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Backcountry Buddy

Discover new partners for outdoor pursuits

PROJECT
Personal

ROLE
Research, Ideate, Design, Prototype

TIMEFRAME
January - March 2021

TOOLS
Figma

SUMMARY

Overview

Backcountry sports, such as ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering require a specific set of skills, mental fortitude, and problem-solving abilities. These aren't sports that you (normally) want to do alone, which is why it’s imperative to find a partner with a set of skills, risk-assessment, and experience that aligns with your values.

Problem Statement

Backcountry enthusiasts need a way to connect with partners of similar skill and risk level, so they can achieve their outdoor pursuits confidently and safely.

Design Process

Using the Double Diamond Framework, I divided my design process into four segments:

  1. Discover: User interviews to explore problem statement.

  2. Define: Identify pain points and areas of opportunity.

  3. Design: Ideation to explore potential solutions.

  4. Deliver: Design prototypes to test and iterate.

STEP ONE: DISCOVER

Research

I conducted interviews with 5 users who were all backcountry enthusiasts with varying ages, locations and backgrounds.

 

My interview goals were to:

  • Discover how backcountry enthusiasts currently identify partners.

  • Understand which partner criteria is important to them.

Testimonials

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“I think there needs to be a network to bring outdoor communities together. Something other than Facebook... I deleted my account because it became too toxic.”

“There is something missing to connect people together for shared experiences. Sure, I can meet people through an REI class... but how can I vet out people that aren’t aligned with my interests and values?

“My backcountry partner selection process depends on the sport, but: experience, similar risk profile, eagerness and someone who won't quit.”

From my user interviews, I found that my initial hypothesis was correct by confirming that individuals:

  1. Want to connect with partners based on factors, such as: values, risk level, and skill level.

  2. Have difficulty connecting with other backcountry enthusiasts.

  3. Prefer to participate in outdoor activities with another person due to social and safety needs.

Findings

STEP TWO: DEFINE

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