I love watching non-geocachers (aka muggles) try to absorb the concept of geocaching. I’m sure you’ve all heard this same reaction before: Wait. You find boxes in the woods? Well that’s just irrational.
It’s true. The things we do as geocachers may seem a little crazy at times. But good news! This Pi Day (March 14, 2015), we’re introducing a dose of rational to the irrational—all thanks to a team of designers here at Geocaching HQ.
Earlier this year, we shared an inside look at how we collect feedback from the community and how that feedback influences the tools that we make. The next step in developing a new geocaching tool is design. A team of User Experience (UX) experts at Geocaching HQ are responsible for taking the community’s feedback and thinking through everything from how the new tool will work to how the design of an emoji will help bring delight to your next geocache find.
This team was recently tasked with making the experience of finding a Mystery Cache a bit more, well, rational—and all in time for you to earn the 3.14.15 Pi Day souvenir. I sat down with Mobile UX Designer Michelle Li (Username: BlueSpaceMonkey) and UI Designer Abby Deering (Username: Abbydeer) to learn how they took the mystery out of Mystery Caches in the Geocaching Intro app.
What was the biggest challenge in designing Mystery Caches for the free Geocaching app?
Mystery Caches are a complex type of geocache. One of the biggest changes we were faced with was making Mystery Caches easy to use for geocachers and coming up with a design solution that works with all the different types of Mystery Caches.
What about the new design are you most excited to share with the community?
We are really excited that we’ve found a design solution that works with all the different types of Mystery Caches (there are so many different versions!). We feel like we were able to eliminate a barrier that previously made it difficult to enter your answer. We’re excited that we removed a challenge in the tool, leaving the challenge where it should be: in solving the Mystery. And we hope this means more geocachers will now give Mystery Caches a try!
How have your designs made finding Mystery Caches easier?
We’ve made the ability to add Solved coordinates and edit waypoints easier and more manageable for all different kinds of Mystery Caches.
Editor’s Note: You’ll see in the app that “Corrected Coordinates” are now referred to as “Solved”. This decision was made by surveying the geocaching community.
How did feedback and insight from the geocaching community enter into the design?
We brought in both potential players and experienced geocachers to our office to look at our Mystery Cache design. We had them walk through a series of tasks and even took them outside to watch them geocache with the new design. We revised our design based on their feedback.
Anything else you want geocachers to know?
We’re so excited that Mystery Caches are now available in the free app and we love making products that make geocaching easier for our community!
Unlock this latest and greatest tool for discovering Mystery Caches with Premium membership in the free Geocaching Intro app for iOS and Android. And don’t miss out on your chance to earn one of two Pi Day souvenirs by logging a “Found It” on a Mystery Cache this Saturday!