OLLO - Weekend Hack - Web App PM
Born in a 24 hour Hackathon for Outside Lands, OLLO is your social scheduling tool for Outside Lands. The intimate team also included Stuart Griffiths (http://lesssmokemoreheat.com/), Nicklas Giertz (https://github.com/ansman), and Pelle Almquist (https://github.com/peralmq). There were lots of laughs, very little sleep, and I think only one death threat.
We started our journey by compiling a rather emotional list of the worst and most difficult things about festivals, hoping we’d land on something that we could fix or eliminate.
Porta-Potties: Sometimes when you gotta go, you’re not willing to walk across a whole festival to do it. Too much of a just-in-time interaction to mess with.
- Illicit Drugs: Not much has changed since Woodstock. Drug situations seem to usually work themselves out, and we didn’t want to become some big sting operation for SFPD.
- Food Stands: Food was an interesting angle, but having not tried all the restaurants who will be present at the festival, we decided we didn’t have enough information to do recommendations or interact with them much.
- Horrible Weather: Weather is practically considered an “act of God”, so we decided not to mess with that either.
- Long lines and Mislead Maneuvers: While a product to solve crowd management was interesting, only one of us has been to the festival before, so we probably couldn’t make an educated guess from a cartoon map. It’s also really hard to get insight into the landscape when it’s partially covered by a forest!
We realized that the best part of any festival is rocking out with friends both old and new and we wanted to facilitate friend-to-friend meetups at the show, yet still keep the music experience as our primary focus.
IDENTIFYING THE FRICTION
Once we narrowed our focus towards structuring festival schedules and communicating plans, we began looking at the information-flow from a birds-eye.
Navigating expansive concert grounds quickly turns into a safari, while rowdy crowds just make everything that much more of a zoo. We all agreed, minimizing the pain of getting stuck in an aimless venture would be a win. Continuing to unbundle routing pains, the instigator to scattered scurries between artist performances became blatant. The gant schedule and the cartoon map.
Trying to come to consensus between friends is a battle. Giving users an excel-spreadsheet of taste-preference options does not lend itself kindly to emotionally charged agreements. And the cartoon map — talk about paralysis analysis.
We found our problem: Multiple stages and artists playing at overlapping times makes mapping when-to-be-where no walk in the park.
“ OLLO pits artists who overlap in the schedule against one another, creating a fun tool for scheduling.”
With the hackathon’s time constraints at play, Stuart and I prioritized the night’s goals:
- Structure a brief yet thorough onboarding
- Make the process of picking artist performances more human and exciting
- Output schedule itineraries for users
- Map time locations for when to be where
The wacky color palette and style of Outside Lands made building a bearable brand identity for our product that much easier. Loud and edgy, choosing a typeface and gamut for our overnight prototype was painless.
For the selection process, we strived to make the real-world trade-off clear between choosing one performer over another. Sparking emotion right off the bat, we asked “Who’s a must?”. After users made their headliner choice (which we assumed would be a “no-brainer”) we structured artist toss-ups to match user behavior. Naturally, people will comb through artist selections to those they’re familiar with first. To match this pattern, we structured the content from more-likely recognized (i.e. artists performing later in the day) to less-likely known.
The time-block strategy helped users generate a sense of mastery as they advanced from familiar to unheard acts. If attendees hadn’t heard of an artist or wanted a reminder — no worry — we embedded a toggle which played song snippets via the Echonest API. To coincide with the progressive experience, we tapered question copy accordingly; “Who’s a must?” advanced to “Who are you most excited to see?” which carried along to “Who’s your current favorite?”. With the final batch of toss-ups being the opening acts, we encouraged users, “Take a listen, who sounds good?”.
Once you’ve selected your favorites from our quadrant toss-ups, you’re presented with a very simple schedule revealing a showtime and location for each artist.
After passing through necessary credentials to save their schedule(via sign in with Facebook), fans were taken to a map view. This screen plotted their itinerary onto a refined version of the Outside Lands map.
Stuart started work with the .ai file for the Outside lands map and fervently started subtracting. With the mayhem of information on the original design, he took a furniture retailer’s “Everything Must Go!” approach, honing the map's focus. It was awesome.
We were just getting cozy with map-view iterations as our 24-hour “shot-clock” approached the buzzer. With valid Facebook credentials, we had the capability of tapping into the planned itineraries of others in your social graph. This is a project will definitely try to ship out in the future!