FSstr is located in North Denmark right next to the seaside by Svinkløv Nature Reservation in the municipality of Jammerbugt. The company has a really wide range of different facilities, such as restaurant, training area, gym, hot water swimming pool and mountain bikes, as well as mountain bike related equipments and routes. These facilities target different groups of guests, such as families with children, persons with disabilities, company events and mountain bikers. During the Matchmaking event FSstr expressed interest in setting focus on developing as an international mountain bike center.
Our goal – with my fellow student Rima Palubinskiene - through this project was to deepen our knowledge of design theory and methods with special focus on interactive design. We carried out this project by studying different forms of innovations, the functional and aesthetic qualities of an interactive product and their application in practice. We applied different research methods in order to develop an interactive concept, which is based on user-generated content. Scientifically we investigated the developement of semiotics based hypothesis about user-generated content, which could be used as a communication and marketing tool byFSstr.
Regarding FSstr company`s communication, we found out that most of their actual guests visited the place after a personal recommendation of a friend or acquaintance, while it is difficult to find relevant and updated information about FSstr`s activities on the Internet. Their new web-page is being currently redesigned by a professional web design company Apart from redesigning and keeping it updated it is also important to make it possible to find it on the internet, if someone has not heard about it in advance. Meanwhile the company does not have the resources to work with this area regularly because of its relatively few staff members.
During our research we found that the FSstr location makes it possible also for not experienced mountain bikers to enjoy this sport. This means that the target group is wider and more diversified than barely experienced or professional mountain bikers.
Based on our research we have formulated the following problem statement for our project:
How can user-generated storytelling serve as communication and marketing tools for Feriecenter Slettestrand?
Based on expressed FSstr’s vision of growing the company as mountain bike center on international level, we have developed a user-generated storytelling concept. This would motivate people to visit the place, documenting their experiences - regardless if it is associated with a short event or a longer holiday – by using the physical facilities and the associated web-based applications. This would also help to promote FSstr especially amongst those who have not visited FSstr yet and search for relevant and reliable information about the place.
Our concept “Se min Slettestrand!” (See my Slettestrand!) requires a personalized user profile on the company’s homepage, created by the guest. We use as case study a mountain biking holiday group. The concept can be easily extended to any other activities. Along the mountain biking route there would be taken pictures, recorded videos of the cyclists, as well as GPS measurements. This would be possible to realize both by installed cameras in the forest along the routes, installed cameras on the bicycle and/or one’s bike helmet, as well as with portable GPS devices. After cycling, the guests would get their digital recording files automatically organized in a folder under their own personalized profile. Files could be sorted, commented by the user and could be shared with other user via the FSstr webpage application or via other social networking websites. Sharing experiences could help to promote FSstr actively, while the user profiles, producing images and other content would create up-to-date material on the Internet, which could ensure that potential customers could find FSstr with the help of search engines.
The user profiles have another side too, which could only be seen by FSstr’s staff. It would help them to record each guest’s habits, interest, activities, culinary preferences and special needs, etc. and save their time by automating the booking process. This database would also make it possible to provide intelligent services, and guests would experience that the staff could remember them personally. Furthermore FStr would be able to send personalized holiday and activity offers to their guests.
The concept “Se min Slettestrand!” would operate as a virtual club that ensures connection between FSstr and its guests, which would start before and would still be kept after the actual mountain biking; it could extend the experiences and help to provide information for guests generated by guests.
We demonstrate our concept in the form of a concept video and a set of print screens of the designed web application. “Se min Slettestrand!” is a concept ready for further refining and will hopefully contribute to FSstr’s development.