Milestone
Walk & Discover Your World

Student Project

(BA) Hons Visual Communications, IADT, Dun Laoghaire, 2013

Milestone is a concept for an iphone application designed to enhance the experience of hiking and exploring. Milestone provides the user with up-to-date information, while en-route using GPS mapping and location-specific information.

As part of the project, I developed the UX and UI of the application, the identity design and the brand campaign, which included short promo videos, posters and branded merchandise.

Challenge

This project proposes to provide the hiker or rambler with access to mapping and route information while en-route through a designed interactive walking experience based on GPS technology, which could be a smartphone application or an audio based experience.

Overview

The aim of this application is to make it easier and more accessible to have new and engaging walking experiences. The idea is that it will encourage people to get out and walk as it provides easy access to safe routes that best suit your ability. It also acts as a tool for tourists interesting in walking holidays or just walking in general.

Research & Analysis

Key Considerations

  • Creating a Visual Language specifically for ramblers and hikers.

  • Taking into consideration people with different walking abilities, including people who are visually or hearing impaired and wheelchair accessible routes.

  • The promotion and application of the brand identity specifically for the target audience.

My Role:

UX Design: Research, Flow Diagram, Prototype & Wireframes

UI Design: Pattern Library, Copywriting & Custom Icon Set

Build: Native App Concept

Identity Design & Marketing Campaign Concept

Secondary Research

When conducting research, I focused on art and design projects that explore different places, the relationship between people and environments, community, discovery, history and folklore. Both The Umbrella Project and En-Route encouraged people to walk through their local area, see it with new eyes and engage with it in a new way. Paula Scher's maps seek to visually capture the personality of a place through language and colour. The Laneway Project by me&you&him re-invents and re-imagines a public space, inviting local people to gather and socialise.

Primary Research

I gathered all of the information, copy and imagery of the application through extensive research. First, I selected locations that would be suitable for walk routes. For the purpose of the project the locations included the town of Enniscorthy, Courtown woods and strand and the old Tinahely railway track. Next, I began identifying public access lanes for these locations. Finally, I gathered information about the flora, fauna and different points-of-interest for each place.

UX Design

Flow Diagram

Flow Diagram2-01.png

User Flow

The user's main goal on the app is to search for walking routes in their current location. As such, they are immediately encouraged to 'Begin Walk' with a secondary option to view previously saved routes. Once the user has entered their location, the app provides a list of routes in up to six different environments: coastal, forest, hill, river, urban or rural. Once the user selects a route they are brought directly to the map interface, where they can primarily navigate, but also access information on points-of-interest / objects of historical relevance, flora and fauna.

Wireframe2-01.jpg

Wireframes

Once I was happy with the user flow and basic interactions of the application, I started to create schematics for each screen. 

UI Design

Map Interface

I developed a simple, elegant map interface with an unobtrusive colour palette. Each type of terrain is indicated by a different colour. No text is visible on the map itself.

The map icons indicate the following:

  • Natural Features such as forests, marshes, hills  

  • Man-made Structures: bridges, walls, churches

  • Points-of-interest: standing stones, raths, crosses

The user accesses information about these features by tapping on the relevant icons.

GradientBG-01.jpg

Navigation Icons

Map

Details

Legend

Flora

Fauna

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Walking Route Icons

Hill Walk

Forest Walk

Rural Walk

Urban Walk

River Walk

Coastal Walk

Landmark-01.jpg

Points of Interest Map Icons

Custom Icon Set

All of the map icons have been developed from existing orienteering symbols. I have taken these symbols, simplified them and given them cleaner lines. In some instances, I created new symbols that better represent and communicate that particular feature. It was important to keep in mind that a lot of people aren't familiar with orienteering symbols. I included a legend in the dropdown of the map interface, featuring all of the icons and their meaning. The navigation icons are simple and easily identifiable, designed to look consistent with the map icons.

Final Result

1/6

App Concept

There are three main sections to the app, the home screen, the location search / information screen and the map interface. The final outcome of this project was a high fidelity, interactive prototype of the app that I created using keynote. The flow diagram and wireframes acted as a basis for the prototype design.

Identity Design

Name & Logo Design

Milestones are historic, stone markers placed beside the road to indicate the distance in miles to a particular place. In modern culture, milestones are regarded as significant events or achievements in the development of something. For both of those reasons, I thought "Milestone" was the ideal name for this app. The logo is based on orienteering symbols and the graphic elements of a compass.

On maps milestones are indicated by a dot inside of a circle.

Marketing Campaign

The marketing campaign is primarily aimed at tourists and local hiking enthusiasts. The campaign features branded merchandise, large-scale posters and short promo videos. I chose merchandise that would appeal to people who enjoy hiking such as backpacks, water bottles, jackets, hoodies and t-shirts. I also created a series of photographic postcards featuring icons from the app.