As their slogan, “Live like a local abroad”, suggests, the Abroad app connects users to local events while studying in foreign countries. The OPD team worked with the creator, Mathew Sanders, to design the companies branding, and UI and UX elements for the app itself.
To create a logo that embodied the Abroad brand, we looked toward the app's purpose. Abroad aims to unite students studying abroad and ultimately make them feel more comfortable and informed in foreign landscapes. As the tagline: "live like a local abroad" suggests, Abroad allows students to share local events and places with others in their community. The app connects people and ensures they are in the loop. We then distilled these ideas into three distinct symbols. The person represents both the individual studying abroad, and the local, knowledgable of their surroundings. Since the app serves as a platform for those two people to connect, the brand needed to convey that unity of people. In order to unify the person form, we used the loop. The loop symbolizes the coming together of individuals but also takes its que from the idea of "being in the loop". Lastly, the shape of the person combined with the loop mirrors the two negative spaces created by a traditional "A" working to promote the Abroad brand by paying homage to its name.
The abroad app connects students studying abroad with nearby events. As such the user group consists (primarily) of two demographics: college students and event promoters. Both students and promoters have accounts that permit event creation and interaction.
Students studying abroad download the app. Once logged in they have access to a variety of events which they can sort through and catalog. Additionally they can post events themselves and discuss events they’ve engaged with.
Event promoters in countries frequented by tourists rely on a young demographic to keep their events populated. An event promoter creates an account that differs from students only in profile content. This allows promoters to browse nearby events, judge which are successful, and post their own events that don’t conflict with other trending events.
Three pages are universally accessible throughout the app. Newsfeed, new post, and profile. Having the newsfeed permanently accessible allows the user to always return to the app’s primary use case. The new post nav element encourages the user to continue adding content, and streamlines this action. The profile element allows users to constantly monitor their own in-app presence.
The newsfeed list needed to readily present the user with information that could quickly allow them to judge each event. Each event features a captivating image conveying its mood. Key details are also included so each user may instantly judge the feasibility of their attendance, and quickly evaluate their interest.
At the top of the newsfeed are two navigation elements: settings, and map/list view toggle. The filter element allows users to set more specific criteria or order events to suit their needs. Toggling from list view to map view allows each event to be viewed geographically. This provides a more intuitive means to convey their relative locations.
On both the map and list views of the newsfeed, the user can select an event which brings them to the event page. On the map view the user first selects an event to view its details and then taps the event again to be taken to its page.
On the event page, the map toggle element persists. This allows the user to rapidly view the location of the event relative to their own location.
The event page allows the user to engage with the event, and also provides a more detailed description of the event. The user can perform two primary actions: like an event, and mark that they are attending. Only once a user has performed either of these actions can they engage with the event’s comment chain. This encourages users to only discuss events once they’ve publicly expressed interest in them and promotes use of the app.
The event poster is visible, so that users can view their profile and see more about them. This works well in the case of sponsored content where the poster is an organization hosting an event. Their profile shows more information about their venue and other events.
In making the profile, simplicity was paramount. We chose this route in order to combat the redundancy of an oversaturated social media landscape. The profile provides: a name (of student or venue), study location, a brief description, and affiliated school. Below is a list of the events that this user has posted. Tapping these events brings the user back to their event page.
In order to encourage use of the app, it needed to be exceedingly easy for users to post events. In creating the "post an event" page, we worked to maximize usability by streamlining the post form to a single, intuitive page. The form auto-populates information based on the users current location. Tapping upload photo uses an iOS prompt where the user can take a picture or use a photo from their camera roll. Each input field takes in natural language, and interprets it into the event’s information. Once the event is posted, the user is returned to their previous screen.
The settings page allows users to adjust filters on their newsfeed, and also access their account information. They can view popular events, either the most popular or those that are trending. Users can also sort by those that are closest or by those that are soonest. Additionally, a proximity range can be used to exclude events that are too far away. The account settings button takes them to the account settings page where they can edit their account information as well as their profile.