Daniela Rivas | Summit
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Summit

Summit is a mobile app that connects hikers to nearby trails.

 

Keep reading to learn more about the project!

I came up with the idea for Summit while I was driving to a trail to go on a hike. The trail was closed due to recent flooding, and the process of finding another nearby trail  of the difficulty I wanted was frustrating, at best.

Goal:

To design a mobile platform that facilitates the process of finding and choosing new hikes to go on.

Gathering Insights

 

To start, I surveyed other hikers to better understand how they hiked, why they hiked, and how they went from deciding that they wanted to go on a hike to finding, and then actually completing that hike. A few things stood out:

Most of us want to know the basic facts:

The most important features seem to be a hike's location, difficulty/elevation, and length.

A social dynamic:

Many enjoy hiking with friends and family. Even independent hikers seem to find out about new hikes through others via word of mouth or on social media.

An appreciation for scenery:

Although the feeling of exploration was a key draw to hiking, many still liked to have an idea of what visual features a trail will have. The quality of the scenery is often a deciding feature.

Based on this, I considered the following features:

  • A map-based search option
  • Advanced search capabilities: limiting searches by distance, length, elevation, and/or other hike features (“apparently it’s quite difficult to simultaneously sort by location, length, and difficulty,” said one hiker from Vancouver)
  • A system indicating visual features, possibly noted through icons and/or user-uploaded photos
  • A profile system where users can rate/review hikes and view their friends’ hike history
  • Information on closures or passes needed

User Flow

 

I then designed a user flow for the app framing the key goal of finding a hike. This goal can be achieved by either 1) Searching a specific location, with the option of filtering by distance/difficulty, 2) Using map-based search, or 3) Finding a hike through a friend. All three of these options would be directly accessible from the home page.

 

Additionally, the app would offer the ability for users to save and log their hikes. This allows them to keep tabs on hikes they are interested in so that they have options ready when they decide to go on a hike.

Wireframes

 

Next, I built upon the structure I had designed in the user flow to develop a set of wireframes outlining the main pages in the app.

 

After experimenting with different layouts and going through a few different iterations, I finalized the wireframes. I then tested a basic prototype with a potential user to go over the flow and logic, and then moved on to developing the visual design and prototyping the interactions.