Beacon Creative Navigation Smartphone App

Client: York University

Beacon is a smartphone application that helps users navigate urban spaces by emphasizing visual landmarks. Many wayfinding applications require dependence: their top-down mapping systems call for repeated reference and don’t support the development of a user’s own cognitive mapping (the mental map we build to navigate space). Beacon was developed using wayfidning, mapping, and psychology studies from researchers like Kevin Lynch (The Image of the City) and Per Mollerup (Wayshowing > Wayfinding) to create a user-centric system that requires minimal device interaction. Users are presented with a series of visual landmarks that guide them to their destination, allowing them to choose and repeatedly alter their path. This method allows users to become familiar with their environments as quickly as possible.

I developed Beacon as a graduate student at York University and was responsible for all content.