Party assistant to make event coordination convenient and comfortable
Planning and coordinating parties and social gatherings can be a pain. You need to come up with a plan and makes sure everyone likes it. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel left out. And there is always the risk of no one wants to come or people flake out at the last minute. What can we do to make the process easier?
I identified the following characteristics of my targeted user group.
- Male and female from age 16 - 45
- Professionals or full time students
- Busy schedule: may not have a lot of time for both work & social life
- Sociable: Desire to stay connected with people despite busy schedule
- Tech-savvy: familiar with using mobile devices and active on social media
- Fun-loving, have a group of friends
The targeted situations that I would like to support:
- Everyone is co-located in the same city
- Informal social gatherings with friends, and friends of friends
- Group of 3 - 20 people
- Each social outing lasts less than a day
I conducted 5 semi-structured interviews and asked interviewees about their experiences on participating and organizing social outings. Our conversations revolved around the following questions:
- Have you organized a social outing? Why or why not?
- Describe a time you organized a social event?
- What's frustrating about organizing social events?
- Describe how do you figure out the plan? What do you decide first? What do you decide last?
- What do you think would help making event coordination easier.
Hard to get people to RSVP and gauge interests
Have to make sure to invite people through the channel that person is using.
It's hard to find something everyone wants to do.
- People flake out on the plan at last minute.
Why is event coordination hard?
Multifactorial: It's hard to make a plan
Activity (What), Location (Where), Time (When), People (Who)
The factors are interconnected.
There might be multiple activities, locations, times for one event
Additional Constraints: Budget, Weather, Transportation
Multiple People: It's hard to make everyone happy
People have different preferences, and availability
Group decisions are hard to make
Takes a long time for the group to make an decision
People don't respond in time
Need for finalizing the plan for reservation, and other arrangements
How are group decisions made?
- Everyone is involved in the decision making
- More likely to attend the event
- Takes long time to reach consensus, if reach consensus at all
- Fast and easy to make decision
- Does not take other's opinion into consideration
- Less likely to attend the event
- Likes and Dislikes
- When it comes to social events, most people have the intention to be accommodating to others. They tend to take the "whatever" approach
- "Ranking veto": When someone expresses a negative opinion about a factor, such as someone is not available at that time, or someone is vegetarian and doesn't want to go to a steakhouse. It is more important to listen to vetos than likes
MeetApp is a party assistant that makes event planning easy and comfortable. The organizer can quickly create a tentative event, with multiple activities and multiple options. The invitees can easily express their opinions about each options, make suggestions and RSVP without logging into MeetApp. The organizer have the final say in settling the plan. Attendees can also add event to their calendar to remind themselves.
Invite people through different channels
- Problem: Lisa wants to throw a New Year's Eve party at her house. She has a big group of friends, including June who disabled her Facebook account, Julio who never checks his email, and Wanda who doesn't have an unlimited text plan. To make sure her invitation get to everyone, she created a Facebook event for her friends who are on Facebook a lot. She wrote a mass email to a couple people. And then texted a few people individually.
- Solution: After creating the NYE party event using MeetApp, she can send out invitations from a central place through different channels. She send out the invitations to June and Wanda through email, to Julio through text. When people RSVP or chat, she can see everything in MeetApp.
Gather opinions to decide on the plan
- Problem: Lucy wants to have a Girl's Night Out with 6 of her girl friends. She is thinking to get dinner but doesn't know a good place or what her girl friends like. So she messaged everyone and ask them about their preferences. Lily likes the Mexican place near her house, Julie wants to go somewhere fancy. Everyone expressed their opinions but Lucy had to go through all the messages and figure out what would be the option that will make everyone happy.
- Solution: Lucy created an event in MeetApp and listed out several options for dinner. When her girls friends get the invitation, they can like and dislike an option based on their own preference. Looking at the polling results, Lucy sees that Roadback Steakhouse is the most popular option, however her friend Wendy voted dislike for the option since she is a vegetarian. Out of respect for Wendy, Lucy decided to finalize the plan with the second most popular option in the poll.
More use cases
- Create a plan
- Finalize plan
- Look up event details