Reach your destination quickly and easily, without knowing the address

  • Thomas Botton

Every single function of the Guide Me Yodli app, as well as the app as a whole, was created as a clever way of answering the following question: how do I get to the right place at the right time without having to know the address?

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The app guides the user all the way to their final destination using personalised notifications sent in real-time. Bearing the name Guide Me Yodli – a reference to the Youth Olympic Games’ (YOG) mascot – the app was tested at full scale and under real conditions during the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. The way the user experience was structured made it easy to find the different YOG competition sites (eight in total, including one over the border in France) as well as other places of interest without knowing the address.

But why make another app like the ones that already exist?

The YOG took place over two-weeks. Google, for example, does not update its points of interest (POI) for such a short period. Furthermore, the POIs we created for the YOG were not found at the usual stops.
Developing the app required creative technical solutions because of three particular challenges:

  • Incorporating multiple means of transport for a single journey, for example, using a bike, bus and train for one journey;
  • Combining public and private transport for athletes and officials; and
  • Having a feature to calculate the carbon footprint produced.

The app actually offers you the option to choose your itinerary based on the carbon footprint it would produce. This calculation is made possible by technology from RouteRANK.

A bold approach rewarded with exceptional performance

Thanks to Guide Me Yodli, more than 80% of athletes exclusively used public transport when travelling between the Olympic Village and the different competition sites. A first for the Youth Olympic Games!
Because we developed the app from scratch, there were no teething problems to worry about: 96.2% of users said that it did not crash once while they were using it. And this was despite it handling more than 78,000 itinerary searches and more than 10,000 navigation notifications in the space of just 10 days.

And now?

The app, available in English and French, was designed to adapt to the user and optimised for athletes and visitors in particular. This user-profile-based approach can be universally applied to large sporting events (and cultural events) of all kinds, which would not be the case if we had based the concept on the site’s geography or the particular transport facilities there. It could therefore also be used for other events as such.

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