3rd Year Project
My third year project was based around my hobbies hill walking and Munro bagging. I wanted to create an application or platform that would assist beginner and experienced walkers when in the outdoors. I focused on navigation and map reading to encourage hill goers to adventure into areas where they have not been before whilst keeping them safe as possible at the same time.
“Track” is an interactive device located at outdoor ranger centres across the UK that allows outdoor enthusiasts to track their routes and activities using the GPS locator on their mobile device. “Track” also offers an S.O.S. button that allows users to send out a signal to mountain rescue when they become hurt or in need of rescue. The app uses the users GPS location which allows for a quicker and easier rescue through location accuracy.
Inspiration & Influence
My original inspiration came from a 'wild camping route card box' at a ranger centre in Glen Doll when I frequently walk and camp. The boxes purpose is to record the location where wild campers plan on walking and camping with in the glen to allow rangers to keep track of where people are for extended periods of time. The user would take a card from below the lid, fill it out and then post it in the slot for the ranger to collect later.
I liked the idea and simplicity of the boxes function and wanted to make this a large focus in my design process. I wanted to create something very similar but make it more function with the use of technology and secondary functions.
I started to explore GPS technology and current mapping services that were currently on offer to give me a sense of guidance. I explored current apps such as 'All Trails', 'OS Maps' and 'Strava'. These apps gave me a good sense of function and screen design. I also got in contact with 'The Hub' who provides online mapping services for the 'Walk Highlands' website, they offered support and advice when looking at using Java Script to create my real time route plotting and gave me access to some of the code that they had used on the website.
Initial & Progressive Wireframes
When creating the screen for my application I started with some very basic wireframes to give me a quick understanding of how it would look and what elements would need to more pronounced to create an ideal user experience.
I then moved on to more detailed wireframes which were created to capture a sense of the target setting and audience by using related colours and graphic to illustrate this. It was clear that the colours did not work well together but this was a trial t try and bring the outdoors onto the screen.
The final user interface takes a large amount of form from my initial and detailed wireframes. Moving on from the wireframes I looked at some of my inspiration to have a good understanding of colour, graphic and screen layout. The comparison between my wireframes and inspiration allowed me to create a more refined and professional looking final concept. The use of layered images as light pastel colours made for easy viewing and understanding. The way the screens were created in a way that made them easy to understand and navigate for a first time user and also for individuals who may not be familiar with technology. I achieved this by ensuring that there were limited features on each screen and that there was a direct route through the app rather than the user becoming lost in a large amount of screen navigation.
The home screen welcomes outdoor users into a familiar setting.
Walkers would then identify their clothing to allow for easy identification in case of an emergency.
Users had the option to plan their own route or follow a preset route that had already been mapped out.
This screen allows the walker to place pin markers to create a route that they wish to follow.
The final screen allows users to scan the QR code with their smartphone and track their data remotely whilst they are out walking.
The purpose of the final render was to give a physical understanding of how the application would be displayed at a ranger centre. I wanted to keep the form similar to the box that inspired my design. This box also features a drawer to allow for the original method of pen and paper to still be used.
I am focusing on the dog walking experience and the relationship between owner and dog. I am looking at creating an application which has high functioning features such as a pet information profile and an area to receive information regarding pet care from industry professionals. My main feature will be a very fun and interactive way to walk your dog, stepping away from the traditional dog walk.
Inspiration & Influence
Owning three does myself was my biggest inspiration along with my interest in hill walking with my four legged friend Barra. I wanted to look into the relationship between owner and dog whilst in the outdoors as I believed there was a bond that could only be experienced when out for a walk. Initially I wanted to create an application which worked as an interactive hub for dog owners so that they could have something to assist them with the care of their dog. Such an app would feature, walk locations, pet advice, recreational locations, animal care locations, service location and a form of dog social media. I soon came to realise that this would be a mammoth task to complete and there was a high chance that the features would become under developed in the time I had.
I decided to focus on one key feature and two other secondary features. My main feature was a new fun and less direct way of walking your dog. I want to explore on screen interaction on a mobile device in an urban/rural setting to create a more fun walking experience for both owner and dog. The secondary features will be a simple pet profile for the owner to keep track of any details or vet care, almost like a car service or MOT report. The final feature will be a feed of advice posted by animal care professionals such as vet surgeons and nurses.