GeoJournal Paper Prototype

Design challenge:

Design and test a product concept that involves synchronization of data between a smart watch and smart phone. You can review assignment details here.


The GeoJournal is an app I designed to allow people to track and review where they’ve been throughout the day & to document special moments, events, memories as “notes” that are mapped to specific locations.

Each note is automatically associated with a specific location. Text, audio, photo, or video can also be added to each note to capture the moment in greater detail.

GeoJournal’s smartwatch was designed to allow for quick audio or photo input at any location without having to pull out a smart phone. The phone app, allows notes to be created in text, audio, photo, and/or video and provides several ways to review the moments captured via calendar, map, or list views. This way people will never forget the where a best friend’s birthday was celebrated or the coffee shop that makes the best cappuccinos.


As usual, I began to jot down some of my initial ideas through paper sketches. This helped me organize my thoughts and refine my app concept even before jumping into creating my paper prototype.

Sketching through some initial ideas

Sketching through some initial ideas

Since I knew that the watch had limited screen real estate and functionality compared with the phone, I want to create and test the input methods that I felt best suited the watch, audio & photo. For the phone, I focused on giving the user the flexibility to browse the data collected by both the watch and the phone.  I created three views to test. Calendar view, for those interested in reviewing their data by a data. Map view for those interested in getting an overview of where they’ve been and the important moments and places captured. And a List view for those interesting in reviewing moments chronologically. The phone also included a way to capture notes in multiple formats.

Smartwatch components

Smartwatch components

Smartphone components

Smartphone components

To get some quick feedback, I tested my prototype on three people. Through the testing I discovered that there were multiple interactions I didn’t account for. For example, after the first test, I realized that I had forgotten to include a way for users to review a final copy of their note before submitting. I also realized that I needed to consider how new notes would appear in the List view and how each of the different screens would interact with one another. I also discovered that users had different expectations of where the back button on the smartphone app worked. All of this feedback was extremely insightful.

I was surprised that during the testings, I received a lot of feedback on the concept of the app even though I was testing functionality.

Post critique reflections: 

After presenting our prototypes and test videos with our class, I learned a lot about conducting and documenting test results. 60 seconds can be very effecting in demonstrating a concept and prototype’s effectiveness. However, this requires a steady hand, use of titles, and an editing eye. Having users think aloud and using side by side views of multiple screens was also very effective.

I also learned some new techniques that I hadn’t considered before. I was especially impressed with how effect transparencies can for demonstrating transitions, animations, etc. that are often times difficult to convey with just paper. Both vertical and physical sliders are also very effective for this.