The flag screens display a Public/Private filter in the top-left corner, which toggles the user’s view between the two flag types. Public flags are planted by businesses. They may include special promotions, deals, loyalty offers and other promotional messages. Residents cannot plant public flags. Private flags contain messages between one or more individuals and are not intended for community-wide viewing.
Group flags are accessible only to members of a flag’s corresponding group. Tapping the Public/Private filter will refresh the screen and display flags that pertain to the filtered flag type.
Both private and public flags can be viewed in a list or on a map. In list view, tiles for non-tripped flags will be displayed at the top of the list. Tripped flag tiles are displayed below non-tripped flags. Flag tiles are then sorted by date, with those planted most recently listed above older flags.
In map view, depending on where the user is standing, there could be many flags displayed or none at all. If the user’s location is turned off, the map view will display the nearest flags based on the user’s last known location.
The user can zoom in or out on this screen to change the orientation on the map for easier flag viewing. When the user taps on a flag in map view, the corresponding tile for that flag will slide up from the bottom of the screen.
Flag tiles reveal basic information about a flag. Tiles for private flags display the flag name, the username of the person who planted the flag, which user(s) the flag was planted for, the distance to the flag, the group name (if it’s a group flag), and when the flag was planted. Flags that are not immediately accessible by the entire community are considered private, so group flags are actually private until a user joins or is granted membership to a group. Public flag tiles display the flag name, category, approximate distance to the flag, and time in minutes, hours or days from when the flag was planted.
In map or list view, users can access detailed information about flags and how they work by tapping the (i) icon to the right of the Public/Private filter.
Refreshing the Flag Screen
Due to the high volume of public flags that may be available at any one time, tapping over to a public flag list view may require a screen refresh on occasion in order to display the most recent list of available flags.
Flag Detail Screen
Tapping a flag tile in map or list view will reveal the details of a flag. The user name and avatar representing the person or business that planted the flag appears at the top of the screen.
Chats can be initiated from the detail screen. Tapping the chat icon in the top-right corner of the screen will load a chat screen, where the recipient user can send a private chat message to the person or business that planted the flag.
For flags that have been tripped, the detail screen will reveal the flag’s description, image(s), and any other information that was included in the flag. These items remain hidden on detail screens for flags that have not yet been tripped.
Detail screens make it easy for users to view directions to the flag and the flag’s expiration. Flags can also be deleted from the user’s view by tapping ‘Ignore Flag’ at the bottom of the detail screen.
Public flag detail screens provide a link along the bottom that displays the Featured Sponsor screen of the planting business.
Abusive content can be reported from the flag detail screen. When ‘Report Abusive Content’ at the bottom of the screen is tapped, a message will appear asking the user to confirm the abuse. If the user confirms, a success message will appear and the app’s administrator will receive an email containing the complaint number and the user who submitted the complaint. App admins can review the details of each complaint from the management console.
Flag Alert Radius
The flag alert radius is the distance from a flag to the boundary, or perimeter, surrounding the flag. The flag alert radius can be set each time a new flag is planted, or the default setting of 300 meters can be used. The flag alert radius can be adjusted to account for changes in the flag’s ‘location sensitivity’ and account for certain conditions that might exist as intended recipients approach a flag. For instance, if a flag is planted on a highway and recipients are expected to be moving at high rates of speed, a larger radius (1/2 mile or larger) is recommended to ensure the recipients’ devices have enough time to detect the flag. If a flag is planted inside a home or storefront, a smaller radius (20 to 50 meters) will suffice because the recipient isn’t moving quickly.
There is no limit to the number of flags that can be created in. A resident can create numerous flags and assign them to individual recipients or for a multitude of recipients. There is also no limit on the number of people who can be assigned to an individual flag. Businesses can have as many flags active at any one time as they’d like as well.
Once a flag is deleted, it cannot be retrieved. Users should be instructed to exercise caution here. If a user deletes a flag, the flag will no longer be available for anyone to trip. In addition, if a user deletes a flag planted for him by another user, the recipient user will no longer have access to that flag. If a user deletes a flag he hasn’t yet tripped, the flag will no longer be available to trip. And if the user has already tripped the flag, deleting it will remove the contents of the flag from the user’s device.
Whenever a user plants a private flag, the person(s) for whom the flag was planted receives a notification informing them that a flag has been planted along with the username of the person who planted the flag. If a recipient chooses to ignore the flag, the person who planted the flag would not receive the usual trip notification(s) that is sent to a flag planter each time a recipient trips the flag. This allows a user to maintain location privacy and eliminate the ability for unauthorized users to track unsuspecting users.
People Assigned to Flags
After a user creates a flag and assigns one or more people, tapping ‘People Flag is Planted For’ on the flag detail screen will display the username of the person(s) assigned to the flag. If a flag is planted for more than one person, the number of assigned people will be listed on the ‘People Flag is Planted For’ tile. If the number listed here isn’t consistent with the number of people originally assigned to the flag, then one or more people have tapped the ‘ignore’ option on the flag itself.
The same is true with single-person assignments. If a flag has been planted for only one person and that person’s username, which would normally appear in list view immediately below the flag’s name, has been replaced by ‘0 assigned people,’ this indicates the person has chosen the ignore option.
