The 2011 Microsoft Design Expo theme is “Get Connected, Stay Connected,” posing to us the challenge of exploring possibilities of “real time data transmission and seamless connectivity.” Here at ITP, we narrowed this broad and daunting topic down to something more palatable and relevant to us as students living in New York City. We decided to put our own spin on the theme and challenged ourselves to come up with ideas that 1) served to improve life in the city, 2) focused on a demographic other than our own and 3) were doable within the skills of our teammates.
My team consists of JiHyun Moon, Miguel Bermudez, Doug Thistlewaite and myself. The working title for the first idea we proposed to the class is called “Streets,” an online resource of user-generated maps in which users can submit recommended walking routes and points of interests within particular neighborhoods. Streets is designed primarily for visitors to New York City, more specifically those who consider themselves “non-tourists,” interested in exploring the local culture within neighborhoods as opposed to the larger, typical tourist attractions.
How it works: Let’s say that Sandy is visiting New York City for the first time. Instead of joining her grandparents for the Empire State Building tour, she’s more interested in spending 3 hours on a Saturday morning having brunch and doing a bit of thrift store shopping in the East Village neighborhood. Using Streets, Sandy could easily search for a walking route that matched her specific requirements and have immediate access to the highest-rated map for brunch and thrift stores, recommended by a native New Yorker.
Streets basically allows a visitor to take a walk in a new city in someone else’s shoes. Not only does it connect visitors directly with the local community, it provides a better way for them to find things to do that is tailored to their interests and trip specifics.
I created the wireframe below to give a sense of how the website might look and function: