Sketch, InVision
In collaboration with Catherine Phillipps
A safety tool for your next Great Walk.


Our first UX/UI brief was to create a transport app. We explored different transport options (from public, to jetpacks) however we wanted to target an issue that had been frequenting the news: hiking fatalities on the Great Walks (1, 2, 3).

Thus we proposed the idea of designing a tool that could help prevent the issues hikers come across. We approached the problem holistically being mindful of the technology available whilst hiking, the system we’d need to design to enable this to work. We’d need to 1. design a database for D.O.C. and 2. the tool—the iOS app.

User Journey 

Like any travel application, we wanted the user to experience the app even when they’re not on their journey. We broke our journey into two phases (as illustrated above).

Phase 1 of the journey is experienced from download to the start of the hike where users check-in to the walk. Everything in this phase includes choosing a Great Walk, preparing for the walk using a to do list and getting daily weather updates so the user can plan accordingly.

Phase 2 of the journey is the exploration phase. Everything the user needs to keep safe; map, weather, light availability, elevation and other features explored below. 

Field Research

To refine our user journey, we set out to do a Great Walk with a few friends. Allowing us to make notes of all the touchpoints on the hike. by putting ourself in the users shoes (or boots), we were able to make a list of the things we needed to know including a list of a gear needed, weather updates, and any technical challenges we could face such as, whether or not there was a network connection on the trail.


After our own exploration and keeping in mind the components we wanted to use to build our app, we set out on wireframing our intial ideas. Scribbling down every idea helped us to develop and refine our information architecture.


Building a profile is imperative to our concept as it allows hikers to create a visual description and a safety network. We also created a “party” function for those hiking in groups with members who don’t have or use the app. This way there is still accountability for those hikers.


When browsing the walks, you’re presented with beautiful imagery, general information and a map. After scheduling, you’re provided with daylight availbility information and current weather.

On an active walk, the map is at the forefront of the screen providing location details and how long the current leg has to go. Weather and daylight are still and imperative tool for this screen.


Preparation is a huge key to a safe and successful walk. Thus we wanted to enable a fucntion that would act as a checklist to ensure that hikers had everything they needed.
In our own preparation, we found that due to the unpredictable weather changes in New Zealand, we were constantly checking the forecast therefore, we wanted to have that built into the “scheduled” walk.

Check in & Beacon

Check in was a key feature from the beginning. It would allow hikers to “tag on” or “check in” themselves and their party on their Great Walk. If the user didn’t check–in within an appropriate amount of time, D.O.C would be able to 1. push your description out to other hikers on the track, 2. use your latest check–in point as a starting point to locate you and 3. push an alert out to emergency services and your safety network.

Another small feature we wanted to include which would allow users to send their location to D.O.C. and emergency services simply by tapping the “Beacon” icon, and holding down the home button for 5 seconds.