A dynamic networking platform for city explorers to connect and discover


Project Overview

Wanderbuddy is a platform that curates walking routes through cafes, museums, galleries, and more to help you discover your city’s hidden gems. It encourages both locals and newcomers to explore their city engagingly, and it offers a feature to connect with like-minded explorers for an enhanced urban experience.

Stakeholder Needs

Potential Users

Adventurous/ This refers to a person who is new to the city and eager to explore its surroundings, meet new people, and immerse themselves in the local culture..

Curious/ This is a term used for a resident who wants to break away from their routine, discover hidden gems, and share their experiences with others.

Social/ This refers to an individual who is interested in connecting with like-minded people, enjoying leisurely walks, and making new friends in the city.

This Conceptual Project was created at UX-Land Online School as part of a project focused on User Experience and User Interface:


12 weeks


Group of 4


UX/UI designer


Qualitative and Quantitative research / Competitive Analysis / Information Architecture / Low-High Fidelity Design / UX Wireframe/Usability Testing/ Content testing/ Interactive Prototype

Scope and Constraints

Wanderbuddy realized it was necessary to create a mobile application as we developed the project. The project was boosted by the addition of a mobile app despite limited time. We discuss this in-depth in another case study.

Design Strategy

Our design sprint consisted of 4 phases:
Note: there is no doubt that iteration is necessary during all phases


In order to ensure effective and guided research, a research plan was created beforehand. This included: Research Goals / Research Questions / Assumptions and Constraints / Methodologies.


  • Understand the business and target audience
  • Uncover city-exploring experiences
  • Learn about strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand the preferences, frustrations, goals, and needs of the target audience

Our first step in Secondary Research was to gain a deep understanding of the business and its users through Market research and Competitive Analysis. This process helps us identify the strengths and weaknesses of similar businesses.

Competitive Analysis

In fact, there was no similar business introducing walking routes with named places when they were offered without tour guides and having the option to explore with a buddy as well. But we did analyze some similar businesses:

  • Strengths:   The strengths of these businesses are their information architecture, multiple categories and filters, and actual categorization
  • Weakness:   In all of these businesses, the weakness was not engaging with the users through platforms and not following up with them

As a result, it provided us with some insight into similar platforms, and we could use this to create a survey:


A survey consisting of several questions aimed at understanding people’s preferences and behaviors when it comes to exploring their cities and new places. These questions covered a range of topics, from the:

  • Frequency of local exploration
  • The types of places individuals enjoy visiting the most
  • Their interest in popular tourist spots versus hidden gems
  • Their desire to connect with others during explorations
  • The importance of detailed itineraries
  • Willingness to pay for certain exploration-related features

In total, 50 randomly selected respondents shared their perspectives, helping us gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of our target audience. As a result, we found potential users for interviews by analyzing the answers.


We conducted interviews with a total of 12 participants, including both residents and newcomers to the city.
We asked more open-ended questions, allowing for a discussion with the interviewees rather than a straightforward question-and-answer format.

We wanted to figure out:

  • How are they currently discovering new places to visit?
  • What challenges or issues do they face with their current methods?
  • Have they had any similar experiences before?
  • What are their concerns about having a partner during exploration?
  • What kind of concerns might they have about using this platform?

As a result, we found some concerns about them:


After secondary research and getting some ideas from survey analysts and interviews, we started our Affinity Diagram and created the first site map.

  • In order to establish tasks for our design, and to communicate information about the users that we collected during research, we developed a Persona and a Scenario.



Meet Sarah, a newcomer to Toronto, feeling lost and alone in a city where she doesn’t know anyone. She longs to discover Toronto’s culture and hidden gems but feels isolated.

At work, Sarah shares her feelings with coworkers who suggest Wanderbuddy, a website for city adventures. She’s intrigued by the idea of making friends while exploring.

After work, Sarah visits Wanderbuddy’s website, discovering various walking routes and a like-minded buddy. She plans an exciting adventure.

Over the weekend, Sarah meets her buddy in Toronto, and they explore the city using Wanderbuddy’s app navigation. Loneliness turns into excitement and a sense of belonging.

Task flow


Challenges & Solutions

After analyzing all of our research, we began to understand our project challenges and tried to find a solution to our design.

  • Fostering Trust and Accountability in User
  • Feedback Handling
  • Personalization
  • Safety and Privacy
  • Community Building
  • Balancing Information
  • Accessibility
  • User Engagement
  • Mapping and Navigation
  • Create a Profile for the user
  • Reviews and photos added by users
  • Filters based on their interests in visiting
  • Filters based on their interests for walking partner
  • Add identity verification
  • Sharing their experiences with other
  • Short and to-the-point descriptions
  • Visual appeal
  • Mobile application


  • As part of our Ideation process, we sketched out low-fidelity wireframes by hand, which helped us in the early stages of the design process and improved communication among team members.
  • Then we created low-fidelity wireframes on Figma to map out page layouts. The wireframes went through a couple of rounds of iteration before the final content was developed.

Style guide


In this case, the business model was a little different and new, so two methods of usability testing were used early in the project to test its usability:

  1. “Get it” testing
  2. Key Task testing

“Get it” testing

When we conduct “get it” testing, we show them the website’s home page and ask them if they understand its purpose, value proposition, organization, and work processes.

Landing page(before)

Version 1

Version 3

Version 1

Version 4

Landing page last design


  • The search bar was so clear for them that they had to start with that.
  • They got the main idea of the business through a hero image and the tagline.
  • Illustrations and text were connected and scannable for them to get the idea in the three-step part.
  • They liked that they could get the app quickly, and we made it more obvious that we have an application too.
  • FAQs made it much easier to get their answers to the main questions.

“Key Task” testing

  • Choosing a buddy section was one of our biggest challenges during the design process. It is an optional feature that if they want they can explore their interests routes with a buddy.


Version 1

First, we put it under each route detail, but after lots of testing, it became confusing whether it was optional or not, or if they thought it was a group trip.

Version 2

Secondly, we made it clear to them that it was not a group trip. However, there was still one problem: it was not obvious that it was an optional feature, and they could either be the organizers or others would be

Last design

Version 3

Our final decision was to split the feature into two steps to make it more clear that it is an optional feature so that they could add someone to their journey by clicking on it. We split it into two parts, and they can be the organizer who accepts or rejects other requests or who sends a request to others.


As we started prototyping, we simplified the process by reducing the number of steps needed. This was especially true in the route details, where we had to provide concise and easily digestible information to improve efficiency and readability.

Route’s details page (Before)

  • There was no connivance or assistance provided with the route itinerary for users.
  • There were much better route itineraries, but there were no pictures of each stop at the same time

Route’s details page's last design


  • Putting all the information on one page will make it easier to scan all at once, including the map, pictures, and information



In this section, you can check out the complete final prototype.


What did I learn?

  • We found it beneficial to conduct our user testing early on in the design process, as it allowed us to make low-cost changes to our low-fidelity wireframes and improve user friendliness.
  • However, we may consider revamping our survey process by dividing it into two surveys. The second survey would focus on specific questions related to our business and would be sent to potential users.

What can we do next?

  • I would like to improve the interaction design part.
  • I would like to design the community section on the website.
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