In general, location does not have to be turned on in order for a consumer to use the service. However, the application does require location services in order to trip flags. Users will not be able to trip flags without location services turned on. The service will periodically track a device’s location and use that data to determine the phone’s proximity to flags. The location data collected by the service is used to enhance the quality of service provided to the end user.
Troubleshooting Flag Trips
If a user indicates that flags are not being successfully tripped, it must first be determined whether flags are actually being planted for that user. In order to trip flags, the user will have to check to make sure the ‘Tripped By Me’ option is turned on in the flag notifications area in Settings. This will ensure that the user receives a notification each time the user trips a flag. There are also notification options in Settings that will allow a user to be informed when someone plants a flag for him, and when someone trips a flag that he’s planted.
If things look good in Settings, the next thing the user can do is go to the flags area and tap the list icon in the top-right corner of the screen above the map. (List is the default view, but if the user’s last visit to flags concluded on the map screen, the user will have to tap the list icon to toggle back to that view.) If there are flags planted for the user, they can be easily identified in list view by looking immediately below the flag title on each tile. Flags planted for the user will display the username of the person who planted the flag. If there are flags listed for the user, the user should tap one and view the flag’s location on the map that displays immediately below the flag’s title and description. Based on the location of the flag and its perimeter, is this a flag the user should have tripped? If yes, the user should try planting a test flag for himself. For quickest results, the test flag should be planted nearby – ideally in an area that’s close enough to reach on foot. Instead of assigning others, the user should tap ‘Plant for Me’ and save. Now the user can try tripping the flag.
As the user approaches the test flag, the phone’s GPS indicator should appear at the top of the screen. If the GPS indicator does not appear, the user should check that location services are turned on. With location services on, the user should try getting as close as possible to the location of the flag.
If each of these steps have been performed and double-checked, and the user still does not receive trip notifications, the user can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After successfully planting a flag, a user can send a message to let others know he planted the flag. Tapping the ‘Share Flag’ button on the Flag Saved screen allows the user to select from email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other messaging application installed on the user’s device.
Regular users can plant private flags only, and only the people specifically invited to a private flag will have the ability to trip that flag.
Paid users, which can include small businesses, municipalities, non-profits and other organizations to which users choose to provide paid access, can plant public flags. By default, all users can trip public flags. When a user downloads the application and creates an account, the user is automatically opted into or ‘following’ all businesses/paid users. See Around Town for more information on checking and unchecking businesses.
When in Flags, tapping the flag icon in the lower-right corner of the screen will display the map screen. The user’s current position will be displayed on the map, accompanied by a flag. The flag’s position can be moved by dragging the map or inputting an address in the ‘Search Location’ field above.
The location of a flag can be changed at any time.
The radius slider at the bottom of the screen can be dragged right or left to increase or decrease the size of the boundary around the flag.
Paid users will see a loyalty option immediately below the map. The toggle allows paid users to attach a loyalty campaign to the flag. The loyalty toggle does not appear for regular users. When a paid user activates the loyalty option, the radius slider goes away and the loyalty flag is assigned a default radius of 20 meters.
If users have questions about flags – what they are, how to plant them, etc. – they can tap the information icon located in the top-right portion of the screen, just to the right of the ‘Search Location’ field. This will lead to Flag Fundamentals, a detailed overview of flags and how they work.
From here users can access Tips for Planting New Flags by tapping ‘Tips’ in the top-right corner.
After setting the flag’s location and boundary, tapping ‘Next’ in the top-right corner brings the user to the New Flag Details screen. This is where the flag’s details are entered, including name, description, date range, and trip frequency.
Paid users plant public flags. After entering a flag name and description, the user can attach a deal to the flag by tapping ‘Add Special Offer.’ On the internal Deal Details screen, the user inputs the deal’s Title and Description (both required fields). Details such as subtitle, fine print, an image and a link URL, are optional. An image might be a coupon, QR or validation code. The link URL can point to any external webpage, which is useful if the business owner would like to send a user to a website or designated landing page. A valid URL must be specified here, including all required characters such as ‘https://www.’ or ‘http://www.’ before the domain name.
Tapping ‘Save’ in the top-right corner brings the user back to the New Public Flag Details screen.
The user can set the activation and expiration dates on the flag using the Date Range selector. Paid users can plant an unlimited number of flags, so planting flags in advance can save time.
Finally, the user enters the flag’s Trip Frequency. This is an important step in the process. By default every flag is set at a frequency of ‘Once.’ This means the flag can be tripped only one time by an individual recipient. If the frequency is set to ‘Constant,’ each user can trip the flag repeatedly during the date range set for that flag. Abuse of the ‘Constant’ setting may cause user frustration, so it’s strongly recommended that paid users exercise caution when setting a flag’s trip frequency.
When planting public flags, there is no option to invite users, as there is with private flags. Public flags are available to all active users based on their preferences (see Around Town).
When private flag setting, users have the option of inviting one or more recipients to the flag and/or leaving the flag as a personal reminder. If permissions were granted at the time of download and install, the application will have access to the contacts on the planting user’s mobile device. This makes it easy to add recipients to a private flag.
Whenever a user plants a private flag, the person(s) for whom the flag was planted receives a notification informing them that a flag has been planted and who planted the flag.
Overall, the planting of a flag should take a user no more than three to five minutes.