Originally created around the idea of helping individuals with visual impairments be more independent when working out, Trail Guide is a mobile app and smart cane that helps to make hiking on trails a little bit easier. The app allows for easy exercise tracking and the cane is built to be more comfortable to hold with extra built-in features including vibration and voice activation. Trail Guide was created during a smaller version of the Adobe Creative Jam for all of the Junior design classes, which allowed for first, second and third place winners. Trail Guide came in first place for the research put into it and for the thoughtful considerations of how this could become an eco-friendly, minimal cost useful, real-life product.
We spoke to a visually impaired student from Temple about our concept in order to try and get information on the feelings she has towards the current smart cane.
- She feels like the canes are overkill because they are trying to include so many features in one product.
- She was not a fan of all the removable parts because they can become challenging to take on and off along with becoming frustrating to find if they become lost
- She explains why she doesn’t like to hike because the canes are too heavy to hold for a long period of time
- She felt like they were too “childish”, almost like training wheels for her own independence
For this reason, we hoped to design a minimalist approach to the smart cane, one that focuses more on subtle signals and health tracking rather than a seemingly impressive array of unnecessary features.
- A wrist strap to keep the cane with you
- A small handle that is light and easy to grip and hold
- A button for the pointer finger to rest on, located on the underside of the cane
handle to monitor heart rate
- A power button just out of the thumbs reach
- Vibration to help warn the individual if they are too far left or right on the trail
- Voice navigation to tell the user when to turn or when another trail is coming up
in order to stay on the correct trail
- A marshmallow tip for a more accurate feeling of the ground in front of them
App wireframes and user flows to help us decide how we wanted to set our app up and how it would flow the most efficiently.
Prototyping the app as that all buttons work correctly
The High Fidelity Style Tile is based on a high contrast color palette to make seeing important parts of the app a little easier.
A simple type face that has many variants was also chosen so that there could still be design aspects in the typography without it being too over the top.
Symbols were also used, a large button that is placed in a consistent location for easy access, along with symbols for the data that is being tracked.
The new Trail Guide app is simple and to the point. When you open the app it brings you right to your current stats and allows you to look at past stats in the track exercise section. There is a large button that allows you to go for a hike and leads you to a page that lists out different trails in the area with your favorited trails appearing at the top. Once a trail is picked, you can get all the information on that specific trail while requesting an Uber to drive you to the trail entrance. Once you have arrived and are dropped off in the parking lot, you will select that you have reached the park and, using your phone’s location, the app will use voice navigation and tell you how many steps to take in which direction to help you reach the trail entrance.