Case Study - App Design

Past Places is a map and feed-based app to explore abandoned places. Users can add new places, share photos, and experiences. This app can locate the place you are interested in based on the location and classification of the surrounding area.


There are many abandoned places in the world. These abandoned places are fascinating and yearning for many people, but finding and discovering these strange abandoned places is not an easy task. I can only spend a lot of time looking for information on them on the website. So I want to create an app that helps everyone easy and fast to find these abandoned places.


How is this unique?

Past places is an app with maps to explore abandoned places, add new places, share photos and experiences. This app can locate the places you are interested in based on the location and classification of the surrounding area.

How does it help users?

This app helps users quickly locate and find the abandoned places users want to explore, and can give them some information and detailed addresses in these places so that they can arrange a time to explore.
Matthew Christopher


Matthew Christopher is a business event, portrait and architectural photographer, professor, photography and photo editing instructor. He was interested in abandoned sites from an early age and began to capture the history of fascinating abandoned buildings. He has published books on photography, and his works have been published in many well-known media. His works are also exhibited in galleries.

How to find an abandoned place?

Target Audience Research

Mood board

Color and Typography

Logo Anatomy


Exclusion Zone

Logo Options

Minimun Size

The word "PAST PLACES" should always be easy to read. So in digital content the logo should never appear smaller than 82px/1.139 inch in width.


The minimum size for applying the logo in print is 28 mm/1.102 inch in width.



Application Icon

Forbidden Usages

Narrow and deform brandmark.

Flatten and deform brandmark.

Rotate and skew brandmark.

Add drop shadow effect.

Add glow effect.

Recolor the word.

Use the wrong color.

Use gradient.

Delineate glyphs or fonts.


Wireframe:1 (Navigation)

Wireframe:2 (Share)

Persona 1

San Francisco, CA

Mike is a photographer, he is very busy at work, he often takes some photos in the studio, but also needs to take some photos outdoors. In addition to his work, he usually likes to explore abandoned places, and take some abandoned photos and post his works on the web.


  • Busy
  • Resource integration
  • Reasonable planning


  • Find the abandoned place based on the distance and photos
  • Add to favorites

User Story and Task Flows

(Monday 9:00 am) Mike wants to explore around him. He opens the app and sees that he can view it by feed. The feed is organized by distance, and soon he found a suitable place.

Task 1

GOAL : To find the destination and navigate to the destination.

1/5. Select login button.
2/5. Select Explore.

3/5. Select an item.
4/5. Select Arrow button.

5/5. Select Start button.

Persona 2

Jay H
San Jose, CA

Jay is an illustrator, his usual job to create some illustrations for some media companies, magazines and websites. He usually likes to find photos of some abandoned places on the Internet as an inspiration, but when he encounters his favorite photos, he will go to the location of the photos for in-depth exploration in order to get a good creation.


  • Looking for inspiration
  • Work pressure
  • Not enough time to do his hobby


  • Find photos of some abandoned places as an inspiration

User Story and Task Flows

( Wednesday 3:00 pm ) Jay was preparing to create an illustration at home, and he needed to draw a mysterious and abandoned scene. He opened the app and found a suitable scene based on the photo, then he entered the abandoned scene page to find inspiration.

Task 2

GOAL : View favorite information.

1/4. Select My Account icon.
2/4. Select Collection.

3/4. Select an item.
4/4. View favorite information.

Persona 3

Tony H
College Student
San Francisco, CA

Tony is a College student, In addition to his class, he enjoys playing basketball, rock climbing, motorcycles and flea markets. He will ride a motorcycle to the wild and abandoned places to explore and take pictures when he has free time.


  • Study-induced stress
  • Less social experience
  • Lack of experience


  • Planning an adventure photo shoot

User Story and Task Flows

(Friday 8:00 pm) Tony completed his homework. He browsed for a moment before he posted an abandoned photo on social media and then began planning an adventure photo shoot for the weekend. He opened the app, found some suitable places based on popular comments and distances, then chose one of his favorite place, entered to this page to view details, and customized the route and plan.

Task 3

GOAL : Add photos and text, and share them.

1/4. Select camera.
2/4. Select gallery.

3/4. Add photo on the image.
4/4. View shared information.

Testing Feedback

Prototype Testing Results: 1

Time: May 01. 2019
Tester: Ella
Moderator: Me

Observations / Feedback:

  • Navigation bar improvements
  • Homepage function is not easy to understand

Change 1

  • The search bar is changed, and the camera icon and search have been added to the top.
  • Remove the list icon in the bottom navigation bar and change to a more intuitive pull-up menu.

Prototype Testing Results: 2

Time: May 01. 2019
Tester: Alex
Moderator: Me

Observations / Feedback:

  • Missing address information
  • There is a problem with the navigation button position

Change 2

  • Expand the display space of the top picture.
  • Add distance information.
  • Shows the number of comments and the number of favorites.
  • Add address information.

Prototype Testing Results: 3

Time: May 02.2019
Tester: Mika
Moderator: Me

Observations / Feedback:

  • Missing filter function
  • Favorites button add function

Change 3

  • Add the filter icon.
  • Increase the thumbnail of each project picture.
  • Displays the number of favorites.


Ideally, my project covers the information and addresses of most abandoned places in the world.

Realistically, I can design a navigation menu and an introduction page based on the information collected.

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