What innovative new product can make park gatherings be more social, with strangers?
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in Product Design by (1.2k points) | 567 views

5 Answers

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I would want some clarity on the definition of “more social”. I’m going to assume that it means strangers can socialize with each other and have a good time.
I will also ask what kind of product the interviewer has in mind. Will it be a physical product or a virtual product such as an app? Given that I’m most likely being interviewed for a technology related role, I’m going to assume that an app will be the form of the product.

There are various demographics that come to parks. I’ve listed a few from a ‘pupose of visiting a park’ perspective:
– Dog walkers
– People interested in socializing and meeting people
– Individuals / groups interested in plays / sports
– People interested in doing a walk / hike in the park
– People taking children to park
– Explorers & Tourists

I’m going to focus on the second group here. I think the second and third group are very inter-related and one can belong to both groups.

When I think about my target user segment, here are some user needs / use cases that come to mind:

– Anxiety – Does the group have anything in common with the person?
– Breaking the ice – first conversation with someone / group on a topic
– People in the group – are they normal people?
– Finding something interesting to talk about
– People like to meet people with similar interest
– Finding a way to stay in touch with interesting people they meet

Here are a few ideas that come to my mind:
1. Create a functionality where people interested in joining a group can request to join a park gathering by explaining why they want to join / answering pre-determined questions. The answers can be funny and jokes. Members vote on it and based on the results, a person will be invited if a certain threshold is met. It creates an interesting topic for conversation in the group and also ensures that people with similar interests join the group. It also creates some topics to talk about when the person joins the group.
2. Allow users of the app to see clusters of topics of interest in each group so that they know what interests people in each group
3. Present the time the park gathering has started and its estimated length of time and end time (based on historical data)
4. Allow users to review people’s profiles in the app (see their interests, reviews, friends, hobbies, etc)
5. Present list of games / plays available to play in the group (users can chose which games / sports equipment they’ve brought in so others can see what games / plays are available)
6. Allow people to add / follow each other to their park gathering groups
7. Enable users to broadcast their intention to visit a park to their followers / friends

Here is how I would rank these items from the two perspectives of impact to the customer and cost of implementation.

Idea 1. High impact. Meidum effort.
Idea 2. High impact. Low effort.
Idea 3. Medium impact. Low effort.
Idea 4. High impact. Low effort.
Idea 5. Medium impact. Low effort.
Idea 6. Low impact. Low effort.
Idea 7. Low impact. Low effort

Based on the above evaluation, I suggest building a match making app that helps people find others with similar interests to join their park gatherings. By enabling users to find groups with similar interests (whether it’s general interesting topics to discuss, sports , board games, etc), having something in common helps them connect with each other more quickly. I would priortize ideas 1,2,4 in the first version of the product.

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+1
Thanks for the answer Ashish. The structure is well and you do list a set of interesting use cases and solutions. I have a couple feedback:

– Is there any other way you can think of segmenting the users? I wonder if there are better ways. Maybe other viewers can share their thoughts on this.

– Ideally, if you had more time to type:), you could explain how evaluation process for each feature is done by you. For example, why is feature 1 high impact on UX, and medium effort to develop? In the real interview scenario, you’ll have to explain the logic behind your evaluation for each feature.

Hope it helps.
0 votes

Clarify
What kind of product? Physical or App?
What does more social mean?

Identify User Groups
The aged: they have more available time in the park
Single young people: normally in the early morning, after work and on the weekend
Families: normally with kids
I will focus on the young people, since they are more eager to have social and less cost of guiding them to use our products.

Report Use Cases
1. As young people with a busy week, I wanna have a rest to make friends in the park on the weekend.
2. As young people, I want to go for a run in the early morning with other runners to have a fresh start of the day.
3. As young people with dogs, I want to walk the dog after work and meet with others who also have dogs.
4. As young people work close to the park, I want to have a cup of coffee during the workday and talk with someone.
5. As young people, I want to hang out with friends on the weekend to have fun and meet new friends.

Cut through Prioritization
1 & 2 are similar to the same group: office workers and our main target group, with the strong motivation to be social, but with limited time because of busy work
3 people with pets usually have their own way to be social with other pet owners
4 minority users
5 already have friends might not have strong motivation with strangers
Based on the analysis above, I will choose 1 & 2 to go further.

