Status:    Concept     This is a complete overhaul of my previous concept for Rive. You can check that out  here!      Role   Project and design lead in a team of 3     Background   The process of finding somewhere to eat or something to do with friends or family can be involved, time-consuming, and often irritating. By distilling the decision-making process down to its most fundamental parts, Rive acts as a guide for quickly making the perfect decision on new options for restaurants and recreation.     Description   Rive, powered by Yelp and Uber APIs, turns discovery directly into decisions with a super simple process everyone can agree on. Pick your context-curated playlist, then swipe through the stack to pick your place. And you’re off. An Uber ride is called immediately, so there’s no time for arguments. No hopping back and forth between options for half an hour. Just pick a playlist, pick a place, and go.
     Pick a Playlist   I love how services like Songza (and now Google Play Music) curate suggestions for music based on time of day and day of the week. I felt that this contextual, relevant filtering would be the perfect way to kick off the Rive experience. I implemented it with two distinct yet versatile categories- simply enough, "Eat" and "Do."  The user can immediately tell what's in store at a glance, and quickly can make an choice that suits his or her goal for the outing.   
        Pick a Place   Researching places to go with Yelp, Foursquare, or other directory services can often result in lengthy deliberations- searching, followed by comparing, followed by more searching, followed by more comparing.  Luckily, over the last couple years, a new type of interaction has emerged to encourage quick decision making (though typically harnessed in a social networking environment). I'm alluding, of course, to the "card stack."      
       We start with an "I'm Feeling Lucky Card," which embodies the original vision I had for what Rive could be when I first embarked on designing it. This card- which provides all relevant information for feeling comfortable with a place without actually knowing  what  it is- is key to bringing this concept to life. I'll talk more about this a bit later.  If the user isn't feeling quite so lucky, a swipe left or tap of the X button brings the next card in the stack into view. The user can now tap this card for details, swipe it left to keep looking for places, or swipe right to call an Uber immediately without leaving Rive.  This interaction flow solves what I perceive to be a key problem with location discovery services. By bringing the focus to binding decision making, I hope to guide users toward great new experiences they may have never tried otherwise.      UX Development Process   Original concepts for Rive focused heavily on taking the user somewhere cool without telling the user where he or she would be going until arrival. In addition, technological limitations meant the user would have to navigate there as well!  Whenever I tested the idea with friends, family, and others, the response was generally the same. It contained a mix of "Wow, that sounds really cool!" and "Wow, that sounds absolutely terrifying!" These comments general leaned more heavily in one direction than the other.  At first, I brushed these complaints aside. "They just don't  get it ," I'd tell myself. But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a problem I could work to fix rather than ignore- while still fulfilling my original goal of empowering people to make quick decisions to try new places.  Over time, new developments in other areas of experience design- namely context curation and stacks of actionable options- emerged. With these I saw a great opportunity to empower the user to make quick decisions themselves without trusting Rive blindly. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" card was icing on the cake- bringing the fun and excitement of a surprise location while providing relevant information and additional options for the more conservative user.  Finally, the Uber API came out this Fall and solved the final issue of navigation. As a college student without a car, Uber has come in handy for getting around Los Angeles with friends on countless occasions. In addition, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" card, which is likely to make users apprehensive, becomes much less nerve-racking if someone else is taking care of transportation. Of course, I plan to also provide Google Maps integration for those who have the means to drive themselves. With direct integration of these services into Rive, the entire experience can be seamlessly fulfilled in just a few taps.      Conclusion   Though Rive still has a long way to go before release, and will certainly see plenty of further tweaking, I'm thrilled to have iterated so consistently on the design before diving deep into development. The new flow makes for what I believe to be an amazing and novel experience for checking out new places, and I can't wait until we have an Alpha release ready to go. In addition, there are a few ideas from the original Rive concept- like hints along the way for I'm Feeling Lucky and price/distance control- that I'd like to find ways to work in here as well. Expect lots of news throughout 2016!        Icon resources modified from  thenounproject.com
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