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UX Design Sprint . 2020
Design Opportunity

Millions of people attend music festivals such as Coachella in California. These festivals span multiple days where multiple artists perform at the same time. Design an experience that will help people coordinate with their friends on which shows to attend and how to find each other in the crowds during the festival.

People typically attend these festivals with 5 to 20+ friends. As group size grows, so does complexity with coordinating. Because there are multiple artists performing at the same time, the group of friends will often split to see different shows then try to reconvene at another show later making it difficult to find others in crowds as large as 100,000 people.


Defining Scope of Project

The given problem statement presents two unique challenges:

User Pain Points and Design Implications

Starting with user research, I read experiences of several users on online platforms to understand their needs and common frustrations. I read experiences of users on Reddit as well as other articles that highlighted problem at all the major music festivals. Based on this information, I was able to come with design implications.

“You might think that you can rush between stages and see every band, but in reality you’ll probably need resting time after standing in the hot sun. Prioritize the groups that you really don’t want to miss.” -
Design should allow users to schedule their activities for the entire duration of music festival
“Don’t plan to meet your friends near the moving art installations. For obvious reasons.” - Reddit User
Design should allow to create robust pre-determined meeting spots
“My problem is friends can't hear their phone during live music so they don't check it.” - Reddit User
Design should not depend on user interacting frequently with the phone at the time of event
“Phone charging is frequently difficult at festivals. Even if there are charging stations, the lines for such a service can be hours long.” -
Design should allow users to save battery of their phones.
“You go to a pre-determined meeting place, but it is impossible to find anyone as there are 5,000 people in the stage area.”” - Reddit User
Design should allow users to find each other even in close proximity
Competitive Analysis

To understand existing work in this field, I looked at two UX case studies on locating friends at a music festival.

Source: Squad app

In this case study, the author proposes the solution to use a P2P (Peer to Peer) network that allows users to keep track of their friends location without being connected to the internet which helps save the phone's battery. The author researched batterylife of Bluetooth vs GPS and found that Bluetooth uses less energy than GPS which is an important consideration when trying to save battery. However, this case study stood out to me for a different reason - the concerns regarding the sharing of location regularly. I believe continuous sharing of location with friends (or strangers you just met through your friends) can be dangerous and worrisome for many users. The design should allow users to share location only when requested and in a controlled manner.

Source: How to find your friends at a music festival

In this case study, the author proposes an analog reference system that gives friends a context to their location. In his solution, the author suggests stage area labelled with large letters fashioned across the top of the stage, and numbered flags strung over both sides of the crowd. This would create a grid making it easier for users to locate each other. However, this solution does not work beyond a certain extent. In extremely crowded concert area, viewing these analog numbers is nearly impossible. Besides this concert areas come in all shapes and sizes which would not allow to implement a rectangular grid. There needs to be a more smarter way to implement this which is effortless to use. While there are limitations to this grid approach, it highlights the importance of locating users within extremely close proximity and crowded areas.



Translating design implications into features, I brainstormed the design solution. I created low-fidelity wireframes to bring my ideas to life. I have included below the wireframes I drew during the brainstorming session.

Design Overview

The design architecture below explains the flow of a user while using this app and the tasks that they can perform.

High Fidelity Prototype
Mockups from prototype [here]
Thank you!
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