CompetitiveAnalysis-LongChen

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Contents

Restatement of the group's idea

We are proposing making a skater application that allows users to track and record a checklist of skateboarding tricks along with the videos of them performing the tricks, and then these videos would be uploaded to an interactive map to share with other local users.

The A-Team Brainstorm

List of related applications

  1. iSkateboard
  2. The Berrics Skateboarding Videos
  3. Tony Hawk: Trick Tips
  4. Skullcandy
  5. GoLearn Skateboarding
  6. Skateropolis
  7. Boarder Lounge
  8. Skate Tricks
  9. Skatr
  10. Transworld Skateboarding Videos
  11. Skate Parks

Analysis

iSkateboard

  • Target User Group: Skateboarders searching for local skate parks, shops, and spots. Although the mapping feature is similar to our app, this target user group is not necessarily focused on improving or recording tricks.
  • Functionality: This application consist of a large worldwide database of skating spots including skateparks, street skating areas, and skate shops. It uses GPS or a manual input to search for locations up to a 50 mile radius, and it can even offer driving or walking directions to the desired location. The application also offers the ability to rank and comment on each location with a discussion forum and features RSS news feed of the top skate media magazine and websites, which are not offered in our application. Our application is different from this app due to the additional checklist and video features integrated into the interactive map. Our proposal does not include a forum, but we allow the users to input the locations linked with relevant videos and information for each location.
  • Usability: This application offers a broad range of skating locations worldwide, but the data can be incorrect or outdated according to the user reviews. The problem is that the developer manually changes the database based on user emails rather than allowing user input directly into the map. Since the developer is not familiar with locations all over the world, many data points can be incorrectly added. Our proposed skater application allows the users to add locations directly in the map along with the relevant information such as pictures and videos associated with each location. We can also avoid incorrect inputs by allowing users to flag them for deletion.

The Berrics Skateboarding Videos

A sample video from The Berrics

  • Target User Group: Skateboarding fans of Steve Berra and Eric Koston interested in watching professional skaters and skateboarding competition videos. The target user group is similar with skateboarders wanting to improve their skills, but the method of interaction is different.
  • Functionality: Fans of Steve and Eric have a easy to access application on their phone to view new tricks or videos made by professional skateboarders. The users can also text or email the Berrics through the app. The location is only limited to the Berrics, and the tricks are performed by famous professional skaters. This app is different than our group's application since we allow user uploaded content at various locations, but the level of the tricks performed by everyday skaters will be much lower. The app allows users to improve their skills by watching professionals perform in the Berrics skating area, but it does not offer location of nearby skating spots or a checklist to improve the user's skills.
  • Usability: This application only allows developer uploads of new videos and the material can be quickly outdated. Although it gives users an inside look into a professional skating area, the location is only limited to one place. Our application allows an interactive user community experience in their local surroundings. The problem with applications that require developer uploads is needing to constantly updating the content; our application avoids this by allowing direct user input.

Tony Hawk: Trick Tips

A YouTube app review

  • Target User Group: Skateboarders who want to improve their skills as well as fans of Tony Hawk. This is different from our application target users since our target user group is made of general skateboarders interested in improving their skills in their local environments and also skaters looking for new cool spots.
  • Functionality: Features Tony Hawk teaching users skate tricks from basic to advanced levels in over 50 videos. There are step-by-step instructional photos and instructional videos for each trick. The application also provides scrolling news from the world of Tony Hawk and a chance to win a personally signed Tony Hawk skateboard, obviously an added attempt to attract his fans. Although the 50 tricks cover a wide variety of tricks from flatground basics to ledge/rail advanced, this application is strictly limited to those 50 tricks until an update is made. Trick Tips only offers trick videos while "Tony Hawk: Skate Locate" is a companion application used to locate nearby skateparks. Our proposed application would integrate user produced trick videos into the interactive map of skating locations. Both this application and our proposed application has a trick checklist for the user.
  • Usability: In the reviews of this application, many users requested more videos to be added. The users were happy with the quality of the instructional feature of the app, but the application has already been outdated due to the limited number of tricks. Our group application offers much broader flexibility since we allow direct user upload of new tricks performed at various locations, and this feature promotes more innovative tricks as well.