List Solutions
1. Let the user input profile and interests to do the further connection and recommendation.
2. Integrate with Facebook/Google+/Twitter to have the profile and analyze them before connecting.
3. LBS feature to let user discoverable while in the park.
4. Invite others lived around the park to join the morning running occasionally or regularly.
5. Utilize AR/VR to make more engagement and fun, for example, there’s a virtual treasure hunting champion.
6. Have a drone in the park to be used for pairing strangers, only one person could use it at the same time, for example, I found a girl is reading a book which I’ve read recently and would like to have a discussion about it. So I open the app, and ask for a drone and bought a coffee then let the drone deliver to the girl, very cool icebreaking.

Evaluate Trade-offs
1. Could be useful when no other social account. Impact 3, Cost 3
2. Highly recommend since we can use the existed data and also more reliable. Impact 5, Cost 3
3. Simple, not urgent feature. Impact 3, Cost 2
4. Quite useful. Impact 5, Cost 3
5. Bonus feature. Impact 4, Cost 4
6. It’s a cool feature and needs to consider how to store the drone, etc. Impact 5, Cost 5

Summarize
I design an App to focus on young people live around the park to let them have more opportunities for social. While I will choose 2 & 4 as the MVP to implement at first, then based on the metrics like active users, MRR, conversion rate, NPS to decide the future plan.

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0 votes

Clarifying Questions: - Are we talking about any particular park? or any park in general within a particular city? What is the business objective of this product? Apart from the park users, who else will be the stakeholders in the implementation of this product? What would be the monetization model of the product, if there is any?

Assuming the following:

I would go ahead with mobile based application that would provide a platform for all the park users to engage socially. I have selected mobile platform because on can potentially engage on the go, also while being in the park itself. 

I am further assuming that app would include the information and details of all the available popular parks that are thronged by people within a particular city.

The users of the park would potentially be from the age group of 15 - 70 years. However, I would primarily target the age group of 15-50 years. Older users might not be tech savvy. However, the I would enlist all the potential use case or pain points that needs to be resolved.

A park user of any age group might have the following issues:

  • Not knowing anyone in the park. Feeling shy to approach anyone in person
  • Not having any information of the activities being organized in the park. In most cases, people get to know about activities only half way through. There is no prior information available unless one is a part of closed group that has scheduled or organized that activity
  • How to organize an event or engagement activity in the park 
  • No information on the like minded people coming to the park and who to connect with
  • No digital platform to engage with fellow park users
  • Further, for people with 50+ years, with ailments, who frequent park all alone, there is no way to approach the medical emergency services
  • Also, if some one has to organize an event in the park, there is no readily available information on the governing authority body who administers the health of the park or who is an authority to manage the park. 
Keeping all these painpoints or issues that people generally face, we can build the following features.
  1. Mobile app would be platform that would allow users (Who frequent the park) to register themselves.
  2. There will be information and details on different daily activities schedule and timings. There will be a provision, wherein the users would be allowed to join these activities, i.e., would opt in to be a part of these activities
  3. Similarly, there would be provision to organize such activities. The user can also set the group number limit for such activities or can make it a closed group.
  4. The professional details of the administrative authority would be enlisted in the app. The govt. officer can be approached and contacted.
  5. There will be a provision for creating groups and doing group chats
  6. There will also be a provision for one-one chat
  7. In case some one wants to keep the identity private, that will also be possible. The login details would not be shared with anyone.
  8. There will be provision to call the emergency number or ambulance from within the app
The associated user story with above mentioned features could be:
The user opens the app. The user registers himslef/herself by providing some basic information or linking the account with facebook or twitter, etc. The user would also mention interests.
The homes screen would include the list of parks in the city (based on the location of the user)
The user would select a particular park and see the list of engagement activities being scheduled in that park. The activity details would also be mentioned. User would also see the people attending those gatherings. User may choose to be a part of that activity by opting to join. 
User will be able to create any number of groups of some interest areas and will be able to invite people (who have registered on the app) to join the group
There will be a provision for group chat and one-one chat
As a safety measure, ambulance services would be one phone call away. There would be the ambulance number mentioned in the app.
There would be an issue regarding the safety of park users. I would not want the park to be used for illegal activities. Hence, all the activities maintained in the app would be monitored by official authorities. Illegal activities would not be allowed and would not be mentioned. This also means that we would require a buy-in from local authorities to implement this.
These can be an ad-based model to begin with. In this way, we will get more downloads.
To begin with with my MVP, I would finalize some features basis the following criteria:
  • Cost
  • User impact
  • Time to market/Effort required
  • Competition
Considering all these parameters, I would initially launch the MVP with 1,2,3,5,6, and 7. The partnership with administrative authorities would consume lot of time and it would not be easy to get an easy buy-in.
Also, it would be just ad-based model initially. India being a price sensitive market, the free registration would lead to increased downloads.
by (39 points)
0 votes
C: Clarify the scenario

