Bicycl - getting people to share their cycling stories

Bicycl.png
 
 

The brief

To focus on user research, understanding the user of the app and validate the app idea
Primary deliverables: User research with personas and customer journey maps
Secondary deliverables: Ideation on improvements that can be made to onboard users to the app

What is Bicycl?

It is an app that allows for cyclists all over the world to upload photos and text sharing their ride. It aims to involve all types of cyclists, from road cyclists to commuter cyclists to mountain bikers, building a community of like-minded individuals that love cycling.

Their team is made up of cyclists and they upkeep a blog that can be accessed here: http://www.bicycl.asia

Why do they need UX help?

Bicycl is an app that has been launched into the market since September 2015. Currently they have managed to amass around 500+ posts through their community outreach efforts. They are interested to increase the number of posts which is their measure of success currently. The more posts there are, the more successful the app would be.

UX can help them to suss out their target audience and validate the app idea. Ultimately, UX would be able to collate some responses and answer the following question:

Is there a user base that would use this app?

Getting out there and talking to cyclists would help them understand the current story sharing habits that cyclists are engaging in.

Interviewing cyclists

We recruited a range of cyclists, a total of 20 people. It was a healthy mix of enthusiasts to casual cyclists, cyclists of different age groups and usage patterns. It was important to have a mix because the team and I wanted to understand the motivations behind why people cycle and the different problems they might face based on their differing cycling habits.

Look at the post-its covered wall! These post-its are the findings that we have extracted from our interviewees. Sorting them out would give us a better understanding of their behaviours and the factors affecting them.

Look at the post-its covered wall! These post-its are the findings that we have extracted from our interviewees. Sorting them out would give us a better understanding of their behaviours and the factors affecting them.

After the interviews, we sorted out the information gathered and formed an idea of the type of cyclists there are. Personas that are then carefully formed from these findings.

Jeff is an enthusiast that would share his cycling stories with anyone. He is proud of his bicycle and finds the chance to cycle every time, may it be for leisure, competitive cycling with his friends or to commute to work. He is also most likely to spend on his bicycles, to modify them or to buy more elite models.

Jeff is an enthusiast that would share his cycling stories with anyone. He is proud of his bicycle and finds the chance to cycle every time, may it be for leisure, competitive cycling with his friends or to commute to work. He is also most likely to spend on his bicycles, to modify them or to buy more elite models.

Noel is a commuter type cyclist. His use of the bicycle is more functional than anything and he loves a good light bicycle. He does share some stories but only if it is memorable and not one of his routine rides to office. He spends on his bicycle and is always wanting a better lighter bicycle.

Noel is a commuter type cyclist. His use of the bicycle is more functional than anything and he loves a good light bicycle. He does share some stories but only if it is memorable and not one of his routine rides to office. He spends on his bicycle and is always wanting a better lighter bicycle.

CJM for both personas are combined. This CJM shows the ownership journey of a cyclist as he buys a bicycle, goes on a ride, modifies it and shares stories about the bicycle and the ride on social media platforms.

Reviewing Bicycl’s Social Media Content Strategy

As an app that relies heavily on user generated content, Bicycl has to take an active role in curating these content.

I considered focusing on the type of user generated content that is being posted on the app but found that the stories are not labelled and there are limited engagement data available. I concluded that the insights gained from looking through those posts might not be useful and could possibly only show the current type of content that people are currently sharing on their platform.

The bigger fish in the sea, as I see it, is the greater cycling community that is currently still unaware of this app. I wanted to understand how this app might be perceived and how the team is currently channeling their online presence to acquire new users. This is useful because the company is still in its growth stage and while content can be curated for quality, a solid user base still needs to be built and established before the app can find success.

Acquiring users through a solid social media strategy is not new to Bicycl. Bicycl has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their website which serves as a blog too. I went through their posts, extending back to January and plotted it on a calendar for a better visual representation.

Mapping out the social posts that the team has done within a 6 months period to understand how they are utilising their social media platforms and if it can be improved. (Blue — Facebook, Purple — Instagram, Orange — Blog)

There were also other information gathered from this content audit effort. I included not only when the posts were done but also the engagement per post (using a rough estimate by referencing the number of likes, shares and comments on each post), type of post (self-generated content or shared content) and what kind of content was being shared.

Note: Twitter was not examined because there was no real content shared there and no engagement seems to be happening

Findings: Instagram was doing way better than Facebook, 10 times more effective in engaging with users

Engagement levels on Facebook by kind of posts and content of posts. Organically generated content is the most effective and photos/ video posts are the ones that see the most engagement

From the content audit and crunching the numbers, the following points of improvements were proposed:

  • Bring the best of Instagram to Facebook : showcase bicycles & inspire community to cycle and share stories
  • Fully utilise the potential of organically generated content : always cross-post stories generated on blog and Instagram
  • Drive engagement levels up : entire community team should actively share and like posts to take advantage of the networking effect

It matters not just that there is a social media presence (adds validity when a potential user searches up about the company) but where and when the posts are done coupled with the actual content of the post also affects the effectiveness of posts.

The following diagram shows the when and where social media posts should be shared, including the day, time of day and which platform(s) the posts should be shared on.

When and where posts should be shared based on when users are most active on the social media platforms

What’s the strategy moving forward?

We realised through our user research that cyclists were not currently interested to post stories about their trips but they are interested to view bicycle photos. The same trend happens on the social media posts where bicycle porn photos had the highest engagement.

We broached the idea of having users share stories about their bicycle, including modifications and tying trips made on that specific bicycle. The idea was well received by the team and we felt as though it is a stronger incentive for cyclists and it is also a new area that is unexplored by other bicycle-related apps currently available on the market.

We found our users and we understood what they are currently doing to boost user acquisition numbers. 

A good product speaks for itself. We want to make the app more usable for the personas that we have identified and took it upon ourselves to rework the onboarding flow as well as include a whole different section for posting a bicycle story.

The overall colour palette was retained with minor changes to use the red as an accent colour rather than a main text colour to prevent the colour from being too distracting. 

Check out our clickable prototype here on Invision: Invis.io/Q885UYAA4