Delighting Oxford city tourists with Digital technologies and experiences

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Services

Audio tours
Travelling to-do lists
Offline content
Local attractions

Executive Summary

Given the rich history and beauty of Oxford, 9 Million tourists visit this part of British nation each year. For this visitor economy pouring millions of pounds into Oxford, there was no single source to access information on travel, accommodation, local attractions and available tours. Our client, Frederick Laurie, is helping tourists explore Oxford with ease using a location aware mobile guide.

Frederick Laurie, CEO, Footprints Tours Ltd

Frederick Laurie

“Simform provided an excellent 360 degrees solution for developing and bringing our product to market. Each member of their team proved valuable in helping us craft our product, along with extensive support as it was developed. No issue was too small or too large and we look forward to continuing this relationship as our userbase increases, and product evolves.”

Challenges

Offline maps

In areas with low connectivity and battery constraint on most mobiles, the app required to work completely offline.

Real time system

The client wanted users to see tours as they happen, so real time capabilities were a must for this app.

Experience design

The fact that the app should provide audio tours to the users, any failure to deliver a seamless tour would result in a lost app user.

Solution

User centric design

To create an app that guides a user, but remains practically invisible, we started by creating workflows to create an invisible user experience. We quickly then went from whiteboards to prototypes making sure that whatever interface we design makes the end user’s tour easier and enjoyable.

Offline functionality

In our research, we discovered that a user would incur outrageous data charges for audio tours. To make the app to work offline, we evaluated various map based solutions and decided to utilize Mobile Atlas creator.

Real time tours

Using this app a tourist can easily see all the tours happening around them. The can even see and book the tours using the app. Using sockets, the data flows seamlessly in real time from backend to the mobile app.

Solution

Interface for Tour companies

Tour companies can register and add tours to this app. We built an admin interface from where the tours can be added via the backend of this application.

Audio tour guide

Audio starts automatically once a user reaches a destination of interest. Admin can point a mark or define a radius for user’s destination, and it will automatically trigger the audio as the user walks through.

Agile development

Given the huge project scope, we divided the project into sprints that brought in a lot of continuous feedback, while our backend and database design facilitated quick iterations and pivots. Most of the code was reusable and was significantly able to reduce the delivery time.

Business Impact

City Guide app received warm response while beta testing, and now has been rolled out to millions of users who visit OxFordCityguide.com. The app is expected to serve around 9 Million Oxford tourists in a year.

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