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Stay positive and mentally well during situations like pandemics with this virtual travel app. Easily accessible with Google Cardboard set.

Photo of Marcela Kopytko
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The purpose of this project is to help users stay positive and mentally well during situations like pandemics. It aims to achieve this using VR technology which has the power to virtually teleport the users to beautiful places they cannot physically visit right now. The user research conducted highlighted the need for an app that fulfils curiosity, entertains and foremost helps to switch off the mind. Most of the users found this app concept appealing even in normal circumstances, as a tool to learn more about specific destination and plan their next trip. The competitive analysis showed a number of areas within the existing VR apps which are currently overlooked and this affects negatively the user experience. As a result users are not enjoying the VR to its full potential. Further discussions with VR experts revealed that virtual reality is currently like the 'Wild West", with each VR company trying to outperform each other on the type and number of features, forgetting to focus on users' needs itself. This app aims to put users needs first by backing up each feature with thorough user research and usability testing.

What is the need are you focusing on?

We can no longer physically travel, and most likely there will be limitation/ changes to the way we travel in the near future. This is expected to make travelling more expensive and therefore less accessible. The app concept is by no means a substitution of the physical experience of travelling but can serve as a temporary solution for those unable to travel for various reasons (e.g the place we used to travel became dangerous, we are in lock down, elderly users). User research demonstrated also an interest in using VR travel as a tool to prepare itinerary for the actual trip, and learning about the desired destination. Some users also indicated the need to go back in time to the places they have visited in the past (this can be a very powerful tool to evoke positive memories which have a good impact on users' well being). The app aims to inspire the users, spark their curiosity, and let them discover new places and/ or bring back memories of a place they have visited in the past.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

This app aims to fill the gap in the virtual reality sector, where currently there's more focus on features as opposed to the users' needs. The high quality content of this app is crucial. The primary features will be focused on delivering high quality travel packages (an investment needs to be made in producing content which reflects the needs we have identified amongst the users. So far we have found out that these are high quality 360 images and videos, together with an interesting story telling narrative which allows users to learn and plan their next trip), clean UI with straightforward search bar for travel packages, and an option to create profiles with users past and future trips (to create a more personalised experience). Building a unique content which clearly reflects users’ needs makes this solution unique. This project is in the final prototype stage. Once the high fidelity prototype has been finalised and tested we can look for investors to create the content.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

Research has shown that images have a huge impact on our brains: seeing is believing. When we are happy our body cells are recovering faster, we are more likely to be healthy. VR has the power to improve and maintain positive mental health and well being. Making it available with the cheapest option, Google cardboard headset (an average cost of 3 GBP) makes it widely accessible, and therefore could have a huge positive impact on our society. Research has already shown that in care homes where the VR technology has been used the blood pressure and overall well being of the users has improved.

What is the name of your business or organization?

From Data to Insights

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

I do UX Design and Research. I have been working with various clients on a number of projects. Here's my Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcelakopytkoconsulting/. I am also an artists https://www.gohappyart.com/ curious about the impact of art and colour on our well being, and a fitness instructor (movement and music are one of the biggest contributors to our mental health)

What is your profession?

I'm a freelance UX Designer and Researcher

Where are you located (country)?

United Kingdom, London

Where are you located (region)?

  • Europe

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 1-2 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Business

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Investment

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • No

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Creating the content will require travelling for which funds are needed. I have contacts in the industry to create amazing content but need funds to pay these people too.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

not aware

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