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I have found a recent love for camping, and combining this with my irrational spending habits I bought a roof tent. This was the first step in trying to plan a road trip around Ireland's renowned coastlines while staying at its campsites. while planning this trip I discovered the websites and technology used within the camping industry were outdated and difficult to manage and without knowing at the time this was the early stages of Boondocks being born.

Boondocks is a mobile app that streamlines the campsite booking process in the UK and Ireland. Users can easily browse, view, and book sites that meet their needs while accessing up-to-date information on each location. This all-in-one platform simplifies the booking process and organises important information for a hassle-free experience.

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The Process

Before starting I carried out some preliminary research on the camping industry itself. According to Mintel, over one in five adults in the UK have been camping since the start of COVID-19. 38% of this group took their first-ever camping or caravanning holiday during the pandemic. This totalled roughly 4.5 million newcomers. This caused a dramatic shift in the market, in 2022 UK holidaymakers spent £2.7 billion which was a 77% increase on the prior year which reached £ 1.5 billion.

Once I had finished my research into the industry I wanted to touch base with some of my potential target audience. I conducted a survey to see how people book their stay. Below are the results.

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These findings indicated that there was a gap in the market and an opportunity to improve the industry's booking process. This then gave me the incentive to start designing.

Over the past two semesters, I have used a number of applications to create and develop this project to what you see today. These tools enabled me to design and create an immersive prototype that was backed up by research and testing. The primary and most used tool in my arsenal was Figma. Due to Figma's utility and community, it was clear that it was the best application to design and bring Boondocks to life. I used Figma all the way from the beginning through digitising wireframes and branding to component libraries and high-fidelity mock-ups.

Alongside all the work I carried out for this project I also kept an electronic journal of sorts, that documented each step I took with the project, its development and the pivots it took over time. This was all carried out on the application called Notion. This was an excellent tool that proved extremely beneficial for research, thoughts and general organisation of the project.

Some other tools that were used that deserve a shot out were SurveyMonkey, Webflow and photoshop. SurveyMonkey was used to gather early preliminary research and data. Webflow was used to create and run the Boondocks promotional website. Last but not least, PhotoShop was used to create mockups and show the brand in real-life examples.

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Alongside these software tools, I also used traditional paper-based methods such as sketching branding, wireframes, brainstorming etc. This gave me the opportunity to take the first step of many in the creation of Boondocks as an application and its community. Beginning the process on paper allowed me to organise my thoughts on paper and start to develop the brand and where it was heading.

Figma - Designing prototype/website

Notion - Digital archive

Survey monkey - Data/info gathering

Webflow - Promotional website

Photoshop - Mockups

Indesign - Colophon report

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The Outcome

An app that improves the campsite booking process for the user and the host while also creating a brand that is an accurate reflection of its loyal and friendly users and community that exists within a campsite. A brand that they relate to, are proud to be a part of and that’s welcoming to all.

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