Explain Flowfinder in one sentence…
It’s an app to enable you to find showers and changing facilities around London (and eventually in all major cities), which you can use without having to be a member of the venue.
What gave you the idea for the app?
It was simply the personal experience of wanting to ride to meetings but then having issues around refreshing and changing! As part of the research it transpired that the second biggest reason, after safety, why more people don’t cycle is a lack of facilities so an app using existing and underused facilities felt like a good way to give something to the cycling (and running) communities.
Who is the app aimed at?
We believe there are a number of “tribes” who would find this app useful. Anyone wanting to go out after work who needs to refresh and get changed somewhere other than the cramped office loos, out of town business travellers looking for somewhere to check their emails and freshen up ahead of important meetings, or people who just want to go for a run between other things. Essentially, anyone who wants to switch from one identity to the next without having to go home.
How do you see it helping people?
We are providing convenience when and where it’s needed. Also the app gives people a better way to integrate running, cycling and other activities into their daily life rather than it being a bolt on that is done in the gym. Getting people to be more active and healthy is at the heart of what we are looking to achieve, but in addition to the health and time savings, cycling or running can produce huge cost savings compared with other modes of transport. It’s about creating a streamlined way of living, working and exercising.
Ultimately we would like to see the way that people interact with the city, changing. Most people have two bases: their home and their workplace. To change from one identity to the next as they go through the day people either make do, or else go back to one of those bases before moving onto the next part of their day. We hope the app will make it easier to enjoy all that the city has to offer by removing the “return to base” mentality.
Has it changed the way you exercise and how?
I have always tended to cycle so this behaviour hasn’t really changed. What has changed is my ability to string disparate events together through understanding where I can get a shower and change. This has increased my efficiency through the course of the day as well as ensuring I get regular exercise.
How can people get involved now and when will it be available?
We are in beta testing at the moment, but it is available now and we are planning on ramping up the awareness campaign over the coming months, testing, learning and evolving the offering. Visit our website at flowfinder.london and try out the journey planner. Download the app and let us know whether it is helpful to you. We are running a competition to win up to £500 for the person who uses the app the most over the next couple of months. We also have more information about the Flowfinder lifestyle on our Facebook page at facebook.com/weareflow and on Twitter @flow_finder.