Value of Design Award

Somar Digital 4 Plan My Walk App

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Somar Digital
  • Client
    NZ Mountain Safety Council

Plan My Walk, from the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC), is the first all-in-one app and website that gives anyone planning a hike in New Zealand the information they need to stay safe.

NZ has some of the most beautiful hikes in the world but they can be notoriously dangerous as the weather conditions can change drastically at a moment's notice. Over 1 million people explore NZ outdoors every year with an average of almost 6,000 reported incidents in the outdoors every year.

PMW tackles the common risks that cause these incidents by giving accurate information on tracks like track conditions, reviews and alerts, weather forecasts and suggested gear lists. The app is a major step towards helping save lives in the outdoors.

This was a highly complex project with many design and technical elements that needed to be incorporated into the app while still being intuitive and easy to use. By breaking the project down into 2-week sprints we were able to deliver the solution efficiently and with the flexibility to continually iterate and improve on it once it went live.

The Design team and Developers worked closely with MSC to make sure that PMW was designed for the user. We undertook extensive user research and testing in all stages of the project to make sure that the app is engaging and easy to use for users of all experience levels.

MSC continues to coordinate with our Support team to fix bugs and add more features based on user feedback and testing.

PMW is a solution that tackles key risk issues, like trampers underestimating the time it takes to reach their destination, by giving accurate information on tracks like conditions, weather forecasts and track alerts. The app includes over 1000 tracks across NZ, dynamic maps, track safety alerts, up-to-date weather forecasts, unique gear checklists, as well as the ability to share the plan with your group and emergency contacts.

To the best of our knowledge, there isn’t a product like PMW on the market so it has the potential to be replicated in other countries. PMW proves how a digital solution can be used to promote safety in the outdoors in an engaging and user-friendly way.

The PMW app is a revolutionary step forward to ensuring the safety of walkers and trampers in NZ. PMW represents a robust initiative backed by decades of knowledge and statistics to bring incident numbers down by addressing common incident causes such as an overambitious choice of route, a lack of sufficient fitness and people taking longer than expected to reach their destination.

So far PMW has 200,000+ unique users, which easily bests our original goal of 150,000 users. Getting heaps of users has been incredible but we want to continue to improve the experience of PMW so that people continue to use and get value from it. The goal of PMW is to build an app that truly resonates with users and ultimately helps save lives.