Why. To create a mobile app that would encourage walking and hiking communities in rural Scotland to take advantage of local resources – supporting rural economies.

What. An Android app that rewards hikers when they reach certain ‘checkpoints’ along a route. When a checkpoint is reached, hikers unlock virtual rewards from which they can choose one to put in their virtual knapsack.  Rewards might be discounts / services / products provided by local businesses, e.g. a free muffin or discounted entry to an attraction. Once the hike is completed, hikers can take their collected virtual awards to the providing local businesses to exchange them for real ones. In doing so they visit local businesses that they might not have otherwise and perhaps also avail themselves of other resources while there (e.g. maybe buy a coffee or a guide book).

How. Android app dev, full-stack dev, stakeholder engagement, workshops, interaction design, surveys, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, in-the-wild study.

Who. In collaboration with Dr Mei Yii Lim and Professor Nick Taylor. Thanks to SICSA and all the local businesses who signed up.

//Photo credit: Steven Brown