                  Park Gatherings? Are you looking for a product that will bring people to the park, or a product that will engage people who are already in the park more social

                  By strangers do you mean meet at the spot type of strangers, or strangers that have expressed some sort of interest or another online and you know that they are at the location for a purpose or with some sort of hobby

 

Assuming that the interviewer clarifies that this would be a product that is to bring new people to the park, and the strangers would be people you never met before but know some information about through the web, we can start.

 

I: Identify the customers

Park activities can be seen as outdoor activities, and these activities are great when

                  1. The weather is great, and you want to enjoy the weather

                  2. It’s date night, and you want to do something special and unique

                  3. It’s spring season and the flowers are blooming

                  4. You want to enjoy the peace in the park

                  5. You have a pet of some sort that will be allowed in the park

R: Report the needs of the customers

                  Let’s think of the ideal workflow. The ideal workflow would be this.

1. You look online at the app for an activity you can do outside. You are informed of an activity that you can do at the park

2. You choose an activity you want to do at the park

3. You arrive at the place

4. You enjoy the event

5. You leave

 

Expand out

 

1. You look online at the app for an activity you can do at the park

                  a. Some common date activities include dinner, paint at the park, movies, picnic, reading, play acting. It usually would cost less if it is a one thing, instead of each person having a separate thing (like paint night) unless the event itself charged for each person’s materials beforehand. The inventory can be self-made or business ran. Offering yoga at the park, or pick-up basketball, you pick you choose.

                  b. Reservations/booking of the event itself should be accounted for, there should be a barrier of exit and a way to demotivate flaking so that materials and effort and spaces are not wasted.

                  c. Garner interest on the activity until the date of the activity. On the day of the activity the maker has the option to go through with the activity or cancel. If cancelled, one of the participants that agreed to go in the activity can get the torch of the event creator and continue or cancel as well. Scope to park-related activities by having the location of the events only be able to be set at the park

 

2. You come to the park to do the activity

Once at the park, you can look at the app and click on the event. Then it will send a notice to everyone within 1 mile from the park who has that app that an event is happening and everyone is free to join. If people who came to join your group comes near, you can send out a beacon of direction (AR) to lead the new people towards you. This allows random people to join as well as people who have already expressed interest to join at the park.

 

3. You enjoy the event

Depending on the event, the event coordinator can ask for material costs from the users to purchase materials. The payment made by the users will be handled by Facebook and the creator can get their materials reimbursed post event with a receipt and an above 3/5 feedback on the event from the users to ensure the fidelity of the park events.

 

4. If the event was a success and reoccurring events are desired, it can also be set up and use previously inputted information to reduce redundancy.
by (41 points)
0 votes
C: Clarify the scenario

                  Park Gatherings? Are you looking for a product that will bring people to the park, or a product that will engage people who are already in the park more social

                  By strangers do you mean meet at the spot type of strangers, or strangers that have expressed some sort of interest or another online and you know that they are at the location for a purpose or with some sort of hobby

 

Assuming that the interviewer clarifies that this would be a product that is to bring new people to the park, and the strangers would be people you never met before but know some information about through the web, we can start.

 

I: Identify the customers

Park activities can be seen as outdoor activities, and these activities are great when

                  1. The weather is great, and you want to enjoy the weather

                  2. It’s date night, and you want to do something special and unique

                  3. It’s spring season and the flowers are blooming

                  4. You want to enjoy the peace in the park

                  5. You have a pet of some sort that will be allowed in the park
by (41 points)
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