Jaipur

Background
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is famous not only for it’s rich culture and heritage but also for the life it holds in its veins. Today Jaipur has become one of the favorite destination among tourists and the Pink City attracts a large number of foreign tourists every year.

I’ve been living in this city for more than 3 years now and it still manages to surprise me with its old world yet modern and contemporary charm.

A lot of times when I am travelling from home to my college (in Jaipur), I come across a number of tourists from France, UK, Canada, Germany etc. , who are visiting Jaipur for the first time. And whenever I interact, most of them usually ask for my suggestions and recommendations on the nearby attractions, places to hangout, restaurants to eat, etc. After being asked the same question on multiple ocassions, it finally came to me that even after availability of all the information about a place on internet, people are always looking for a local touch.

I knew I wanted to work on something that would make tourist feel like a part of the city.
The research
After having some clarity on what problem I was intending to solve, It was time for me to conceptualize the solution. I knew, the solution should have something to do with a mobile app as it made sense to expect a tourist to carry them around all the time. The next question was - Who is the target audience? What does it do? etc. But I knew for sure that I did not want to make just another travel app.

Excited and confused, I headed over to internet for answers, and found this report of Jaipur International Tourist survey conducted by a management firm named Kanvic. The survey was intended to improve service delivery and revenue generation in tourism sector in Jaipur. A more recent study would have been wonderful, but I still found this research to be very helpful.

It helped me outline following points :
The app-Jaipur
The idea
After having a slightly deeper understanding of tourism in Jaipur, it was time for me to devise a solution. I wanted the app to take into account all the needs that a visitor would have. The motive was not to create just another travel app, but to create a more complete and immersive experience. The intent was to create a helping hand that would take the user around the city and tell them all about the culture and heritage while also making the user more smart. Jaipur is an app which lets you know all about the city; the places to go, the delicacies to try and the things to buy. This helps in making the tourist more independent and also cuts down the money spent on tour guides. The target user group which I have in mind were people from outside of India but now that I think it is equally useful to anyone coming to Jaipur.
The approach
Gamification-Recent times have seen the rise of fun elements in apps like leaderboards, points and badges, these elements provide a more immersive experience and an instant sense of gratification and pride.
In the tech world, the word “gamification” stands for the technique of exerting game mechanics into the non-game environment, such as websites and mobile applications. For example, if you want to encourage the users to interact more with your application, you can add the game element such as a challenge. They can be challenged to check-in every day during a week and be rewarded if they do so.

Complex reduction-I recently came across this article suggesting that apps like Instagram, Airbnb, Medium have taken minimal design to a next level. The writer calls this 'Complex reduction'. The idea was to break down the process into one small task at a time so the the whole thing feels easier and faster. The key elements of complex reduction are :
Features
Within the app the user can :
Flow
Login
On boarding
Since the app is keen on providing a fun experience via gamification, I thought it was important fot the user to understand the elements of the app.
% completion : On visiting any cultural or shopping site, events or restaurant, the user is rewarded with an increase in % completion. The more important a site is, the more percentage gain is rewarded.
Pink : Total completion is finally reflected in profile as ‘%pink’.
For an app providing a gamified and personalized experience, it was extremely important to understand user’s background and needs. Asking questions like ‘Are you in the city for the first time?’, ‘How long are you here for?’ etc was cruicial. This step was included as a part of on boarding experience.
Events
Jaipur being a colorful and culturally rich city has amazing events happening all the time which provide an experience like no other. Events section in the app reflects all the events, meetups, workshop and concerts happening in the city.

The motive was to make the user more indulged with what’s happening around them. Going to meetups and events serves as a great opportunity to see new things and meet new people.
Data points show the price of ticket, distance from users current location and the time at which the event starts. I added a data point ’2356 are going’ that denotes the popularity of the event.

The user can filter the events based on ticket price, distance etc.
Sightseeing
Jaipur is an extremely rich city when it comes to forts and cultural sites. Sight seeing was a very important use case for the app as most of the users are interested in them.

Recommendation for sightseeing comes in 2 subsections
Near you : Recommendations for cultural sites are generated based on users current location.
Other recommended place : Other cultural sites which hold high reputation and hence more gain percentage come here as recommendations.
On tapping on a card, detailed information about that site appears.
Information like History, key attractions, images, location etc are displayed here.
The user can buy the passes to a cultural site and even book a cab from current location to the site. Thus saving themselves from being demand unreasonable transportation costs.
Shopping
Shopping was another important use case for the app. This section recommends some of the famous markets in Jaipur and gives insights about what they offer and how much spending generally people make. Thus making the user smart enough to judge whenever a shopkeeper is fooling them by hiking the prices.
Dining
Jaipur apart from being culturally rich, has also some amazing eats to offer.
Recommendations for places to eat come here.

User can filter these recommendations based on popularity, Rating, prices, cuisines etc.
Profile
Search and notifications
Closing Note
Working on this project was an extremely fulfilling experience as I got to pick and solve a problem from real world. Reading the survey not only helped me ideation and conceptualization but also gave me insights about tourism industry in Jaipur.
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