an agreement has been come down with the business investors, it will start charging them by three different ways or a combination of all. For the first approach, an annual contract with stores will be set up so that they can have user information for marketing research and the right to put their brand stories on ϟlubdubϟ. For ϟlubdubϟ, by providing services to design occasional story hunting competitions or events for collaborated stores to attract more costumers and boost sales, the competitions or events will be designed to meet seasonal theme such as Easter or Christmas, users need to log in their account and find a series of stories or special pages of QR codes that posted for the event, then the first user that complete the whole series can receive award from 96

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

the collaborated store which held the event. The design of ϟlubdubϟ ‘s advertising system will mainly be held in this way, promoting the spirit of ϟlubdubϟ ‘s story finding system plus adding gamification to advertisements, other than normal business using leaflets to attract local consumers. In the second approach, ϟlubdubϟ will send out the story coordinator to help collaborated stores design stories for each week use, and they will be charged for how many stories they publish on ϟlubdubϟ APP by sets, in which it will be fair to all investors from different stores. The third way is to co-operate with social media platforms like Facebook to expose investors’ products by users sharing stories on the site. To encourage user to do so, ϟlubdubϟ provides promotion code which can only be shown in their own smartphones, which they can use later for getting discount for both online and in-store shopping. After users log in ϟlubdubϟ APP and share stories to social networks, it can be tracked that how many “Likes” each shared story has, by getting 50 likes a months users will receive a promotion code lasting for one month. The promotion code can give 5% discount for users. This discount actually comes with 5% profit for ϟlubdubϟ as process fee, so there will be 10% for collaborated stores to give out as advertising fee.

Combination Contract: Way One

Advertising Platform User Data

Annual Contract Money U rb

Investors Big Grocery Retailers


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Team lubdub

Set Up Annual With Big Grocery Retailers


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

Combination Contract: Way Two

Creating story-formed advertising monthly Urb


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30 Sep. Event of today Event of today Tesco Story-hunting game! @ Dean St, London, WD1 3RS

How to join: Find the five stories around the store and win a six-pack of beer!! Tesco metro at Dean St. provide a exciting game for lubdub users to participate !! If you are the top five users who find the five hidden QR codes around the store and let the assistant to check, you can win the six-pack of beer!! What are you waiting for? Hurry up grap your phone and go out hunting, good luck :) Like 762.Comment 1053.Share 605 Back

Big Grocery Retailers Advertising Department

Team lubdub In-House Story Coordinator

Discussing Story-formed advertising Monthly And Charge By Set

Combination Contract: Way Three

Users 10% As Advertising Fee Sharing Story

5% Off


5% We Earn

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Discounts For Users Sharing Stories On Social Networks


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

8.5 Cash Flow ϟlubdubϟ generates some details of the cash flow, base on the following projections.



Starting Cash


First Month After Testing Published Sales


Contract with more than four collaborated stores

Cost of Goods Sold (% of Sales)


APP operating fee

Monthly Sales Growth


Sales on Credit


Collection Days

Four months after testing published

Profitability (% of Sales)


Initial Inventory Balance


Months of Inventory Kept on Hand


Starting Receivables


Starting Payables


Payment Days

30 days 99


Other 25% goes to story coordinator charging

APP, website & office operating fee

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

These charts below show how the cash flow will be in four months and annual financial details of ϟlubdubϟ’s business.

ϟlubdubϟ Cash VS. Profits All numbers showen in: £




1st month

2nd month

3rd month

4th month

ϟlubdubϟ’s Financial Projection After Testing Publishing

ϟlubdubϟ End-Of-Year Cash Flow





Net Profits

Net Cash Flow



Total Cash Received

Cash Sales



Total Cash Spent Cash from Receivables Expenses



Cash Balance £70,213


Ending Payables Balance £42,611

Ending Receivables Balance £182,075


Inventory £29,775

ϟlubdubϟ’s Clear Profits Of The First Year Is £48,213

8.6 Summary To summarize, ϟlubdubϟ will base on these developing information to have a proposal to potential investors, collaborated stores like restaurants or grocery retailers, providing them a platform to do digital marketing, collecting customer information and stimulating the selling. Based on the cash flow projection, ϟlubdubϟ can have a forecast to operate the APP in an effective way. 100

© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

9 r e t Chap n o i s u l Conc


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

In this project, many research have been done including a number of literature review, one user preference survey, a brief design prototype, a focus group interview, a brainstorming, a number of project flowcharts, a final design prototype, and a business plan. Also, many things have been learned from literature review including the smartphone development, mobile Internet accessibility in travel, travel information sources, travel APP development, Gamification, QR code technology, recognizable product language, mobile advertising and user-generated contents. During this project, two major results have been achieved. An well-developed urban story hunting APP called ϟlubdubϟ which designed for users to explore their beloved city in a more delicate way, and a well-designed business plan to demonstrate the commercial possibilities of this APP and the way of adding value to the product. It is obvious that this project is competitive in the travel APP market and has strength to establish a solid business, because of its characteristic feature that provides unseen urban stories to users, no matter they are travelers or the locals can all enjoy the fun of exploring the cities. To be more specific, in terms of enhancing the travel experience many things have been achieved through the project. Firstly, through the project a new way to understand the city has been designed for users to satisfy their desire searching for excitements. Secondly, a reward system of grocery retailer coupons has been added into the system so that users can be motivated to be involved in the system for long. Thirdly, a business strategy has been summed up to form the co-operated advertising platform via social networks, grocery retailers and the ϟ lubdubϟ travel APP. Finally, by applying the reliable survey result through most parts of the dissertation, the design outcome of the APP is more close to users’ needs, which values in both quality and quantity.


© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

e c n e r Refe


Š Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

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© Szuchi Wang, Brunel University 2013

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Dissertation project by Szuchi Wang An app designed for those who want to explore the city in a more delicate way, experiencing the deep cul...

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