Toorcamp 2022 was a breath of fresh air after a 4-year wait due to the pandemic. I participated with friends, volunteering as a mentor for StudentRND/Codeday. It was an excellent chance to reconnect with people I hadn't seen since before the pandemic and make friends with some new hackers & tech enthusiasts.
Lazztech Hub @ Large Outdoor Events 🏕
This large outdoor event at the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island ended up being an excellent opportunity to test the app in a new type of environment. A friend and I ended up breaking the grounds on the resort where Toorcamp 2022 was held into the "Camping District" Hub and the "Social District" Hub.
The "Camping District" Hub
was a large field where the StudentRND campground was, along with many other campers, a geodesic conference dome, a soldering workshop, and a temporary Ada's Technical Books & Cafe "Internet Cafe" located in a treehouse on the resort. This was where most of the attendants at the event set up camp.
The "Social District" Hub
was up against the bay, where most of the stands, night market, shops, and restaurants were located. This area had the majority of the stands and late evening activities.
Breaking this large outdoor event into Hubs for each "District" was an excellent use case for the app and the first opportunity I'd had to test it in this kind of large setting with many users moving about across the 5-day event.
I received lots of excellent feedback and bug reports from these new and existing users during the event. Some of which I was aware of or already planning, other details were new ideas I hadn't thought of. This was also a chance to test with a group of users where the majority was on Android which provided helpful feedback.
I've compiled a list of feedback and observations from conversations with users during this event below.
- 3rd party OAuth sign-in/registration
- Easier invites and communication with new and existing users
- ask for contacts for invites
- ask for the user's phone number on the registration to facilitate invites and communication between users
- shareable invites/join requests
- feedback form/any way to provide bug reports
- allow admin to configure “no update” within checkout time/advanced options
- General advanced admin options for Hub & Event admins
- Add support for manual check-in & out for people who don't want to allow background location permissions for auto check-in and out
- Display icons for hubs and users on the map
- Android users reported that the image upload flow didn't make sense as it sent them to edit the image before uploading.
- One user noticed that the state of who was present was not always consistent between the home page and the Hub's page
- On the tutorial page after registering the slide content was blocking the swiping indicator at the bottom, making it difficult to realize that they could swipe through the pages to get to the end
Thoughts & Conclusions
The most consistent theme I saw from the feedback provided by users was that it needs to be easier to register, & invite friends. Along with general quality and bug fixes.
The consensus was that some combination of requesting phone book permissions on the user's device and the user's phone number on registration would be justified for ease of use. That and amongst this group of tech professionals the positive sentiment for 3rd party sign-in/registration feature was very high.
Other than that the interest in the app seemed to be positive and it was not difficult to elicit feedback and discussions on the idea of this kind of social location service as an app.
Ultimately though, I believe this served as a fun way to find what area of the resort friends were at and an excellent springboard to introduce friends as new users. I personally found it useful for situations where I wanted to venture out on the resort to get some quiet time, without concern about struggling to find where the party was when I was ready to return. I referred to the information provided by the app on a few occasions to successfully make my way back to where the community had gathered.
I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate with the StudentRND community and be a part of Toorcamp 2022. It was a lovely experience and I'll be looking forward to returning to the next one.