This project was for Powder Magazine. Powder caters to the advanced to expert skier referring to the condition of the snow desired. The goal of this project was to increase readership by attracting more skiers through a new product or feature. Most skiers dream of fresh untouched snow where the sense of surfing on soft light powder is the ideal experience. The solitude and freedom of the wilderness, the promise of fresh snow away from the controlled environment and crowds of a resort are the appeal. In most situations in order to find such conditions require a trek to the backcountry as soon as possible after extended snowfall or “dump”. Being properly equipped, having the proper experience, physically conditioned and well information of the terrain and weather conditions are mandatory when hiking, skinning (attachments to skis to allow for traction in the snow for uphill use) or climbing to these secluded locations. Not being weighed down is very important for a good time with a balance of the proper gear needed for safety. My solution was to find a better way to reach the skiers during their activity by creating something useful. Leveraging Powder Magazine’s database of the latest gear from their annual review, this tool allows easy access and an overview of the gear they posses when packing for a trip. The ability for the mobile app to function offline allows for flexibility in locations without access to the internet. Weight and size are easily calculated and viewed. There is also the ability to compare specifications and reviews when shopping for new equipment with a quick scan of the product barcode or entering the product description.
Powder is a 41 year old magazine, has a website, mobile application and online social presents. “POWDER, The Skier’s Magazine embodies the soul, attitude and the energy of skiing. Powder’s outstanding photography and writing by some of the sport’s leading authorities captures the interest and imagination of the advanced-to-expert skier. Each issue is packed with adventure, travel, new products, ski areas and events.” Resources for equipment (gear): “Gear Locker” section of Powder Magazine that offers reviews and articles. Buyer’s Guide: Offers the same reviews and details from the magazine, but includes buy-now links from Backcountry.com, product videos with manufacturers, zoom-in photos, and community reviews. Also feature the Skier’s Choice logo. This designation derives from the Fantasy Draft Buyer’s Guide, where they tasked 15 skiers from all over North America to select their dream quiver in four categories. They have ‘featured brands’. The Pacific and Mountain areas of the US make up 45% of Powder Magazine’s print circulation. Advanced/expert/pro-level skiers make up 95% of the readership. The average amount spent on ski equipment last year was $1850.00.
Bob is 40 Years old, He is a fireman, He is married, He lives in Midwestern US. Bob likes the outdoors and loves skiing the backcountry where the goal is to find solitude and fresh untouched snow to ski. Bob’s location is convenient to a number of resorts where a base of operation for a trip is easy. Information on weather patterns and avalanche reports are readily available at ski resorts. The Pacific and Mountain zones of the US make 45 percent of the readership of Powder Magazine.
“Since I ski mostly at the ski area, I am always observing the snowpack, wind & other weather phenoms during the days leading up to a backcountry excursion.“ “I prod patrol & friends for their observations.“
“I make my own conclusions.” “I check my equipment & maybe even conduct a short practice session.” “I try to be mentally prepared to abort or modify the mission.” “I get ready but wearing looser ski pants for the increased range of motion and like 6 sweatshirts because layering is extra important for back country”
Backcountry skiers chase solitude and avoid people especially ones that may not understand the backcountry etiquette and avalanches. They like light and dependable equipment. “I love the silence, solitude & all those other warm fuzzy things you would expect.” “I like the feeling of successfully completing the project or at least coming back unscathed. I like when the plan comes together.” “I don’t like being stuck in a tent for long periods of time.” “I don’t like excessive unplanned bushwhacking.”
“Most of us are gear whores and like getting our gear together.” “could you come up with a binding that you can tele in or lock down the heels according to your mood, that’s EZ in – EZ out, weighs around 1 lb per pair, and costs less than $150? Oh, and with cup holders?”
Mobile application concept is to create an environment where the skier sets up a list of their equipment. Using information from Powder Magazine’s database useful specifications would be populated automatically and saved to the device, giving access to all information even when offline which is likely at some ski resorts or remote locations. Access to reviews are also available when online. The function would be to help the skier prepare for their trip. Picking and choosing the best equipment based on weather, conditions, expected activity.
There will be an desktop version that will reside on Powder Magazine’s website.
The skier will be able to build their pack and what would be on their person this will produce an overview for an assessment as to weight, fit, catching redundancy and may prevent forgetting something.
There is also an option during this process where one can view a previous list and use it as a base, further eliminating the chance of forgetting something.
There is also a shopping/new gear section. With a quick scan of the product barcode or manual input will make it easy to check out the latest and greatest gear. Easily compare specifications again automatically populated from Powder Magazine’s database allowing for more fondling time in the stores.
A calculator can be used without creating an account.
The desktop version will live on Powder Magazine’s website.
After signing in or creating an account one page will allow for search, results and the beginning of a list creation. First by adding backpacks owned.
Choose to what to add to the backpack or on one’s person.
Details of the pack can be displayed. this may help in choosing the right pack for the conditions. Also who doesn’t like reading about their gear?
Add a list of gear to one’s person. Check the one’s that would be used currently.
Calculate weight both in the pack and in person, as well as total volume of the pack.
The mobile application would be very similar including the same calculator for continuity of use.
The mobile application begins with a sign up before creating a list.
Choosing a backpack and then the option to add search results to the backpack or on person.
The calculator provides information about weight and size of pack information
Scan equipment with manufacturer’s tags for quick access to specifications and reviews and an option to add to a list
This tool will offer useful information and overview to a skier who’s on the go and needs to be ready when the conditions are ideal. It reminds them of Powder Magazine’s comprehensive database of product information that has been collected over the years in it’s ongoing annual gear reviews and access to blogs and articles that provides reviews, bringing more traffic and awareness of Powder’s content.