In these days of remote school and work when everything can be done sitting behind a desk, the motivation to go outside and walk around to get some fresh air and sun can be hard to come by. We built Pathways to encourage more active lifestyles by recreating the meaningful walking experiences you used to share with your friends, from those moments together appreciating a beautiful sunset to pointing at the silly squirrel crossing the street.
What it does
The app incentivizes walking through the discovery of virtual Easter eggs, which are meaningful “moments'' captured by other users. Users can choose to follow the “paths” other users have taken, collecting and discovering the scattered “moments” another has shared from their journey. This sharing and appreciating of each other’s moments creates a sense of community and social activity that has been lacking during this pandemic when many group based exercises, like fitness classes and hikes with friends, aren’t possible. Or even in normal times when friends schedules just never seem to overlap enough to take a walk together. We built Pathways to encourage more active lifestyles by creating a meaningful walking experience for our users.
How we built it
First we utilized the Design Thinking Process to try and pinpoint our problem space and brainstorm solutions. We came up with a general framework for our concept:
Problem: hard to be motivated to take walks in a home working environment or with busy schedules
Solution: incentivize walking through virtual Easter eggs hidden by others, scavenger hunt style
- geographically based
- has potential for workout challenges
- route based Easter eggs, connect the dots
- meaningful walking experience
Then, we wrote out our user flows and sketched low fidelity wireframes. After checking everything over, we began making a high fidelity prototype in Figma, creating bold, bright, and minimal styling.
From this, our engineer team worked with...
- SwiftUI iOS Application
- Apple map integration using MapKit
- Google Cloud Firebase (Real time database & storage)
- Geofencing for Moments within a Path
- Image integration using Camera and Photo Gallery
in order build out our app.
Challenges we ran into
We were unable to implement some of the features we had originally planned for the app. A lot of our features were very very ambitious and connecting all the parts together code-wise was difficult. We were unfamiliar with SwiftUI (first time using!) and especially struggled with the Apple Maps integration.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to create an app that is fully functional. I repeat, fully functional!!! Our location tracking system works, we successfully integrated mapping into the app, we can actually add pins to locations and Moments through those, and we were able to integrate an in app camera into the Moments creation process. Ever pathway that is created is found in our Firebase system, duration and distance are tracked in the app, and we were able to get the location tracker to some pretty precise coordinates! The engineering team did a fantastic job of following our design and branding style guide so Pathways looks very clean.
What we learned
When building an app that promotes active lifestyles, we will inevitable also have to be active. We got all of our steps in testing out the tracking and route creation options for our app!
What's next for Pathways
We want to add in profiles and users so that we can actually follow our friends. We also want to create a live updating map off all the trails in the area with the ability to filter out results. We also wanted to create a Path Ranking Leaderboard so you can check out the most liked paths!