Azimuth – Accessible Directions


Azimuth is intended to be a mobile app focused on providing accessible campus directions for UC Berkeley.

Azimuth was developed for the 2014 CMYK Designathon over a four-hour period, created in collaboration with my School of Information classmates, Gracen Brilmeyer and Carlos Miguel Lasa. The prompt for the Designathon was to develop a map of UC Berkeley that could be used by anyone and that could increase accessibility.

Design Goals

Our design goals for Azimuth were to help enhance the exploration of spaces, highlight accessibility features, and allow for the adaptation of personal navigation preferences.

The existing maps provided by the campus (seen on the right) are complex and difficult to navigate. We hypothesized that as a result, users are more likely to have to study the maps extensively beforehand and perhaps carry paper copies. We assumed this hypothesis for the duration of the designathon, but noted that if this were for a real project, we would conduct extensive user testing to prove or disprove it.

Design Choices

With Azimuth, we placed great emphasis on simplicity and ease of use. We iterated on the concept of subway maps, which place the focus more on landmarks (thus encouraging exploration) rather than exact distances. To address accessibility, we brainstormed ideas about color agnosticism, text-to-speech capability, and topographical recommendations based on incline.

These choices influenced our final interface design, which used a limited but high contrast color palette, a subway map-inspired style, and the ability for users to track incline progress both visually and by audio.

View Presentation

Our Preliminary Sketches

"Pathway Slopes" Map by UC Berkeley