5 Comments

Sag uns Deine Meinung! Nimm an der Umfrage zu Challenge-Geocaches teil.

WeeklyMailer_01192015_UserInsightKickoff_vFINAL_BLOG-animated_DE_v2

Im April diesen Jahres haben wir eine Pause für die Einreichung neuer Challenge-Geocaches begonnen, um Informationen zu sammeln und auszuwerten, welchen Einfluss sie auf das Spiel haben. Nun wollen wir auch von Euch hören! In dieser Umfrage könnt Ihr uns wissen lassen, was für Erfahrungen Ihr mit Challenge-Geocaches gehabt habt.

Was ist ein Challenge-Geocache? Mit Challenge-Geocaches können Geocache-Owner eine Herausforderung (“Challenge”) stellen, welche erfüllt werden muss, bevor dieser Geocache-Typ geloggt werden kann. Eine Qualifikation für einen Challenge-Geocache kann z.B. sein, Geocaches an allen Tagen eines Jahres zu finden. Challenge-Geocaches machen Spaß. Aber obwohl sie im letzten Jahrzehnt in der Geocaching-Community immer beliebter geworden sind, haben sie auch oft zu Verwirrungen geführt und können extra Hürden für die ehrenamtlichen Reviewer in der Community darstellen.

Indem Du an dieser Umfrage teilnimmst, kannst Du uns helfen, ein besseres Rahmenwerk für Challenge-Geocaches zu bilden – für mehr Geocaching-Spaß. Vielen Dank!

16 Comments

Geocaching HQ’s Product Team Goes on the Road

Animation_InnovationFactory_vCOMP3 (1)

Whether you’re developing an app, building a website or designing Tupperware containers, it’s important that you have people in your organization who are passionate about understanding people — people who are committed to discovering what makes the lives of those in their community better. At Geocaching HQ, there is a whole team of folks responsible for making sure we’re building the right tools at the right time to meet the needs of geocachers around the world.

Meet the Product Team:

HQ's Product Team
These guys!

In January, we introduced you to Jayme, our User Insights Analyst at Geocaching HQ. Jayme collects feedback from geocachers about our apps and features by working with playtesters, coordinating surveys and even organizing special games designed to collect feedback. Recently, Jayme and the rest of her Product teammates — the people who work with departments across the company to determine the “what”, “how”, “when” and “why” for everything we build — took their insights-gathering on the road to the Going Caching Mega Event in Rome, Georgia.

We asked Jayme to share some of the Product Team’s takeaways from the experience with us:

Why did the Product Team decide to take a trip to Going Caching in Rome, Georgia?

The first User Insights Games — games designed to collect feedback from geocachers about our features —  were a success at the 2014 Geocaching Block Party, so we were looking for a way to expand the program and bring voices in from other regions and demographics. Geocaching’s Founder, Jeremy Irish, had attended the Going Caching Mega Event the previous year and thought it would be a great place to host the next User Insights Games because the event attracted players with a wide range of experience levels.

What were you trying to achieve by taking the User Insights Games on the road?

Photo Oct 17, 1 06 41 PM (1) copy
Geocachers participate in User Insights Games at the Going Caching Mega Event.

We had a few different goals in mind for these games:

First, we wanted to invite geocachers to help us prioritize various community-suggested features for the Geocaching website and apps — and have fun playing a game too!

We also saw this as an opportunity to share what it’s like to be on the Geocaching Product Team with the community. When Geocaching HQ makes decisions on a new (or old) feature, we have to consider how people play the game differently across the world and across interests. That’s actually one of the coolest things about geocaching — it allows for you to play the game just the way you like it. But not everyone likes the same aspects of the game which can make deciding which features to focus on (and when) very challenging. All the geocachers who participated in these games were made “Honorary Product Team members” for the day, and were presented with some of the challenges we get to think about every day.

Finally, we wanted to spread the word about how we gather feedback about product and ways to stay involved. The games are just one step in the lengthy process of creating new geocaching features.

What are the steps to deciding on a new geocaching feature?

We usually start with a thread in the User Insights forums and follow up by sending out surveys to the global geocaching community. (Editor’s note: Make sure you’re signed up to receive the Geocaching Weekly Newsletter to be notified about these surveys.) We’ve played User Insights Games with folks at the Geocaching Block Party and Going Caching, as well as with geocachers at Mega-Events in Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, and Sweden. We’re hoping to bring these games to more geocachers around the world in 2016.

What happened at the User Insights Games at the Going Caching Mega Event?

2015-10-14 14.47.47
Geocachers play “Buy a Feature”.

