In collaboration with Wolff Olins, we developed a prototype that reimagines how users can interact with the news with USA Today. As Wolff Olins closed in on their final design proposal to change the outdated USA Today logo to its new blue dot, they brought us in to help show how flexible that simple blue dot could really become, especially in an interactive environment.
The app prototype uses the now-iconic USA Today blue dot as a jumping-off point for the primary visual navigation tool – a pie chart color-coded by news topic. Users can browse using the pie chart, viewing stories by date or popularity, and dive into individual news stories as they like. Besides the fully visual navigation, the app features an expanded list-based navigation featuring headlines and drop-down menus for easy browsing
We completed the project in just 10 days, showing how our lean methodology and integrated team can build usable products quickly. We’re are often asked to experiment with unproven and innovative tech ideas through rapid prototyping and close collaboration with clients and other agencies, which helps to test new ideas before they go through a lengthy and expensive development cycle.
Strategy, Design, Development
Even for tried and true New Yorkers, Central Park can be a challenge to navigate. Enormous, complex, and lacking in physical directional signage, we saw the park as the perfect opportunity for a wayfinding app that would help residents and visitors alike make sense of this iconic public space.
First, we tackled the gargantuan task of creating a detailed survey of the park—more robust than any online map service has produced—including its many landmarks, buildings, roads, stairways, playgrounds, restrooms, and surrounding transit stops.
A directory of destinations helps users not only find locations they’re looking for, but discover hidden gems. After selecting a destination, users see the best route possible, along with detailed directions, based on their current GPS location. A realtime "walk ring" provides users a simple understanding of scale and distance.
All of the map's touchpoints are dynamically generated and interactive to allow for immediate access to additional information. Major landmarks are illustrated to help users orient themselves in the park
All of these features were built on our revamped mapping and wayfinding platform, FRMWRK.IO. With rich navigation, interactive maps, and the ability to tie into public datasets like the MTA Subway and the NYC Parks events database, Walk Central Park allows residents and visitors to plan their trip and enjoy Central Park without interruption.
Walk Central Park will be released in 2022 as a ten year anniversary update.