Running is a great way to explore new places. It's also a great way to get lost. I, along with many other runners, don't like running with a phone or own a dedicated GPS watch. When the Apple Watch was initially released, I saw an opportunity to use it as mobile navigation - keep your hands and pockets free and avoid the distractions of your phone. However, the Apple Watch (at the time) couldn't use navigation without your phone nearby.

That's what inspired Gretel: an app that just takes you back the way you came. It uses the accelerometer and GPS in the watch without data from map to follow your path and guide you back on the same route. For running, hiking, exploring new places or remembering your parking spot.

Completed as a personal project while interning at Loft, LLC - Summer 2015.


▾   APP


go anywhere without your phone

when you're ready to go back, just follow the trail of breadcrumbs


wrong turn?

just retrace your steps


takes your back the way you came

no phone or data required






NAMING  We chose "Gretel" to draw the connection to a digital version of Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs. Also, using a woman's name alligns it with other digital assistants (Siri, Alexa, Cortana).


VISUAL STYLE  Before designing the whole app, I ideated several visual styles. Apple has set limits on colors, fonts and type sizes used within the app. I ended up going for a style where the graphics "fade" off the edge of the screen. Since the screen space is pretty small compared to the size of the bezels, this gave the app an edgeless look to keep the small screen from looking too cramped