For my project I had to slightly alter my app idea based on the information I received from surveys and interviews. What I thought was the most important feature turns out not to be the most useful for everyone and things I thought were less important seemed to ring deeply with many riders. Certain features gained lots of interest amongst fixed gear riders in particular.
My original idea for the app was to create a platform for cyclist to connect with each other to plan rides and cut down on the multiple calls and text messages associated with coordinating people. While these features were found to be helpful, not everyone agreed it was equally important. So I started thinking about other useful features (including some not included in the initial survey/idea)
I started with a survey and got tons of responses: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XY7NY87 and then interviews several people locally who ride and a few people from I met in online forums via skype. I was lucky enough to interview people from the Netherlands, Japan and New York and got a wealth of information about the cycling cultures in their areas.
During the interviews I realized that those who considered themselves fixed gear riders had many things in common, more than the other types of cyclist I spoke with. Here is what I learned:
1. They build and maintain their own bikes
2. They enjoy riding socially with more than one person on a regular basis
3. They have had at least one bike stolen (and all currently have bikes with ~$1000 in components)
4. Depending on location, they had a difficult time finding local shops that catered to the fixed gear market.
My idea for an application is BikeMapp. BikeMapp will allow Fixed Gear Cyclist to connect with each other and local bike shops (LBS) to buy, sell and trade parts, find and share routes and events, and track the location of their bike via gps by providing a single platform customized to their use.
‣ Who are they?
Fixed gear and single speed riders who are at least part time employed who enjoy building and maintaining their own bikes and don't have a lot of LBS that provide parts for fixed gear bikes. They also ride primarily for recreation.
‣ Why are they using your product?
They will have a single platform to find and buy gear from local cyclist and LBS that offer compatible parts. They can also enhance the social part of their riding by discovering new routes and events and track their bike via gps to help prevent theft and coordinate with others.
‣ What beneﬁt does it have for them?
Moderate to high benefit depending on the area. They will have a platform that can help them find the gear they are looking for locally from shops and other riders making the process more fruitful and less dependent on services like craigslist (if it exist in their area) and large online retailers. Tracking their bike via GPS in case of theft will have huge benefit as they will be more likely to recover the stolen bike making the benefit invaluable for some
‣ What problem is it solving for them? (If no problem, what desires is it satisfying?)
Having a large repository of people and shops nearby that provide the gear they are looking for and a piece of mind knowing they have a better chance of recovering a stolen bike. GPS features will help track friends when coordinating large rides.
‣ What got them to pick it up in the ﬁrst place?
They were interested in finding gear available to purchase locally and wanted some extra protection for their investment.
‣ How did they hear about it?
Popular cycling blogs and sites, local retailers that partner with the app to provide deals for its users, and friends who use it to connect and find new routes, possibly insurance companies.
‣ What’s so much better about it than what they were doing before?
You will have a definitive answer on which LBS offer products that cater to you and you can find other cyclist that may be selling gear all in a single place.
‣ Why are they using it instead of the competition?
Few if any other apps are catered to the fixed gear culture. Most cycling apps are intensely focused on fitness and being a cycling computer. This app will focus on the culture of fixed gear riding and connecting riders with each other and relevant services.
‣ When do they use it?
They use it when looking for gear, coordinating friend and rides and for real-time information on route navigation and location of deals and events in real-time.
‣ Where do they use it?
They will use it at home for shopping and and coordinating events and while riding to take advantage of real time features related to gps and discovery of routes, deals, events and friends.
‣ How long do they use it for?
From a few minutes to a few hours depending on the activity.
‣ How much value does it bring them?
Moderate to high value. Finding gear locally can cut down on time and cost of obtaining them. Finding new routes and events cuts down on time searching for them, providing a moderate value. Possibly recovering a stolen bike can be invaluable.