Coming up with an innovative idea is always great, but only if you decide to pursue it. That is precisely what I, and Shannon Moorcroft and Shauna Christie, decided to do, to create an application (app) aimed at helping tourists in and around Sheffield, to find unique locations using a bucket list format and a map, having seen a gap in the market.
We have five features to our app:
- Bucket List: A range of lists displaying places to visit in Sheffield grouped into relevant themes such as: Food and Drink, Nightlife, Entertainment, and Culture. This allows users to tick off the places they have visited.
- Profile: Every user can sign into the app, and set up their own profile. This allows for easier data collection (information that could be sent to Sheffield City Council for example) and access to the newsfeed.
- Newsfeed: This allows users to share photos and experiences; sharing their achievements and reviews on the places they have visited.
- Map: This feature helps people to find places around Sheffield using GPS technology. By using geolocation technology, the app can acknowledge when a user visits a bucket list location; we used Pokemon GO as our inspiration for this. Users can also filter the locations on the map via specific lists.
- Accomplishments: As users utilise the app more, and check off more places in their lists, they will receive accomplishments such as ‘you’ve seen 20% of Sheffield’ or ‘You’ve completed the Nightlife List’ and receive rewards such as ‘15% off at the Steam Yard’ to use around the city.
Marshall McLuhan created his Tetrad to allow people to ask,
‘the same questions in the same way about different media. In the Laws of Media (1988)… he argues that tetrads are “a means of focusing awareness on hidden or unobserved qualities in our culture and technology”’. (Owenkelly.net, n.d.)
We have used the Tetrad to evaluate our app, to see its growth, its positives and any potential negatives or unexpected consequences.
By retrieving traditional tourism and reviving a sense of exploration, this app could enhance tourism in Sheffield, allowing for more interaction with local businesses and better economic growth. The app, with its geolocation aspect as I said, will allow for data collection which could be used in research. However, it obsolesces the traditional paper map, city centre information desks and tour guides, which could mean a loss of jobs. A reversal of the app is the data collection aspect. This means that we can track where people go around the city and this could be unethical.
Funding and Expansion
We require money so that we can hire an app developer (who could charge between $20 to $99 an hour) to make our app work, and to enable us to fully develop all the features we have in our concept, including geolocation technology. We have calculated using an app calculator that this could cost upwards of $34,700.
With more investment, we could add a calendar of events and a ‘free’ stamp on all list items that people can visit for free. More money could mean expansion for the brand into other cities, for example: Explore: Manchester, Explore: Glasgow.
The app will be free for users to download, to ensure people use the app, but could cost us up to $99 to publish on an app store along with our other costs. Therefore, we will rely on sponsorship and advertising for places we want to market on the app, and investment from local organisations, such as Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, who aim to improve tourism in the city.
Once the app has been developed and designed, it will use information from the internet to populate itself. This makes work and costs marginal after this.
Photos: From our pitch (Rachel Measures, Shannon Moorcroft and Shauna Christie)
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