Powder

Problem: Excessive weight makes for an uncomfortable day in the backcountry.

Solution: Easily accessible information and total pack weight when preparing for a trip online or off.

Research: From my research I’ve found that backcountry skiers liken a good time to being free to roam the isolation of the backcountry. Being weighed down produces less mobility and possible fatigue making the day harder and possibly ending a day early. Powdery snow days rely on unpredictable weather patterns and are sometimes few and far between. The skier must be ready to go on short notice, packing the gear appropriately for day’s weather is important and being ready quickly to optimize their time is key to having the best experience.

Research

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.

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Powder is a 41 year old magazine, has a website, mobile application and online social presence. “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.”
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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.

User Journey
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“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.“
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“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”
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Backcountry enthusiasts like light and dependable equipment. “Most of us are gear whores and like getting our gear together.” “Weight plays a huge role, you know, shit gets heavy. No one likes breaking trail with 40lbs on their back.”

User Flow
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The skier will be able to build their pack and what would be on their person for a trip. This will produce an overview for an assessment as to weight, fit, catching redundancy and may prevent forgetting something.
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The skier will be able to build their pack and what would be on their person for a trip. This will produce an overview for an assessment as to weight, fit, catching redundancy and may prevent forgetting something.
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Exploring new gear. With a quick scan of the product bar-code or manual input will make it easy to check out the latest and greatest. Easily compare specifications by leveraging Powder Magazine’s database allowing for more fondling time in the stores.

Desktop Wireframes
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There will be a desktop version that will reside on Powder Magazine’s website. It will provide another outlet to research new gear and add to a personalized list once acquired.
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A calculator can be used without creating an account to promote exploration of new equipment that are available annually.
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The desktop version will live on Powder Magazine’s website.
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After signing in or creating an account a page will allow for searches, results and the beginning of creating a lit. First choose a backpack that will be used and added to owned gear.
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Fill the pack with gear from list.
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Details of the pack or gear can be displayed. This may help in choosing the right pack for the conditions. Also who doesn’t like reading about their gear?
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Add equipment to one’s person.
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Calculate weight both in the pack and on person, as well as information about total volume so one can have an idea as to the fullness of the pack.

App Wireframes
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The skier sets up a list of owned 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. The function would be to help the skier prepare for their trip. Picking and choosing the best equipment based on weather, conditions, expected activity quickly.
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The mobile application would offer on and offline use automatically syncing with lists created while online.
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Sign up and begin creating a list of current gear.
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Choose a backpack and add items from list to the backpack or on person.
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Calculate weight both in the pack and on person, as well as information about total volume so one can have an idea as to the fullness of the pack.
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Scan the manufacturer’s tags for quick access to specifications based on Powder Magazine’s database and reviews. An easy way to add to their list of equipment previously created.

Conclusion

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 leverages 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 to Powder’s content.