We played with 75 different geocachers over a three day period in four separate two hour sessions. Whew! This time, groups were given a set amount of Monopoly money and were then asked to “purchase” various features — and making sure to consider geocachers of different skill level living in different places with different likes and dislikes. They purposefully were not given enough money to purchase everything (similar to how we have to consider resource constraints here at Geocaching HQ) so the groups had to collaborate and make some decisions together.

What will you do with your learning from the User Insights Games?

As members of the Product Team, it’s our job to be the voice of the geocaching community, based on the insights we gather at games like these. These learnings are shared with others at Geocaching HQ and are central to the product development process, ensuring that we design new features with many different geocachers’ interests in mind.

What was the highlight of the event for you?

It’s incredibly fun to watch a team of 5-7 geocachers collaborate on a specific topic. They may not agree on everything, but watching them get a bit vulnerable and share their passion for geocaching with each other (and us) is pretty special. Ideas are shared, listened to, and friends are made — all in a two hour whirlwind of fun and games.

One geocacher pulled me aside at one point and said, “I was wondering to myself why you don’t just ask us the questions and save the time, and then I thought that probably wouldn’t be any fun. I see what you guys did here. You tricked us into having fun AND giving you feedback. Well played.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

The whole team would like to give a HUGE thank you to:

  • The event organizers and their crew for working with us to bring User Insights Games to the Going Caching Mega Event. It was the first time we had taken our more formal, organized games on the road and, thanks to their awesome teamwork and planning, it was wildly successful.
  • The city of Rome, Georgia for donating the use of their beautiful ECO Center. We needed a large space to hold the sessions and the ECO Center was an amazing place to play for the week.
  • All the geocachers who shared two hours of their time with us. There were so many things to do and geocaches to find at this event, and we greatly appreciate that they made the choice to spend their valuable time with us!

Are you a geocacher? (If not, then you may be reading the wrong blog.) If yes, we want to hear from you! Take this survey to share your two cents on Challenge Caches and check out this blog post for other ways you can give your feedback.

1 Comment

A Guide to Geocaching in Lithuania

Lithuania_vFINAL_101915 (1)

 

Located the furthest south of all the Baltic states, Lithuania’s sandy beaches, enchanting castles and cobblestoned towns combine to make this country an ideal place for geocaching — and now, it has the added distinction of being the latest addition to the geocaching country souvenir collection!

To celebrate geocaching in Lithuania, we’ve pulled together this list of five awesome geocaching experiences you’ll definitely want to add to your bucket list:

GC12CVE — The Curonian Spit

This EarthCache takes you to the most famous national park in Lithuania, which is also listed as a UNESCO site. Here you will find sand dunes and lush forests jutting out into the Curonian Lagoon.

curonianspit
Photo by geocacher bolyak.

“What a place. The true magic of nature showed here. And tonight’s lighting was perfect. A beautiful sunset in the west and glimmering lights from the cities in the east. The wind on our back walking upwards was perfect.” — Team Davidsson 

GC3E0QV — Vilnius Cathedral

Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius, is known for the city’s Old Town. Here you’ll find impressive architecture dating back to the 13th century, like the cathedral near this geocache. While you’re there, you might also want to check out GC1Z4H6.

GC3E0QV
The Vilnius Cathedral was first built in the 13th century, but has been rebuilt and restored many times since then.

“Wow wow wow! I liked this one very much. I didn’t expected it in such visible location, very well masked! Thank you for the great cache.” – SNlEGS

GC4PD6E — Gedimino Pilis

After visiting the Vilnius Old Town, you can catch a view from above at the Gediminas’ Tower, pictured in the new Lithuania souvenir. This tower has become a symbol for Lithuania.

tower
From the Gediminas’ Tower, there are spectacular views of the famous Old Town in Vilnius.

“Found on our Baltic Cycle Tour with cb_caching. Wonderful place with fantastic panoramic view, best to visit in the morning sun…” – Geolej

Geocache Series — Aplink Lietuvą

This series of geocaches will take you on a tour of Lithuania’s border towns. Be sure to bring your passport, as some of the geocaches will take you into Lithuania’s neighbor countries, Russia and Belarus, which are outside of the European Union.

lithuania2
Photo by geocacher valdisj at one stop on the series, GC5CV3C.

“Thank you for guiding us to this church: when coming closer, we have noticed a professional orchestra was doing their final check for this night’s concert in this church. We used the opportunity to listen to Edvard Grieg’s music and went for the cache later.” – TheWinterClan

GC2WD5R — Kaunas Grand TB Hotel

Visit the city of Kaunas to soak in Lithuanian art, culture and history. Be sure to make a stop at the Kaunas Grand TB Hotel to swap out a trackable!

kaunas
Located nearby: the Kaunas Castle and another great geocache (GC58XD1).