Skullcandy

  • Target User Group: Appeals to the "skullcandy lifestyle" crowd of users who use the company headphones or are interested in the skater/punk lifestyle, including surfers, snowboarders/skiers, and skateboarders. Although many skateboarders fit the lifestyle and listen to similar music, our target group is more focused on the skaters interested in improving their skills and finding new spots.
  • Functionality: The versatile application gives up to the minute surf reports, snow forecast, and weather reports. It also features a skatepark finder similar to our group application. Additional features include a free music player full of "Skullcandy-approved tracks" and video featuring company sponsored athletes (including professional skateboarders). There is also a mobile store that allows the user to buy new Skullcandy gear and a updated selection of wallpapers designed by Skullcandy fans. The application is robust and offers many features, but does not target skateboarders specifically. There are a few features applicable to our target user group, but the app does not allow upload of videos to local skating spots.
  • Usability: Since the application's target user group is so diverse, skateboarders may not find all the features to be entirely relavant. The music, weather, and locater features are definitely useful, but the application does not offer enough features targeted at improving skills or interacting with the local environment. Our app's checklist and interactive map will allow our users to generate a skating community within their local areas.

GoLearn Skateboarding

A demo video from the app developers

  • Target User Group: Skateboarders interested in improving their skills and practicing new tricks. This is mostly similar to our target group with the exception that our users are also interested in uploading to demonstrate their tricks.
  • Functionality: Combines instructional videos with a GPS skatepark locator. The application has pros show the users how they do tricks on the street or at the park, and includes high quality video demonstrations of skateboard tips and tricks. There is also a "Skateboard Mechanic" section (which is not featured in our application design) to teach users how to repair and maintain their skateboard parts. The skatepark locator has an extensive database of skateparks that can locate based on GPS or zip code, as well as driving directions to those areas. But the locator does not account for random skating areas on the street or skate shops. This application is limited by not allowing the users to upload their own videos or input new nearby skating locations manually.
  • Usability: The application has numerous positive reviews, and the skatepark locator is very well implemented. Some people complained about the large amount of disk space the app takes up and also the long download times. This can be avoided by our application by not providing pre-installed instructional videos and relying on user generated content instead.

Skateropolis

A link to the developer's YouTube channel - The application demo is badly made and actually not helpful.

  • Target User Group: Targets skateboarders in general, especially the ones who want to post pictures and videos associated with each skatepark. The target user group does not necessary include specific skaters who want to improve their skills that our application does.
  • Functionality: Includes a skatepark locator, a social networking feature using groups, avatars that can be associated with a skatepark for being a top contributor for that location, and ability to upload videos and pictures onto skatepark or group pages. The focus of the application is to provide a skatepark directory to connect the users to skating spots and also connecting the users in a skating social environment with twitter access and group forums. Our group's application design does not include blogging features such as twitter, but we allow improved location features by allowing the user to upload videos to anywhere on the map.
  • Usability: Based on the reviews, users really liked the large database of places to skate and that the app allows users to sort locations based on distance, name, and user rating. The application is also very successful in letting friends connect online and post their videos. The problem, as with many of the other apps, is constantly needing to keep the database updated and people do not like finding incorrect or missing information on locations. Different user organizations of the skating spots and trick videos in our application will be an improvement that can be made.

Boarder Lounge

A thorough demo on how to add a skating spot

  • Target User Group: For skateboarders and snowboarders to post their favorite personal spots. The premise is the same as our target user group, but we are also targeting the people interested in self-improvement.
  • Functionality: Can post favorite skate and snow spots to everyone else, and post pictures and comments on those spots. There is also a feature of locating professionals' favorite spots and learning from where the pros started from. Our group application does not explicitly target any celebrity posting, but any user may tag spots they like to skate at. Our application would also allow video postings alongside photos and comments.
  • Usability: This application does a great job with the GPS tagging of locations and our application should definitely emulate the look and feel of the mapping feature. Reading the reviews, there are really no issues with this app. It's a free app made by boarders for other boarders. What it's lacking are videos and other features that would help boarders improve their skills, such as the skill checklist and videos available with our application.

Skate Tricks

  • Target User Group: For skateboarders looking to improve their skills by watching instructional videos. Essentially the same as our target user group, but we also include the users who want to look for new spots and post their own tricks online.
  • Functionality: A trick tip application that show slow motion video and detailed instructions on how to perform various skateboarding tricks. This is different from our application that provides an interactive map of videos and locations and a checklist of skills, but it does provide the functionality of instructional videos that is user generated in our application.
  • Usability: The user reviews were generally good and the application is fairly simple and easy to use. There were complaints about not having enough videos, as is the case whenever the developer has to manually keep up with demand. Our group application avoids this problem by giving users free rein to add their own trick videos.

