Section 3 – Research

3. Research

Two forms of research were initially undertaken. The first was a round of competitor analysis, and the second was a survey. The competitor analysis initially focused on tourism-related apps and was extended to in include social media apps at a later stage.

3.1 – Competitor Analysis

3.2 – User Survey

A survey was performed, using quantitative and qualitative questions to canvas for details of respondents’ demographics, education, mobile device ownership, device use patterns, and querying if they had any fields of expertise, or special interests they would be willing to share.

The survey was shared over social media, there was a total of 36 respondents. The demographic responses showed the majority (69%) were between the ages of 25-44, had a third-level education (72%), and were equally split, male and female, with 100% owning a smartphone.

Fig. 1 – Use and type of mobile devices
Fig. 2 – Operating system type of respondents

Respondents were then queried about their mobile device use while abroad. With 56% of respondents claiming to use their devices often, and 25% using them sometimes.

Fig. 3 – Use of mobile devices while abroad

One of the greatest concerns of respondents, while abroad was roaming data charges. Comments included:

“Data charges are a big concern”
“The data charges are far too high”
“Too expensive!”
Feedback relating to device use, while abroad, yielded interesting data, showing a high percentage of respondents used them to record video, photographs, and to access social media. 
Fig -4 – Device use while abroad

However when questioned about use of travel-related apps, few respondents seemed to use them. The most popular app, being used by seven respondents.

Fig. 5 – Travel apps used by respondents

The third part of the survey explored respondents expertise or interest in any given field. Relatively few (8) respondents claimed to have a discussion interest or hobby. With a smaller number (6) having an interest in recording and sharing that knowledge.

Fig. 6 – Does the respondent have any specialised fields of expertise/interest
Fig. 7 – Would respondents use an app to share their expertise/interests with others

You can view the complete survey results (PDF) here.

As a result of the feedback, and with the low numbers of respondents who expressed an interest in using an app which would allow them share their expertise or interests, and with the high numbers of users who used their devices to access social media, I decided to broaden the scope of the project, to allow users to record and share any type of experience with others. The app would be a multimedia blogging tool which would fall between micro-blogging, and full scale blogging applications, such as WordPress.