“WOW! Once [the muggle] left, we found the key and opened the mysterious door. The geocache idea – amazing. Thanks to the hider for such an exciting treasure!” – Raccoons. Casimir

We’ll unveil one new souvenir every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. Learn about last week’s new souvenir announcement, Slovenia, here.

A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Lithuania we will retroactively add this souvenir to your profile after all five country souvenirs are announced.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our blog to find out which countries are next.

Have you found a geocache in Lithuania? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

Verschenke Freude mit Geocaching – und erhalte einen kostenlosen Trackable!

Free TBPerfekte Geschenke für die Geocacher in Deinem Leben zu finden, ist wie das Finden eines Geochaches – beides beschert Dir ein Lächeln.  Die gute Nachricht: Wir haben genau das Richtige für Dich.  Bei einem unserer internationalen Vertriebspartner findest Du die perfekten Geschenke für Deine Geocaching-Freunde.

Dieses Mal möchten wir zur Weihnachtszeit ein besonderes Lächeln auf Dein Gesicht zaubern. Für eine begrenzte Zeit erhältst Du ab einem bestimmten Mindesteinkauf von einem teilnehmenden Händler kostenlose grüne Travel Bugs® in limitierter Auflage.  Dabei kannst Du je nachdem wie viel Du erwirbst mehrere kostenlose Trackables bekommen (solange der Vorrat reicht)!

 

Wie wirst Du Lebewohl zu 2015 und Hallo zu 2016 sagen?

MailerSuite_LastFirst_vFINAL_Blog

Soweit haben wir dieses Jahr 15 Jahre Geocaching gebührlich gefeiert. Wir fanden einen Geocache am Jahrestag des ersten jemals versteckten Geocaches, haben viel über #TBT-Fotos aus den frühen Tagen des Geocaching gelacht und uns sogar mit unseren Geochaching-Freunden auf einen großen Road Trip begeben. Wie die meisten Geocaching-Strähnen wird jedoch auch das Jahr 2015 unweigerlich zu Ende gehen…

Aber hier ist die gute Nachricht: Dieses Jahr laden wir Euch ein, Lebewohl zu 2015 und Hallo zu 2016 mit zwei neuen Geocaching-Souvenirs zu sagen. Finde einen Geocache oder nimm am 31. Dezember an einem Event teil, um dir ein Lebewohl-2015-Souvenir zu verdienen. Beginne dein Jahr gleich mit dem Hallo-2016-Souvenir, das man sich auch durch Finden eines Geocaches oder der Teilnahme an einem Event am 1. Januar verdienen kann.

Wie kann ich mir beide Souvenirs verdienen?

Verdiene Dir das Lebewohl-2015-Souvenir, indem du einen Geocache findest oder an einem Event am 31. Dezember 2015 teilnimmst.
Verdiene Dir das Hallo-2016-Souvenir, indem Du einen weiteren Geocache findest oder an einem anderen Event am 1. Januar 2016 teilnimmst.

Kann man zwei Souvenirs für einen Event verdienen, wenn dieser am 31. Dezember beginnt und am 1. Januar endet?

Netter Versuch. Um beide Souvenirs zu bekommen, musst du zwei verschiedene Geocaches finden und/oder zwei Events besuchen – je einen bzw. eines pro Tag.

Kann ich aufeinanderfolgende Events organisieren, um beide Souvenirs zu erhalten?

Nein! Die Geocaching-Richtlinien verbieten das Aneinanderreihen von Events. Um das Aneinanderreihen von Events zu vermeiden, sollten Event-Geocaches zeitlich getrennt und von unterschiedlichen Geocachers organisiert sein, mindestens 30 Minutes dauern und an anderen Orten als andere Events stattfinden. In den Geocaching-Richtlinien findest Du weitere Informationen über das Planen eines Event-Geocache.

Wie veranstalte ich einen großartigen Neujahrs-Geocaching-Event?

Keine Sorge, wir haben die Lösung für Dich. Dieser Blogeintrag zeigt Dir in 5 einfachen Schritten, wie Du eine fantastische Geocaching-Party veranstalten kannst.

Ob Du das neue Jahr nun feiern wirst, indem du Trauben isst (wie in Spanien), Dein Zuhause dekorierst (wie das in Japan üblich ist), oder indem Du Geocachen gehst (wie das auf der ganzen Welt getan wird), Neujahr ist die Zeit, an das alte Jahr zurückzudenken und das neue Jahr willkommen zu heißen.

Wie wirst du Lebewohl zu 2015 und Hallo zu 2016 sagen?