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Places Study

About the feature

This feature revolutionizes how users interact with mobility data, offering a granular view of daily life's dynamics for residents, visitors, and commercial vehicles nationwide.

About the Project

A total redesign of both the user experience and technical architecture of Replica's core feature. My comprehensive role bridged user research, design, and technical execution, ensuring the feature met market demands at the highest standards.

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Initial Plan

Upon joining Replica in August 2020, shortly after its Series A funding, I was entrusted with the Explorer MVP, a nascent iteration of what would evolve into the Places Study. This rudimentary version featured basic mapping, charting, and filtering functionalities. Collaborating closely with the CEO and product managers over the subsequent nine months, we embarked on a journey to deeply understand our target audience—their needs, behaviors, and how they interacted with our platform. This collaborative effort was not just about immediate enhancements; it was a strategic endeavor to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive redesign. We meticulously mapped out which features to introduce, refine, or retire, ensuring each step brought us closer to a more sophisticated, user-centric version of Explorer.

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Exploring User Research

Our approach to user research was multifaceted, involving direct conversations with users and insights from our customer success team. A recurring theme emerged: many users were overwhelmed by the complexity and depth of data available within Explorer, struggling to grasp the extent of insights that could be extracted from Replica’s seasonal mobility datasets. Even technically savvy users, who understood the potential of the data underpinning the maps and charts, faced barriers in accessing the raw datasets for deeper, more personalized analysis. This feedback highlighted a significant disconnect between our platform’s capabilities and user engagement, underscoring the need for a more intuitive and accessible design that could bridge this gap, making powerful data analysis within reach of all our users.

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Problems to Solve

Our comprehensive research, user feedback, and case studies highlighted key priorities that shaped the redesign of our core feature. To align with user needs, we integrated essential elements into the new Places Study:

  • Direct Dataset Access: We prioritized providing users with direct access to the underlying disaggregated mobility data, facilitating in-depth analysis beyond the Replica platform.

  • Intuitive Filtering: A user-friendly and scalable method for filtering both tabular and geospatial attributes was developed to enhance data navigation.

  • Enhanced UI/UX Patterns: We introduced a more accessible set of UI/UX designs, enabling users to perform geospatial analysis directly on the map, improving interaction and understanding.

  • Revised Information Architecture: The redesign focused on reimagining the information architecture to offer users a transparent view of how maps, charts, filters, and the foundational dataset interconnect, streamlining the overall user experience.

These strategic improvements were aimed at making the Places Study feature not only more user-friendly but also more powerful in delivering valuable insights, directly addressing the core needs and challenges identified through our user research.

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Prototype, Test, and Repeat: Iterative Design at the Core

Our commitment to excellence drove the development of our flagship feature, central to our product’s entire business model. Through an iterative process of prototyping, testing, and refining, we engaged in detailed feedback sessions with both internal teams and external users. This approach ensured that the feature not only met but exceeded the diverse needs of our community, enabling us to deliver a solution that truly resonated with our user

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Beta Launch, Refinement, and Impact

In June 2022, the beta version of "Study" was introduced to a select group, initiating a critical two-month testing phase. This period was focused on identifying and addressing bugs, leading to significant updates that refined "Study" into a flagship feature surpassing its predecessor and providing a scalable architecture for future enhancements.

Feature Innovations:

  • Filters: An intuitive filtering system at the top allows for easy addition and management, simplifying data exploration.

  • Geospatial Visualization: Integrates maps and charts for detailed analysis of regions, enabling users to glean insights on demographics and movements.

  • Data Accessibility: Offers a straightforward view for downloading disaggregated data, aiding in comprehensive external analyses or integration into proprietary models.

The release of "Study" was universally acclaimed, marking a notable achievement in user engagement and platform growth. This led to a threefold increase in user growth within a year, significantly contributing to Replica's revenue surpassing targets and advancing towards profitability. "Study" has redefined user interaction with our platform, highlighting our dedication to innovation and user-centric design.

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Data Library

A centralized access point to Replica's extensive datasets, simplifying data discovery, preview, and download for in-depth analysis.

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