Designing Apps For An App

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In 2009 when smartphones were still on the rise in popularity, so were dedicated apps for “checking-in” at locations. This new trend was met with mixed reception, but it ultimately normalized the act of sharing your location. Over time, many apps were acquired or shut down because popular social platforms adopted and integrated these features.

In looking at the landscape now, we’ve found that there are still two distinct markets for wanting to log down your location. Those who want to share and those who want to journal. We’ve researched and tested the apps available and found that Swarm and Day One are the best ways to log your location on iOS.

Setting a Benchmark
Design and ease of use - App design, both UI and UX, is important in
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It’s fast, fun, and very accurate. It is the culmnation of seven years of ground work laid down by Foursquare.

Foursquare used to be the app synonymose with logging down your location, but in 2014, it decided to take the gamified check-in apect of the app and spin it into a separate app which beacame Swarm. Today, Foursquare is mainly for discovering new places to vist, though it’s still tighly integrated with Swarm so if you have both apps downloaded, there are benefits. (More on this later)

The app
Swarm’s design is straight-forward and should feel familiar to anyone who’s used a smartphone app before. Five tabs run along the bottom of the application with the center tab showcased in Swarm’s signature orange color. Starting from the left, the first tab is your feed.



In your feed, you can see you and your friend’s most recent check-in’s and also filter to “Nearby” to check if any of your friends have checked-in close to your location. Depending on if you are going to be sharing out to other social networks versus using Swarm’s social network, you may find this tab either very helpful or go mostly unsused. You can also have Swarm notify you when a friend is nearby.



Swarm’s tagline is to “turn every day into a game” and the second tab of the app is dedicated to it. When Foursqaure launched in 2009, it was one of the early pioneers of the gamification age. Without
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