Meetup is an application that could be identified with a social network in which people who share interests get together through events that can be found within it.
The application has 5 main functionalities: Home, Explore, Notifications, Messages and Profile. The first 4 are in a horizontal menu at the bottom of the screen. The "Profile" functionality is located in the upper right part of the screen in the form of an icon of a person or with the profile photo that has been selected.
- Start. In this section, the groups to which you belong will be shown and it also shows a calendar with the events and activities that members of those groups are going to carry out in case you want to join that activity.
- To explore. This section is a search engine. To find an activity or event, you just have to type in the search bar what you want to search for. In addition, two filters can also be applied to narrow the search, these filters are the location, that if the location permission has been given, the place where the user is at that moment will appear (although it is possible to change it), and the day or range of days.
- Notifications. In this section, notifications and notices of the creation of new events, activities or groups that may be of interest to the user will be displayed.
- Messages. In this section, a list will be shown with the conversations that are being held with the different users of the application, as if it were any instant messaging app.
- Profile. This section allows you to edit the user's profile, changing Name, Location and Profile Photo. This section also gives access to an options menu located in the upper right part of the screen in the form of three vertical dots. These options contain the following sections:
- Account settings. In this section you can edit the personal data of gender and age (it is not necessary to specify them), the distance units (Kilometers or miles) and choose the theme of the app (light or dark).
- Manage notifications. Activate or deactivate the phone's notifications or those that are sent to e-mail as desired by the user.
- Provides information about the application.
- About Meetup. Provide the conditions and privacy policies.
- Sign off.
In order to analyze and evaluate the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. The tests have been carried out on a Samsung Galaxy J7 (Android 9 Pie) device with version 4.0.6 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1) with version 8.2.10
In order to use the application on both devices, it has been necessary to install it through the respective application stores of each operating system.
Once the application is installed, the moment it is started for the first time, it indicates that it is necessary to register with an email in order to start using it or to log in if you already have an account. It is also possible to access the application as a guest, but only the explore section can be used to search for activities or events. Once "Register" is selected, the application will ask if you want to activate the location of the phone to recommend nearby activities to the user.
Once the granting of this permission is accepted or denied, Meetup provides a list of categories in which the user will have to choose at least one of them, there is no maximum number of categories so you can select all of them if you want. After pressing "next" a list of interests related to the previously selected categories will be displayed, just as these do not have a maximum to select, but at least one must be selected. Finally, Meetup will recommend, based on the selected categories and interests, a series of groups to be able to join, although it is not necessary to join one if you do not want to.
After finishing identifying all the interests and selecting (or not) the groups to which you want to join, you will select the account with which the user is going to register, being able to choose the Facebook account, the Google account or any other email.
In this section, the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific objective has been evaluated, in this case it is that an older person can meet people, make new friends and attend events.
The application is very easy to use, it has a simple and friendly interface, it consists of two menus, one at the bottom with four buttons that are very simple to recognize, either by its icon or its description, so that people older than who want to use the application will have no difficulty understanding how the app works. The other is in the upper right, pressing it opens another section where you can edit the profile.
The application is easy to learn to use, so you will quickly get used to its operation, the ease of use is based above all on the fact that it is not necessary to learn how the application works 100%, it is enough to learn to search for events in the "Explore" section to be using the app effectively. This ease of learning to use it is also transferred to the ease of remembering how to use it if the application is uninstalled at some point, since the simplicity of the interface makes it very easy to remember what each functionality does and offers.
Regarding its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is highly effective since, it is only necessary to enter a topic in which one is interested in the search engine and the application itself will show events related to what has been put. In addition, taking into account that, as previously said, it does not require a great effort to learn how to use it, it can be said that the product has a high efficiency in terms of achieving socialization with other people.
With regard to portability, Meetup works on any type of Smartphone or Tablet, whether Android or iOS, and it also works from its website.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the previous criteria, it can be said that the product has an extremely good usability in terms of achieving the objective, taking into account the use that the elderly will give it, which is basically knowing the new people with similar interests.
In this section, different criteria will be applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
Cognitive accessibility - As for the images and icons, all of them have a description that facilitates their understanding, with the exception of the "Profile" menu in the upper right, although it is easily identifiable since it uses the profile photo that the user has had to assign when creating the account. In addition, they are of a reasonable size so that they can be correctly identified. It should be noted that the description is the same size as the button icon.
Accessibility for people with reduced vision - The app has a settings section where you can change the range of colors from light to dark, that is, change from a white background and black letters to a black background and white letters. The size of the letter cannot be changed so depending on the size of the screen of the device being used, it is possible that the words may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the size of the font in the settings. general of the device, causing that in turn to increase in the app. To complete this accessibility section, it has been decided to carry out some tests with the screen reader systems that Android and IOS devices have. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons that Meetup has. In all the devices in which the screen reader has been used, the buttons have been well labeled, both with Talkback on Android and with Voice Over on IOS.
Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties - People who have hearing difficulties can use the application without any problem since the application does not contain any type of sound, except for the sounds that may be emitted by the alerts that are displayed on the panel phone notifications.
In this section we are going to study if the application works correctly and does not have critical faults that affect the functions of the app.
In the days that the application has been tested, it has not presented any notable or critical failure in its operation.
Privacy & Security
In general terms, the application works correctly, no critical failure has been detected that has impaired its operation. Regarding the use that is going to be given to this app, it can be said that it contributes in a splendid way to mitigate the state of loneliness suffered by many elderly people by providing them with the necessary means to meet new people and even to leave their homes.
The main positive point of the application is the ease with which you can find events of the interests that the user has selected when the account is created, in this application the organizers are usually quite active, so there is no week or day that there is no activity or event that may be of interest. Another positive point is that, although it is an application that focuses on attending events or activities, you can also start conversations with other people through a chat.
This app has been greatly affected in a negative way due to the effects of COVID-19, so it is possible that for a few months there will not be many activities available to attend. However, there are some organizations that host events online.
Finally, it should be noted that in order to use this application, an internet connection is necessary, either through a connection via WiFi or via mobile data.
- It helps in an excellent way to mitigate the effect of loneliness among older people.
- Help older people meet new people with the same tastes.
- Unlike other apps, this one helps seniors to socialize with people of all ages.
- It would be interesting if the font size could be changed from the settings section.
- The possibility of including a section called "events" where a series of events are shown that the user might like could be studied.