Skatr

A professionally done YouTube video about the app (no audio commentary though)

  • Target User Group: Just a skate park locator app targeted for skaters looking for good places to skate. Similar to our user group, except we also integrate posting of video and a skills checklist.
  • Functionality: Helps skaters decide where they want to skate based on specific details about each spot and offers street view of each location. Also allow photo posting, comments, and ability for users to add new spots to share with others. It differs from our application since we are interested in helping skateboarders improve their tricks by posting videos and learning how to do certain tricks at each particular location.
  • Usability: Has a very easy-to-use and clean interface that is well organized based on tabbed features. A possible improvement is allowing location search also based on keywords and tags rather than just name and city alone. There are many complaints in the reviews about crash errors and the app not loading. Maybe there are compatibility issues and problems with syncing the database of locations to the map. We would not be needing street view functions since each location tagged will be associated with a picture or video.

Transworld Skateboarding Videos

  • Target User Group: Skateboarders wanting to improve their skills and also skateboarding fans interested in professionals and related news. Our group's target users are only made up of skaters interested in improving their skills and sharing their own material with others.
  • Functionality: There are three features of general skating videos, skateboarding news, and how-to videos made by professionals. Only the last feature is relevant to our application since the first two are targeted at general fans of skateboarding. The how-to videos offer detailed demonstrations and explanations by professional skaters. Our group app will allow users to create and upload their own tricks. Although they will not be as thorough or detailed as the professional videos, there will be more variety and innovation due to user generated content. The videos will also be performed at local venues to add a sense of locality and familiarity to the tricks.
  • Usability: The app does not store videos on memory and users need connection or service to access the content. Otherwise the app is recently published and there are no complaints in the user reviews. Our application can improve upon the connectivity by caching the materials close to the user for access at the locations with low service.

Skate Parks

  • Target User Group: Another skatepark locator solely targeted for users to locate nearby skating areas. Our application is more targeted for the skaters interested in finding new skating areas as well as improving and uploading their own skills.
  • Functionality: The application offers a listing of skateparks from all over the county with a detailed list of descriptions for each one including: address, phone, website, rules, hours, and directions. Since our app is user generated, the comments of each location can provide useful information about the spot similar to this app. We can even provide text areas explicitly asking for more detailed information such as hours and phone number. This app also allows search based on keyword and direct feedback through the application.
  • Usability: Provides a comprehensive list of information all in one app, but the problem is again needing the developer to validate and update the information. With direct user input, our app's content is adjusted by local skaters and errors are accounted for by tagging incorrect locations.

Summary

These were the applications found in the Apple store targeted at skaters that were not skating games. The bulk of the apps are either skatepark locators or instructional video applications, while a few also emphasized the skater culture and linked to news and going-ons within the skating world. The most common problem throughout all these applications was static data needing frequent updates. This problem is avoided in our group app design by letting users generate the content and having growth driven by the locality of the app and community features. Users will be able to associate their uploaded photos and videos with specific locations that they can link to on the interactive map, and other users can learn a new trick based on local skating videos at a location is familiar to them.

Feature Matrix
App Name Trick Checklist Locator Linked Map Skatepark Only User Added Locations Chat/Forum News Upload Videos Local Videos Pro Instructional Videos
Group App X X X X X X
iSkateBoard X X X X
The Berrics Skateboarding X X
Tony Hawk: Trick Tips X X
Skullcandy X X X X
GoLearn Skateboarding X X X X X
Skateropolis X X X X X X
Boarder Lounge X X X X X X
Skate Tricks X
Skatr X X X
Transworld Skateboarding X X
Skate Parks X X


Based on the applications above, something we should incorporate into our application is instructional videos to go along with the checklist of skills. Maybe offering some kind of a reward within the application (such as view count in YouTube) will encourage the users to provide detailed how-to videos. What sets apart our application from others is the focus on improvements in a local setting. The ability to upload videos and tag personal skating spots along with the individualized checklist gives the user a comprehensive personalized profile and gives our application a competitive advantage. New skateboarders will be able to grow their repertoire and monitor their progress within our application, and set new goals for continued improvement.



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