Meetup is an application that could be identified with a social network in which people who share interests come together through events that can be found within it.
The application has 5 main features: Home, Browse, Notifications, Messages and Profile. The first 4 are located in a horizontal menu located at the bottom of the screen. The "Profile" functionality is located at the top right of the screen in the form of a person's icon or with the profile picture you selected.
- Home. This section will show the groups to which it belongs and also display a calendar with the events and activities that will be performed by members of those groups in case you want to join that activity.
- Explore. This section is a search engine. To find an activity or event, simply type what you want to search for in the search bar. In addition you can also apply two filters to narrow the search, these filters are the location, which if you have given the location permission will appear where the user is at that time (although it is possible to change it), and the day or range of days.
- Notifications. This section will display notifications and notifications for creating new events, activities, or groups that may be of the user's interest.
- Messages. This section will display a list of 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 profileby changing Name, Location and Profile Photo. This section also gives access to an options menu located at the top right of the screen in the form of three dots in vertical arrangement. These options contain the following sections:
- Account settings. In this section you can edit personal data of gender and age (you do not need to specify them), distance units (kilometers or miles) and choose the theme of the app (light or dark).
- Manage notifications. Turns notifications on or off of the phone or those sent to the email by the user.
- Provides information about the application.
- About Meetup. Provides terms and privacy policies
- Sign out
In order to analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. Testing has been performed on a Samsung Galaxy J7 device (Android 9 Pie) with version 4.0.6 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1) with version 8.2.10
To be able 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, at the time it is first started, it indicates that you need to register with an email in order to start using it or sign in if you already have an account. The app can also be accessed as a guest, but you can only use the browse section to search for activities or events. Once "Register" is selected the appwill ask if you want to activate the location of the phone to recommend activities close to the user.
Once the grant of that 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 are no maximum categories so that all can be selected if desired. 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 if you have to select at least one. Finally, Meetup will recommend, based on the selected categories and interests, a number of groups to join, although you don't need to join one if you don't want to.
After you have finished identifying all the interests and selecting (or not) the groups you want to join, you will be selected the account with which the user will register, being able to choose the Facebook account, the Google account or any other email.
In this section we have evaluated the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific goal, in this case 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 withuatro very simple buttons to recognize, either by its icon or its description, so the older people who want to use the application will not have any difficulty understanding how the app works. The other is located in the upper right, pressing it opens another section where you can edit the profile.
The application is easy to learn how to use it, so you will get used to its operation quickly, the ease of use is mainly based on the fact that you do not need to learn how the application works 100%, it is enough to learn to look for events in the "Explore" section to be effectively using the app. This ease in learning usage also translates to the ease of remembering how it is used if you ever get to uninstall the application since the simplicity of the interface makes it very easy to remember what it does and offers each functionality.
As for its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is highly effective since, it is only necessary to introduce a topic in which you are interested in the search engine and the application itself will show events related to what you have put. Further note that, as mentioned above, 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 socializing with other people.
With regard to portability, Meetup works on any type of Smartphone or Tablet, whether Android or iOS, also works from its website.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the above 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 older people will give it, which is basically to meet 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 images and icons all of them have a description that makes it easy to understand, except for the "Profile" menu on the top right, although it is easily identifiable as it uses the profile picture that the user has had to assign when creating the account. In addition, they are reasonably sized so that they can be properly identified. Note 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, i.e. change from white background and black letters to black background and white letters. The font size cannot be changed so depending on the screen dimensions of the device being used it is possible that the words may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the font size in the overall settings of the device, causing it to increase in the app in turn. To complete this accessibility section it has been decided to do some tests with the screen reader systems available from Android and IOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons that Meetup has. Buttons have been labeled well on all devices where the screen reader has been used, both with Android Talkback and IOS Voice Over.
Accessibility for people with hearing impairments – People with hearing impairments can use the app without any problem as the app does not contain any sound, except for sounds that can emit alerts displayed in the notification panel of the phone.
In this section we will study whether the application has a correct functioning and has no critical failures that harm the functions of the app.
In the days that the application has been tested has not presented any outstanding or critical malfunctions in its operation.
Privacy and security
Generally speaking, the application works correctly, no critical failure has been detected that has impaired its operation. Inview of the use that will be given to this app you can say that it contributes in a splendid way to mitigate the state of solitude that many older people suffer by providing them with the means to meet new people and even to leave their homes.
The main positive point that the application has 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 interest. Another positive point is that even if it is an app that focuses on attending events or activities, you can also start conversations with others through a chat.
This app has been very negatively affected by the effects of COVID-19, so it is possible that within a few months there are not many activities available to attend. However, there are some organizations that hold events online.
Finally, it should be noted that to be able to use this application you need an internet connection, either via a Connection via WiFi or via mobile data.
- It helps excellently to mitigate the effect of loneliness among older people.
- It helps older people meet new people with their own tastes.
- Unlike other apps, this helps older people socialize with people of all ages.
- It would be interesting if you could resize the letter from the settings section.
- You might consider including a section called "events" showing a series of events that the user might like.