Mahone Bay

X SVA Case Study


Our team in SVA's Interaction Design class was introduced to Mahone Bay, a small coastal town in Nova Scotia. Whose economy relied on international tourists flooding the region every summer, which was disrupted due to Covid-19 pandemic. The towns rely on big-spending vacationers, but what happens when those big-spenders aren’t even allowed into the Province?

It is also a port town, so a lot of cruises ships would dock at the town during the summer. They needed to shift their focus on attracting local vacationers.


Research & Interview, Concept, Wireframe &
Prototype, Storytelling & Video Creation


Brenda Hawley
Tianyi Fu
Priyal Mehta


Danielle King
Criswell Lappin
Roger Mader


12 weeks

Problem Statement

How might we attract new repeat tech savvy travelers to Mahone Bay.

Solution Preview

Rove, Nova Scotian's radius driven planner and local business app.


Problem Context

Mahone Bay's economy runs on tourism which is seasonal. Due to the pandemic this tourist populated town witnessed a severe decline in their economy. Mahone Bay was a low tech town.

We learnt that the entire tourism industry was heading for a paradigm shift. People were adapting. Just like museums offered virtual exhibits, tourism-reliant regions turned their focus towards their residents, and while flight sales were down, the old-fashioned road tripping was surging.

•  The main objective was :
Potential visitors of Mahone Bay needed a savvy way to discover the town as a vacation home-base as they explore the luster of Nova Scotia’s south shore, because adventurers need a dynamic location that can be simultaneously active, engaging and rejuvenating.

User Interview

1. People are not aware of all the outdoor activities and festivals available to them.

2. Googling to find new places is not always reliable.

3. Canadians want to support each other.

4. Mahone Bay is so close with other small towns and travelers can go to all of them at once.

Market Research

We wanted to see what was already available in the market.

Key Insights

1. Google Maps is simple in theory but requires a lot of work.

2. All Trails, a hiking site, is well-organized but hyper-focused.

3. Lonely Planet, a popular travel site, only offered insights for larger towns but had recently shut down their community forums.

Seeing our market research mapped out, we realized that there was an opportunity to build something that was Local Focused, interactive and developed a community.

Through affinity mapping we organized our interview insights and market research and found our focus points.

Focus Points


User Personas

With our focus points in mind, we decided to approach personas in a different manner. It wasn’t about a personas per-say, because not all travel experiences are alike regardless of their demographics. Our personas cover the three main types of travelers we wanted to attract into Mahone Bay.


1. Radius Driven

Focusing on near by traveling, instead of worldly tourist, due to a strict lockdown.

2. Locally Inspired

Focusing on curating town's local businesses so travelers have a uniquely Canadian experience.

3. Community Building

Creating a sense of community amongst the traveler and local business owners, to share and support great findings.

4. Interactive

Creating interactions that are fun/ adventurous experience for the user, that excites them on their adventure.

Customer Journey

We started ideating a journey that supported both a web and mobile experience for our users.


Style Guide


Wire Frames


In the end, we ended up developing a 3 part travel application.

Mapping & Explore

We started ideating a journey that supported both a web and mobile experience for our users.

Choose your own Adventure

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