Tourist guide for avoiding crowded areas

Project Details
Final Result


The Concept

Overcrowding due to over-tourism has been a problem within The Netherlands for a few years but during the global pandemic, a new and concerning problem has arisen for the tourist industry, the spread of COVID-19. 

Crowded.Less aims to disperse large crowds of tourists by creating awareness in the form of a digital tourist guide that recommends places safe for visiting during a (post)pandemic situation.

Crowded.Less let’s users see how crowded a place is in real time, provides alternatives within The Netherlands based on interests and let’s users share their experience. The concept is based on giving people the power to make informed decisions and enabling them to find alternative activities that speak to them during their vacation.

The Design Challenge

How might we overcome over-tourism by encouraging tourists to explore places that are safe for visiting during a post and or pandemic situation, so that overcrowding can be avoided and their stay is pleasant?

Avoiding the Crowds

Indicate Crowdedness

During interviews with tourists during the pandemic, I noted that they all were anxious about visiting the country due to over-tourism and large crowds. They liked to visit as soon as possible but had concers about the risks of COVID-19.

Crowdedness indicates how busy an activity is at the current moment. The app estimate crowdedness on a score from 0 to 100% and represented by differing visual indicators. This is possible by making use of private Crowded.Less users and Google Crowdsource data.

Real Time Updates

Crowdedness informs users how busy an activity is at the current moment. The app estimate crowdedness on a score from 0 to 100% and represented by differing visual indicators. This is possible by making use of private data from users and Google Crowd source data.

Users can quickly identify levels of crowdedness. The universal colors green, yellow and blue indicates if it’s safe to go, just like a stoplight.

Estimated crowdedness

When possible Crowded.Less will give users live data for how crowded an activity is. It also shows a prediction graph of how busy and location might be at a given time and date. This allows users to better plan their visits.

Providing Alternatives

Ensuring a pleasant stay

Tourists noted that it was important for them to avoid large crowds whilst undertaking activities. But they also wanted to learn more about The Netherlands and have fun. But how do determine what a fun activity is? This is of course very personal. And what if the popular tourist attractions are crowded?

Crowded.Less makes use of different features to tackle these challenges.

Finding fun activities nearby

Based on the personal preferences users select when first using the app, Crowded.Less recommends matching activities. With an additional map view, users can quickly find activities that are close to their location.  

Local audio tours

Crowded.Less also provides audio tours that make use of public spaces within The Netherlands. This feature stems from the longing of tourists to learn more about the country in an authentic way. The tours chosen for the app are held in area’s that are normally not crowded.

These tours are possible by making use of The IZI travel API that  provide +15000 audio tours within The Netherlands! It guides tourist through public spaces that can be visited and experienced by anyone using the app. 


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Take a deep dive

Research, Prototyping & Testing

As you may have guessed, a lot of research has been done to ensure all designs are made for the app. My research, interviews and the results of prototype testing can be read in the online thesis. Just click the button below!

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