This summer, second-year student Jeff Kirsch worked at Uncommon Projects in Brooklyn, where those three months saw an iPhone app go from a one-sentence concept to well-reviewed in-the-wild product. That concept was for Marco, an application that made it easy to locate the exact location of a friend in a crowd, no umbrella-holding or frantic cell-phone waving required. Figuring out the easiest way to complete the task was a major part of the job.
“Marco isn’t the only app that lets friends request or share their location. We knew from the beginning that to be a success, Marco had to be the easiest way to do it, and I think we hit that mark. A big part of my job as UX Designer was going through the designs for the screens and asking myself ‘Do we need this step? Can I save a tap on this screen?’ It was a great exercise in distilling an idea right down to its core, and I think our success there has had a lot to do with the excitement we’ve seen around the finished product. While one user must have the Marco app installed on their iPhone, the system is designed so the recipient just needs a webkit-based browser on their smartphone to respond. That way, Marco users don’t have to try to recall what kind of phone their friend owns before sending a location request; it just works. Watching the response since we launched has been really exciting. We got great write-ups on the NY Times Bits Blog, and, most recently, on Wired‘s Gadget Lab. Just the other day I heard someone talking about getting ‘Marco’ed.’ But beyond all that excitement, the experience of working on a project start-to-finish with the great team at Uncommon Projects was tremendously valuable, and will definitely set the bar for future engagements.”–Jeff Kirsch, Class of 2011
Marco is a free download in the App Store.