Lab 6 (Project 2)

Write, sketch and surf until you have a basic idea of the app you will design. It can be vague; you can tighten up requirements later on, or even switch ideas. Create a title and brief description on your blog

I want to continue with my “Buffalo Eight” idea and design a trivia game. Users can learn more about Buffalo History and pop culture by solving trivia questions. Similar to quiz, or maybe they can play other players head to head.  Questions can come in the form of multiple choice, true or false, and identification questions. Users can select question categories and submit or rate questions, as well as view leaderboards. 

  1. The Founder Institute’s One-Sentence Pitch Format (one sentence)

My app, Buffalo Eight is developed to teach users about the city of Buffalo, NY. The app will highlight historical and tourist sites, creating an interactive and informative experience.

2. 500 Startups

We assist people who are interested in visiting historical and tourist sites in Buffalo, NY. We make money by charging for advertising and a percentage of ticket revenue.

3. — Describe ideas by answering these questions (c) MITx15390x:

* What is the problem you want to solve
* Who experiences that problem
* How you want to solve that problem
* Why this is a better solution

I want to showcase some of the hidden historic areas of the city. This problem is experienced by people who visit who limit their trips to Niagara Falls and the Anchor Bar.  I want to solve that problem by giving options of areas to visit that are nearby. (The Colored Musicians club, for example, is five minutes from the Anchor Bar.)  This would be a better solution because there are several interesting places in the city that deserve to be highlighted.

4. Geof Moore’s Value proposition Statement

For (target customer)

who (statement of the need or opportunity)

our (product/service name) is (product category)

that (statement of benefit)

For new visitors to the city who struggle to unique places to visit. Our product is a web-based travel software that assists the user in making travel plans.

5. Steve Blanks’ XYZ

We help X do Y doing Z

We help tourists and history buffs discover return on new areas in the city to visit in social media by giving them options.

6. Petrick Vlaskovit & Branet Cooper’s CPS

Customer (who your customer is)

Problem (what problem you’re solving for the customer)

Solution (what is your solution for the problem)

For example: Customer — History buffs and tourists to the Queen City. 

Problem — Unaware of hidden sites in the city, lack of time or transportation. 

Solution — Easy to navigate system designed for non technical users who need assistance.


Project One


Project One

I researched a CRM named ZenPlanner. I signed up for a trial membership and viewed some demo videos. They actually gave me a call, thinking I was a potential client. Once I told them I was a penniless college student doing class research, they stopped sending me emails.

From my experience, ZenPlanner is very user friendly, but it seems to be a one-size fits all model. If you want specific modifications or designs, it will cost you. Some of the entry level demo models looked very basic, almost like an enhanced MS Access spreadsheet.  It reminded me of the companies that businesses hire to create websites, and they use predesigned templates, if you want modifications or have specifications, it will cost you. That being said, the demo models I experimented with were easy to navigate. It took me about 4-5 swipes to complete the task on my desktop, about 5-6 on my Ipad.

One issue I found was ZenPlanner uses two way authorization. You enter your username and password, get a code to your phone, then enter the code. (We use it at work, but I don’t like it, personally.) I understand that this is a necessity, as you are potentially viewing confidential company data, but from what I can tell, this is a non-customizable feature. (I was curious to see if it could be removed, or if one paid enough, it would be removed. The company did not respond to my query)

Overall, I think ZenPlanner is a good asset for a small business owner who wants to keep accurate records and access demographic information for their customer base. There are options for ticket forms, controling supply and inventory, sending messages, create chat links, create mailing lists, and analytic information. They have an feature called “Omnichannel” which includes 24 hour chat support and instructional videos, which I liked. I find if I read an article or watch a video on how to solve an issue, I am more confident with problem solving, then by talking to someone and following their instructions.

My CRM vision was to create an app that has a list of tourist sites in Buffalo NY, giving users the option to buy tickets online, and connecting them to the websites (if available) of the tourist locations. This is not a traditional CRM, but I wanted to get some experience with the ideas for my CEEP project.  Target demographic is 25-65 year olds. I used to travel on a shoestring budget, I would get the Lonely Planet guidebooks from the public library, research the sites I wanted to visit, and get an idea of what I wanted to see before visiting. (Find a good walking tour, download a podcast for a museum tour, get ideas of what areas must be seen and what areas can be avoided.)

One of the biggest technical issues for travel apps is assuming always-on data connection. Because it’s mobile, users lose coverage: tube stations, inside buildings, cathedrals, rural areas. Since this is a ticket service, I would build an app with good caching. Another issue is finger/button size. Every action button should be  large enough that it can be hit successfully, but also spaced away from other active items to avoid tapping the wrong one. Selecting items can be difficult if the results are too small and squeezed one next to the other. (The virtual keyboard will also fill up  half of the screen. I am not sure how to effectively test this, except I have exceptionally large fingers, which I hope will be an asset for testing.)

 As mentioned, I would like to have the tickets cached after purchase, that way it can be used regardless of Internet service. Hypothetically links to suggestions for nearby sites of interest. (You are planning to visit the Buffalo Zoo? The North Park theatre is walking distance/Here is a location for chicken wings), and a chat message option to speak to people who have visited some of their sites and offer personal suggestions.


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Lab One, Two, Three