READING – Part 1: Informal Competitive Analysis
Westfield US (Android/iOS)
Publisher: Westfield Labs Corporation
The Westfield US app serves an online supplement for the company’s 34 shopping centers in the US. It encompasses stores, food, lifestyle, services, parking, individual products, deals, maps and entertainment to millions of customers.
The best features are the design, parking and shopping experience. The design is very simple, consistent, direct and clean. In some stores, smart parking is introduced to manage crowds and make the parking experience less stressful. The shopping experience is the star of this app. A user can search and find items based on category and store name. Also, items can be added to a shopping list with directions to store and can be purchased online.
The worse features are the current in-store navigation, ease of access to smart parking feature, search limitations and no emergency contact feature. The in-store navigation was fantastic in early versions, GPS location was offered and a step by step mapping system allowed you to get to your destination(similar to Google Maps walk feature). The current version gives user an awkward draw route map. Knowledge of close-by stores names and the destination is required. The smart parking feature is a great and working concept but a signup required first. The license plate visual recognition feature is faulty. It will recognize some plates based on time of day/lighting and with some letters of the alphabet. No emergency contact with gps location.
SIMON – Malls, Mills & Outlets (Android/iOS)
Publisher: Simon Property Group
This app supplements the company’s more the 220 shopping centers in the US. It focuses on each center’s stores, food, lifestyle, services, parking, individual products, deals, maps and entertainment.
The best features are the call-to-action slides and featured items on the main/home section. The 3 call-to-action slide feature points to finding a store, deals and ???. Color and direct speech is used to successfully guide user. Featured items(eye catching images) is listed above the fold and not complete. It gives a sense of continuity.
The app’s unsatisfactory aspects are the loading, the awkward map, app navigation and too much information in the drop down menu for the casual user. The loading for search and sections are very slow. The map is difficult to read. Very small, display fonts are used and is monotone. The app navigation is awkward and inconsistent. For example, in the search feature, stores and restaurants will be listed as logos or text in different sections of map. The pull down menu is great but busy and include useless info for the casual user (e.g. investors, Buyers, about app etc). No emergency contact with gps location.
Emaar Square Mall (Android/iOS)
Publisher: Emaar Technologies
This app serves to enhance the Dubai-based real estate development company’s shopping center experience in Istanbul, Turkey. It focuses on each center’s stores, food, lifestyle, services, parking, deals, maps and entertainment.
It’s best features are the clean drop menu of everything offered to the casual user. Also, their call-to-action slider, mapping, interesting solution to parking management, store listing and app navigation. The call-to-action slider contain random important events, deals and specials. The mapping is a great solution to navigating the large center. The system consist of a draw route/map from one place to another. Map is very clean and easy to use. The parking management is solved with a note taking approach with the camera, record sound file and note taking within the App. The store listing is handled in 3 ways, A to Z, categories and floors. The app navigation is very clean, language direct and legible.
The worse features is that you can’t buy products online. No emergency contact with gps location.
*Rating/Resources: App Annie and last online current company annual reports.
CONCEPT – Part 2: Defining the Mobile App Concept
*Note: Project idea was changed after impromptu brainstorming with adviser.
APP: MY SMART MALL
A smart App that makes a visit to the mall painless, efficient and less time consuming.
The target audience will be based on current mall’s chief consumers who visit often. The App will be reskinned and features will be customized for a specific mall.
In this case study the mall will be Westside Pavilion. Center located adjacent to highly affluent communities including Rancho Park, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, etc. It’s consumers have a Median age of 34(Average age: 25-44). Average household income is $110,000(Median $65,000). Ethnic demographic(White 57%, Hispanic 24%, Asian 18%, Other etc).
The core functions are mall info, navigation, parking and interacting with stores/restaurants
SKETCHING – Part 3: Second Draft of Concept Generation Worksheet
*Note: Project idea was changed after impromptu brainstorming with advisor.
APP: MY SMART MALL