Personal Project, 2019-present
This personal project began in a Human Centered Design class where I was asked to consider opportunities for more efficient, accessible travel. Part of this exercise was rapid ideation, which was essential for curating a collection of features that I found most useful. Though the class project ended after the ideation stage, I found myself developing some of these concepts and eventually had multiple iterations of what I now call, Mapdis.
MapDis would provide a platform for users to crowd-source information, leaving reviews and/or reports that specifically reference accessibility.
In my research, I found a project called Access Map that, based at the UW, was collecting data on the topography of Seattle. This data paired with the level of steepness that can be handled using a manual wheelchair, power chair, or walker/cane went towards creating a map that optimized routes for accessibility. I was thrilled with this prospect but unfortunately, it seems progress has come to a halt. Thus, I decided that this would be the key feature of Mapdis; identifying inaccessible routes when planning a trip. One way this could be done is by using indicator colors to highlight inaccessible paths, as shown on the left. Although, the UI is all subject to change as these low-fidelity mockups are helping me pin down which features I think are necessary and/or desirable.
Mapdis is a one-man show right now, just a passion project of mine, which unfortunately means that while I’m in school, it gets less attention than it deserves. My current next steps are updating my personas, creating a brand identity, updating mockups, and begin prototyping. Long term, I would like to partner up with a developer to realize my vision as a mobile app, website, and extensions for both. Though Mapdis can be used as a holistic mapping application, mobile navigation is dominated by Google and Apple, thus it may be most impactful as an extension for mobile and web, allowing users to see their route from a different perspective without switching apps. Within its own application, Mapdis would expand upon its features to include saved places, a timeline, location sharing, etc. to maximize its potential as a mapping application.