True North – Designing for Utility & Contemplation

I am not one of those people good with a sense of direction. There are those who seem to have a magical compass embedded in their brains and have an innate sense of ‘north’ anywhere they go. It’s pretty clear I’m not one of these people. I’m the person that rotates the map so she can figure out which way to head.

With that in mind, the apps on my iPhone have become extensions of my person, often making up for my cognitive deficiencies, and this need for cognitive supremacy eventually led me to creating True North. It’s a personal compass that points to the places, people, things that you care about. It’s an app in the iPhone store that you should go download it.

I also wanted the app to be, on some level, contemplative in nature. That it not be completely about being a utility but perhaps reminds us of the distance we have put between ourselves and the things we care about and love and the physical steps it would take to get there. So with each location, there is also a note letting you know how long it would take you to walk there, in a straight line, without resting.

There are also subtleties, such as True North has its own alphabet, designed by my better half, Neil Churcher. When you add a compass location, the background graphic is a visual of the first letter of that location, so each compass is just a little different.

I hope you enjoy the app, and I hope when you’re looking at your True North destinations you will contemplate how far you have come.

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