The first release of the Geocaching Map project included an interaction that took users to a separate “Geocache details” page if they clicked to learn more about a specific geocache. Early user feedback suggested that this interaction felt unnatural, and that users didn’t want to leave the map experience to learn more about a geocache.
In an attempt to solve this problem, I made a proof of concept prototype that introduced a geocache detail preview to the map experience. It tested well, which initiated this project.
To gain a better understanding of user needs, we posted an open poll on the geocache details page asking what users were doing there. The most common answers informed options for a second (closed) poll.
I focused on the 3 most popular responses from the closed poll, and recruited users from those groups for research. I conducted phone interviews and a virtual card sorting exercise with each participant, then lead a research debrief with the development team. We collaborated to create 2 distinct personas: users who were planning geocaching outings, and users who were logging geocaches they’d already found.
USER STORY MAPPING
I worked with the development team to create a user story map, and to slice the project into 3 releasable milestones that prioritized the top-rated data from user research.
Milestone 1: Geocache detail experience with limited geocache info
Milestone 2: Add recent log activity to geocache detail preview
Milestone 3: Finishing touches: list of your friends have logged the geocache, ability to add/remove favorite points, etc.
PROTOTYPING & TESTING
Usability test findings:
- Users had difficulty finding the full cache detail page
- Users had difficulty identifying the geocache type
- A few users saw the grayed-out hint, and thought that meant there was no hint for that geocache.
- A few users on smaller screens didn’t see much of the activity feed, which was one of the most important pieces of information from research.
Usability test findings:
Using the test findings from round 1, I created an updated prototype. This prototype tested without any usability issues.
MILESTONE 1 RELEASE
I worked with the dev team to implement the first milestone, and we released it as an A/B test comparing (A) the map experience without a geocache detail preview, and (B) the map experience with the geocache detail preview (milestone 1). Qualitative testing and user feedback showed improvements on the usability issue. Metrics from the A/B test are unavailable.