CompetitiveAnalysis-RichardHeng

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This is an example template for submitting your individual competitive analysis.

Contents

Restatement of the group's idea

Our application would help track the achievements of skaters by creating a personal collection of skate videos for specific tricks.

List of related applications

Analysis

GoLearn Skateboarding

This application targets about the same user group that we would be targeting, which are skaters who are trying to become better at performing tricks.

This application tries to help skaters become better by providing video tutorials of certain tricks, as well as general skateboarding tips. The application can also locate places to skate by GPS and zip code. Our application is different, because it provides the personalized experience of tracking progress through the tricks. By recording videos of themselves, it is more interactive because they can instantly playback their attempts of the tricks, to see where improvements can be made.

In terms of usability, the videos seem to be good in quality, and the navigation is pretty simple, since it is simply a collection of videos. The text is hard to read with the busy backgrounds. The organization of topics is a bit confusing. The home menu gets its own tab, and has a list of places in which to navigate. It seems that some of these topics are redundant because they also have a tab. There is also a favorites tab for favorite skate parks. This seems to clutter the interface and does not make the application better for achieving its goal of teaching the user to skate. Our navigation system would have more well defined tabs and focus more on helping the user reach their goals..

Skateropolis

The target users for this application would be extremely close to the target users of our application if we are able to implement all the community features that we proposed. This group is slightly different from our main target group though. These are the skaters looking to improve their skills.

The community features this application is capable of includes uploading user videos and photos, adding/sharing/rating custom skate park locations, and creating groups and message boards. Adding the extra community features might be useful to the target user, but not directly relevant to helping users achieve their goals. The most useful byproduct of adding community features would probably be the inclusion of user uploading tutorials. We will need to make a decision about how important these community features are to our users.

The interface itself I found to be cluttered. The nested tab controls in the tab view seemed excessive. Our application would use better way to organize the information so that we would not have to use sub tabs. Also, the application seems to force too much information on to one tab at a time.

iSkateboard

This application is for skaters who want to find certain locations relevant to skaters, as well as get recent skating news. This is less related to our target group because it does not directly involve improving the users' skills. Although arguably, having a news feed of skater news could sometimes provide useful information about skate culture, hence letter users become more informed about skater knowledge.

Functionally, this simply provides a fixed directory of locations and a map. If we were to implement the community features, our application would be an improvement because it would be providing a crowd sourced, and therefore more up to date directory.

The interface has a home screen with 3 simple location types, and a news section, which is pretty straightforward. Getting to a specific location has clear information on the types of terrain (eg. stairs/handrails), picture, and directions. The maps are also implemented with the Google Maps API, which is familiar and probably accessible to the user, and our group would probably do something similar.

The Berrics Skateboarding Videos

This is another application solely used to provide users a way to view specialized videos. The users would be people interested in watching professional videos of skaters. If we were to allow sharing of videos, this might be a different target user group, because most of the videos would be amateur. These are also not tutorial videos, and are videos of professionals performing tricks.

In terms of usability, this application uses the tab interface for navigating through videos, with the second level of granularity as a categories in a list view. This seems to follow the Apple conventions, and should be good for users to pick up quickly.

Skate Grub

The target users who want to increase their skater IQ though the intake of skater news and culture instead of actually performing the physical activity. It is less related to our target users because there is no direct encouragement of improvement of skate skills.

The application itself provides information on skater apparel and media. It would be possible to incorporate these skate culture elements into our application. We might want to create a skater avatar which can digitally uptake these elements.

The application uses purely a list view interface. This is not desirable because a tab view convention would provide the ability to quickly switch from subject to subject. It might be more acceptable for this application, because the scope seems smaller, but it would undesirable for an application such as ours to lack some sort of quick tab navigation.

Skatr

This is another skate park location finder. The target users are skaters looking for good places to skate. This could be adapted to include our target group if we choose to incorporate the geolocation capabilities.

This application has one of the cleanest interfaces of all the skate applications. The tabs are clear and well organized, and the views are consistent and clear. We might be able to utilize the categorization for the tabs (recent, nearby, search, add, more) if we are to incorporate the location based elements into our application. One thing I would improve is to make the search more robust. You can only search the name, but it would be useful to search for tags, like "stairs".

Skate Parks

This is yet another skate park locator, which again might be useful for our target users, but is not exactly the same as the group we are targeting.

Functionally, the program provides also provides in depth information about the skate parks such as operating hours, rules, and contact information. Our application could possibly support the inclusion of this type of information through user inputs.

With no tab based organization, the interface is less organized and clean than skatr. The search capability is equally as limited. The list view seems to have a quick scroll by letter (similar to the contacts in the phone book), which seems useful.

SkateTube

The target group for SkateTube is similar to our target group because it involves skaters who like to watch videos.

This interface on this application is unique, since it takes a nonstandard landscape view everywhere in the application. Our application would provide more features by encouraging users not only to watch videos, but to try to perform the tricks seen in the videos, and to ultimately, create their own collection of trick videos. Perhaps this view is optimal for videos, but it does not seem like it would be helpful for the user to break the vertical tab interface conventions for the general menu. We might optimize by opting for optional landscape mode for viewing and recording videos.

ExpertVideo: Skateboard

The targets users of this application are also the same as the targets of our application, because they are skaters who want to improve their skills.

This application contains 20 skateboarding lessons in the format of streaming video. There is also a user message system. Once again, our application would enable the possibility of an ever expanding library of videos, with both tutorials and general tricks. And again, it will provide a more personalized experience.

The interface itself simply has a video list and a user chat, with the videos displayed in a list view. Our application would improve on this by providing mechanisms to sort and search for specific videos.

Skate or Dice

The target users for this application differs from the users of our applications. This is because the skaters here are using this application to aid them in playing a game. It slightly relates to our application because it defines tricks that users must perform, and the better they perform, the more satisfaction they get out of skating.

Functionally, it simply randomly displays four tricks. Our application will provide a more structured approach to recording the achievements of these tricks.

From a usability standpoint it works very well because it achieves its goal in a very straightforward manner. It simply single button that rolls the chain of tricks that the user could perform. Because our application will have more advanced features, we will need to shy away from the simplicity. We might be able to incorporate a simple way do define chaining of tricks using the dice analogy, though. We could improve upon this by allowing combination of over four tricks in a row.

Summary

Overall, there seems to be an emphasis on skater video applications and skate location applications, with a sprinkle of applications that involve skater culture. Most of the problems with these are the static data, which would be resolved if our application allowed community features, utilizing crowsourcing to accumulate and share data. Our application would be set apart from its competitors though, with its focus on teaching users in a personalized fashion. Of the interfaces, it seemed the tab conventions would be most usable with users, with landscape views for video interaction.



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