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Design UI/UX for a GPS enabled rock climbing guide book app.

onSite Climbing Guide




A developer friend reached out to me with his idea for a rock climbing guide book app. Challenge accepted.

The ask...
Design an app which features:
GPS and map enabled
360 degree views of individual climbs
Offline use
Ability to make lists

In collaboration with another design team, we created a personas, flow, UX/UI, and wireframes for this project


First and foremost, I asked who will be using this app? How? Why?
Interviewed a number of rock climber and created profiles of different types of users.

Character Composite Profiles
Steve K. - New to climbing outdoors, "gym rat". Never been to Colorado, hopes to go soon.
Maria M. - International climber. Currently planning her 3rd annual trip to South Africa where she'll meet up with global friends.
Richard E. - Power user, climbing outside for 20 years. Owns over 40 print guidebooks.

From the interviews I distilled a robust list of needs for the app

Ability to use in low and high light
Live GPS location, historical GPS data for trail marking
Bird's Eye View Maps
Offline storage data and user created lists
User Video and Photo content
​User feedback and community reviewing
Communication and sharing between users

More Research:
With these needs in mind, I surveyed and used a variety of similar apps, in particular outdoor sports "guidebook" apps, eg. Mountain Project.

Design and Iteration:
I took what I learned from users and other similar apps and began to think about layouts and features. I wanted to create a design that was not only of course user friendly but aesthetically pleasing.

I used Figma for the iOS design format and graphic design elements. It was easy for the developer and I to use collaboratively and for him to give me feedback.
We had an ongoing conversation about design and features resulting in an iterative process.

​The developer took what we created back to his group who built a PDF for the features included in the beta version.

Features included and flow:
Maps are a priority function of the app. Users have access to GPS, offline maps, geotagging/location saving.
Once registered and signed in, users will be directed to a menu main menu that will allow them to navigate.
Users will be able to create searchable and sortable lists. They will be able to share these lists in groups and save offline.
Each specific rock climb will have it’s own information page accessible from lists, maps, and area overview pages.
Users can filter from any screen.
User input is another important element - reviewing and confirming each climb and its difficulty to build community consensus and climbing area data.

The first phase of testing was done with paper models. It also helped refine the flow for wireframing. Further testing will be completed on future versions.


The app was handed off to the developer who continued their work building a beta app was built to be used by climbers in real world for ongoing testing and getting feedback to the developer. This is actually ongoing now. More data is being added and bugs fixed.


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