LOCATE uses augmented reality (AR) to provide relevant information to backcountry campers regarding camp locations. The simple UI puts the AR front and center, avoiding separating the user from their environment. The AR presents common symbols and colours to ensure that every camper recognizes the difference between a safe or dangerous site. Using both image and plane recognition, LOCATE can process both a Map and Explorer Mode without an active internet connection. Created in collaboration with Steven Tran.
How might we help backcountry campers select an optimal campsite?
We came to our idea of a camp orientated app by first exploring the Alberta Human Rights topics and brainstorming where we could implement AR. We expanded these ideas to simple concepts we could pursue. Next, we conducted primary and secondary market research on preexisting apps and decided to develop an app for the camping industry. To finalize our concept, we conceptualized ideas that would be beneficial to augment.
After determining the concept of the app, the user experience was next. By sketching out the basic functions, we developed a better understanding of the user flow. These sketches were turned into paper prototypes we used to test our proof of concept and ensure that it fulfilled the features we outlined above.
The user experience was vital, therefore we turned our sketches into a basic wireframe that we test and ensure that the users were able to navigate the app and its features easily. The creation of the wireframes and testing was conducted using AdobeXD.
To better understand how our target audience would use the application we developed a persona. From this persona, we then created scenarios where the application would be used to ensure that it met our goals.
The first iteration of the app was developed using AR foundations in Unity and tested with Xcode. Upon successful testing the proof of concept was released on the App Store. In addition we produced a mini documentary that provides a high level overview of the creation of the app including paper prototyping and application testing.
Working with emerging technology such as XR, limited reference material is available resulting in a small amount of secondary research available requiring more primary research obtained through testing. Information from this testing will be reflected in changes to the app proof of concept or prototype and in our case lengthening the timeline.
By creating a solid foundation of pre-production material such as a proof of concept, personas and storyboards we had a starting point to jump from. When testing our prototype and developing the application we referred back to it asking if it if the changes we made still reflected our user group.