The European Paths of Santiago include all the routes that pilgrims have been following since the 9th century to venerate the relics of the apostle Santiago, whose supposed tomb is in the cathedral of St. James of Compostela. As these paths are beloved and visited by thousands of pilgrims every year, our client showed us that there was a perfect opportunity to help pilgrims on their way while promoting the amazing region of Alentejo and Ribatejo in Portugal. The client's intention was to provide more information, tips and support contacts to all pilgrims of Santiago while they walk/drive by the region.
The challenge seemed to unfold a mobile application that would serve as a "pocket map" for pilgrims with useful and interesting places on their way.
In the design process, we’ve started with lo-fi wireframes, because, as we’ve been saying in our case studies, this saves effort, money and time. Let's compare it to drawing. First you start with a sketch. If you make some mistake or want to go back on some decision, it is easy to erase and change quickly. While if you wait until the art is done to change something, it would be way harder. Basically, low-fidelity wireframes serve as a checkpoint for the product team and stakeholders at the beginning of the design process. It helps the teams visualize and test early concepts, requirements and design assumptions at an early stage.
One of the main goals of this app is to promote tourism in that region. To do so, we added different features. Starting with “popular places near you”. This way we try to help people find out and explore interesting places that the cities nearby have to offer. Monuments, museums, restaurants, hotels, you name it.
Secondly, the “QR Reader”. Most of the points of interest have a QR code in its physical location. So when pilgrims go to one they can know more about it just by scanning it. What a cool way to learn, right?
Finally, we’ve created a helpful guide on how to prepare for a trip, an explanation of the code of conduct and a little summary about the project itself. Pretty clarifying. Do you feel ready yet?
The whole Caminho de Santiago way is broken into stages – smaller parts of the road, so the person feels a step-by-step progress and makes checkpoints during the trip. Each stage offers useful information, tips, weather and directions. Name a better guide!
Besides that it gives access to the points of interest between those regions divided by categories, regarding food, places to visit, places to sleep and support contacts. Plus, you can filter them and save them as favourites.
Have you ever been stopped in traffic because of a fallen tree? Or a hole on the road? Us too. Well, as the pilgrims want to prevent that to others on the same path, we’ve added a feature where they can report a problem. Once the pilgrim submits a report with detailed info about the place and problem there, all pilgrims that have the app will know about it and avoid traveling that same path, and the tourism association tries to solve this issue..
Follow your friend's advice!!!
When you enter the map, you see the three available paths on it and the one you chose is highlighted. After that, you must position yourself on it, and right then you’ll be able to see all POI near you by different colors (associated with the categories). When you click them, a small window pops with a brief description. You can also add to favorites and know how far away they are from you.
By providing Santiago’s pilgrims with a useful map and interactive guide, our client was able to promote the best places in the areas showing the best that Alentejo and Ribatejo have to offer.