Explore The Natural State

With the Arkansan Outdoorsman

A comprehensive mobile solution for locals, tourists, hikers, bikers, boaters, and floaters.

Our Verizon Innovative App Challenge submission video

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  • NWA Attractions
    parks, trails, lakes & rivers,
    caves & caverns, attractions,
    campgrounds, stores, 'around me'

About the project

The Arkansan Outdoorsman was originally a concept for the national Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Seven students from Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Arkansas came together to form a team for this project, creating the Arkansan Outdoorsman. Unfortunately, we were unable to advance in the competition, but, because of our passions and experience, we decided to pursue developing the app nonetheless.

The Arkansan Outdoorsman

Why the Arkansan Outdoorsman? The app is about sharing the most profound and beautiful attractions and destinations that the Natural State has to offer. We wanted to be able to share all of the great places in the state with other residents and potential tourists through a simple, information-loaded mobile application.

Together, we decided that by creating the Arkansan Outdoorsman, we'd be helping tourists and visitors in Natural State. Over 30 million people scoot their way down here each year; be it for hunting, fishing, museums, or just looking at the pretty trees. A lot of apps and websites feature two or three of the great places you can visit in Arkansas, but don't focus on the some of the equally-incredible smaller attractions. So while you can still have a great trip here by just checking out the new Crystal Bridges Museum and Devils Den State Park, there is no good way to see all of the attractions and activities that you can do while you're here, and you might be missing out.

We'll be indexing all of the attractions in Northwest Arkansas through the app, to provide users with a comprehensive index of activities and sites in the region. Users will be able to look through all of the parks, trails, lakes and rivers, caves and caverns, campgrounds, attractions, and stores in the region, as well as use a map to see what interesting things are around them.

Parks Trails Lakes and Rivers Caves and Caverns Attractions Campgrounds Stores Near Me

There are two mobile applications released by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism; Arkansas State Parks On the Go Guide and Arkansas Tourism, both developed by Aristotle, Inc. Unfortunately, these apps, especially Arkansas Tourism, don't function well. In the advent of what is essentially a mobile revolution, the user experience of any piece of software is key to its success. The current Arkansas tourism apps don't live up to user expectations. The apps are ill-designed and information is difficult to navigate through and find. The "Arkansas Tourism" app is also guilty of simply presenting the arkansas.com mobile website, meaning that the app is not only not truly an app, but it also needs internet connection to access. This is unacceptable. The user deserves a true application that is easy to navigate, easy to find information, and well presented.

So what are we going to do?

We have several goals for the Arkansan Outdoorsman.

  1. The app should not have to access the internet for any information. The application is of no use to the user if the information cannot be accessed at any time and any place, especially in remote areas of Arkansas where cellular data is weak or effectively nonexistent.
  2. The information presented in the app should be detailed, up-to-date, and all-inclusive. We want to store as many attractions as possible within the app, including many smaller attractions, like the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, alongside the bigger attractions, such as the nationally-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art or the famous Devils Den State Park.
    We also want to provide accurate contact information about each attraction, including:
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Location shown on map
  3. The user experience should be rich, smooth, and easy to navigate. A simple and familiar push navigation will dominate the app while a modern flat and minimalistic design will keep it looking good and the user won't have to sift through excess information and design fluff.

So, what is there?

The Arkansan Outdoorsman will include all of the Attractions in Arkansas.

The categories featured are:

Each category will have lists of attractions, each of which will have a description, contact information, and address, as well as some other information such as hours (for parks and stores, etc), available offline.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide users with as much information as possible without having to connect them to the internet. There are some issues immediately presented with this approach, however, and we've come up with ways to address them (beware, it gets a bit technical).

Find whatever you need

Wherever you need it.

The Arkansan Outdoorsman


The team

The seven of us come from different programming/design backgrounds; each with a specialty, bringing something unique and useful to the table. Each of us plays a fundamental role in the production of the app.

Rahul Nair

Wesley Johnston

Jan Timpe

Kristopher Swann

Jacob Shiohira

Sameer Kulkarni

Devon Gulati

Saiteja Leburu

The development process

Developing a mobile app is like designing any other piece of software, and has to go through a strict process.

Plan Design Build Test Release Maintain
Design and Plan Build and Test Release and Maintain

Currently, the app exists in the "Build and Test" stage. As the iOS version of the app nears completion, and the Android version comes together within the binds of the precedent set by its Apple counterpart, we have decided to begin marketing the app, and, ideally, sell the finished product to an institution that can distribute and promote it for many years to come.