This afternoon Will and I tested the Exeter City FC Supporters Trust trail by walking from one destination to the other, more or less following the numerical order as shown in the screenshot right above. The trail isn’t quite a trail yet, it’s more of a list of locations, but testing what it means encountering these locations as part of a trail and beginning to imagine their affordances will hopefully help us to turn the list into a rewarding and engaging journey about the history of the Exeter City Football Trust and Club through the streets of Exeter.
The good news was that, generally speaking, the geocoding worked for most of the locations, though the Find Me tool didn’t seem to function today, so whilst we knew when we got something wrong, we couldn’t fix the problem there and then, and I will need to try to get a more accurate reading next week. The other good news was that the use of more precise geocoding at St James Park meant that the trail appeared as a line even when the locations were very close to each other. This is a definite improvement from where we were just a few weeks ago when the line representing the user’s journey looked more like a Kandinsky painting gone wrong.
As you can see we are currently using a football to represent St James and as the walk starts at the ticket booth the football is currently placed there to mark the beginning of the trail. However, I associate football with something dynamic, in motion, and this use turned it into a static object. There might be the possibility of using a stadium icon for St James and turning the blue dot that marks the user’s position into a football, which may give users the sense that they are playing, but we need to see whether this idea is viable or even good. We also need to think of a more efficient way to encourage users to move from one location to the other than just using numbers.
As in the case of the Tudor map, the app tells you that you are approaching the next location, and it also tells you when you have arrived there. An image and 100 word texts will illustrate the significance of each location performatively, to encourage users to take an action (by looking at something, imagining something, remembering something, exploring their feelings and sharing their memories and emotions with others, for example).
Some sites have some brilliant affordances, some entail fairly dramatic clashes between what will be narrated through them and what users find themselves immersed in. How to facilitate presencing will be crucial and this is something I will now start to think about more specifically since the Brazilian journal Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença has expressed an interest in a piece on the project in relation to presence research.