Bucket: Adventure Better

by Margaret Sun

What is the Bucket app?

Bucket is an app that targets the inertia we often feel when we want to do something, but end up not following through. 

The bucket list is the physical manifestation of the motivation part of the Fogg Behavior Model—the Bucket app aims to provide the ability and trigger, which in Fogg’s model will allow the person to perform a target behavior. Bucket’s simple design invites use, and lowers barriers to ability for the user.

Bucket Fills a Gap in the Market

While we are no strangers to task managers for teams at work (e.g. Asana, Trello, etc.), or personal bucket list apps (e.g. SOON The Everyday Bucket List), the current market lacks an app that integrates the recreational wonder of a bucket list with the appealing group progress championed in a task manager. By combining these positive attributes, Bucket tackles Fogg’s simplicity factors that impact our ability. 

Bucket Saves Time and Brain Cycles

Bucket streamlines what used to be a major pain point for adventurous users: the time and brain cycle drain that is coordinating events involving multiple people. Before Bucket, someone might start a groupchat, but it quickly becomes difficult to extract the productive parts of the conversation as everyone floods the chat with their thoughts. Instead, Bucket not only offers quick drag-and-drop (into a bucket icon to add a bit of novelty to the bucket list concept) of individual activities, but compiles the bucket lists of a selected group automatically. The user can quickly add friends to compile “Our List”. 

Users can easily navigate between their own lists, and the lists they create with select groups of friends and peers.

Bucket can also link to a Google account to add events easily and directly into your Google Calendar. This integration allows Bucket users to keep themselves, and their friends accountable for completing activities and events (Robert Cialdini’s commitment to consistency principle, where the calendar event is a “deal” the user makes, and will be less likely to back out of). Bucket envisions incorporating other calendar and scheduling app integrations as well. Built-in scheduling removes the manual mental labor (Fogg’s brain cycles concept) that can keep a group from planning an event in the first place.

Bucket Brings the Adventure to You

The Explore page presents a vast diversity of activities to engage in, with a search function that allows users to browse endlessly. 

The Google Maps integration introduces augmented reality (AR) technology by adding a character significant to the geographic location to guide you around a destination. The interactive character increases novelty and liking, one of the principles of Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence. Even before selecting a site, Bucket estimates densities of people at the destination when you use the app. This further emphasizes to the user the social aspect of completing bucket list items, as there will be company at the selected destination.

Our AR-enhanced map and virtual guide at Harvard Art Museums

Live from Your Destination…It’s the Bucket app

The Live Feed is a constant stream of suggestions from people nearby, encouraging the user to add to their list. This feed appeals to Cialdini’s principle of social proof, where people look to their peers to influence their own actions. As local users populate the feed with reviews, more activities will be introduced to all the users. Emphasis on live user-generated data unlocks a market trip planning websites (e.g. TripAdvisor) typically overlook. While there are user-generated reviews, they are often outdated, or difficult to access in the interface. Bucket also welcomes locals of a destination to contribute, elaborating on Cialdini’s principle of authority. Locals become experts who can lend opinions on activities that will offer a more authentic experience of a destination. 

The Live Feed updates in real time

User-generated reviews also lower the barrier of physical effort in the Fogg model—while typical travel website-recommended bucket lists include activities that are highly physically intensive (you either have to travel far, or engage in a physically demanding experience at a tourist attraction), locals and peers have a better gauge of what is possible at a destination. Through the Explore and Live Feed features, the user can select activities using as much or as little physical effort as they would like.

An Optimized User Journey

Lastly, Bucket users can rate experiences and adventures after for future users to reference. User feedback is displayed in the Explore page, allowing users to feel valued and heard, while positively shaping the experiences of other adventurers.


Bucket Prototype on Figma
Bucket Prototype Demonstration
User Journey (spreadsheet format)

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Su Yang March 2, 2020 - 3:13 pm

I really love this idea—it’s something I can see myself using with my friends! One possible add-on in addition to contributions from locals is business contributions and integration with Facebook: a lot of interesting, local events are hosted by businesses in the area, and a lot of them are already advertised on Facebook. Facebook also gives some social incentive (you see your friends marking “interested” or “going,” which makes you more likely to look at the details of the event): it would be nice if Bucket had more community features that engaged users through page views, popularity of events, likes, etc.

Vivian Zhou March 2, 2020 - 4:41 pm

As someone who loves being organized and using task managers, this app really appeals to me! But, even for people who aren’t as huge of a fan of using a regimented, structured format, this app incorporates very stimulating and interactive features which definitely motivate people to use it and to stay on top of their goals/bucket list items. In particular, I love the live feed feature which shows you what your peers have been up to. I think this functions not only as social proof that others are using the product and incentivizes you to do the same, but it can also serve as a source of inspiration for more adventuring and new goals to set.

Wanxi Yang March 2, 2020 - 4:47 pm

I think there exists a real pain point here. Your app brings many features that have the potential to be developed into something really cool. I think maybe concentrating on one particular feature might make the benefits of the app clearer. Right now I feel kind of overwhelmed. Maybe focus more on the features that differentiate Bucket with other similar apps. Also, the concept of managing activities as a project manager is interesting. The concern here might be the majority of users might be intimidated to manage their activities. It’s too much like work instead of fun.

Wendy Yu March 2, 2020 - 6:44 pm

First of all, I would absolutely use this – my current solution is a list on Notes on my iPhone, and it’s both disorganized and not very motivating. One thing I might think on the design a little more about is the “Our Lists” section – I do think there are bucket items you want to do with others, but I don’t know if there are entire bucket lists you share with many others, which might result in many short “Our Lists.” It might be helpful for each person to be able to have one list (which includes shared bucket items), and then to have a robust filtering system to filter for shared items instead.

Adam Gordon March 4, 2020 - 1:55 am

I would definitely use this! I think the simplicity is perfect, and it shows me things I might not have thought of. It would be really great to use when exploring a new city. I don’t necessarily think that adding vr would add to the user experience. The concept is on the right track, maybe just showing a couple good photos along with live/estimated crowd levels. But again, I would love to have an app like to use when showing my friends around Cambridge and Boston.

Natalie Yang March 4, 2020 - 2:43 am

As a second semester senior with a written out bucket list that is no where close to being completed, it’s amazing that something like a shared, social bucket list doesn’t already exist! The social aspect is so cool—one way to further expand upon it is if you could also create personalized, original events like “picnic on the Charles” or “bike ride through Boston Common” that is not listed or hosted by an official institution, but rather is an activity that you and your friends can engage in. Having all of these bucket list items in one place, both recreational and personalized, would be so great to have in real life.

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