Project: Marco Polo
Services: UI/UX Design
Year: 2014

The Marco Polo app guides you to your friends using a fluid and simple one-to-one connection, without relying on landmarks or saved locations. This project is no more than a short design exercise; it is not affiliated with any existing apps, and functionality has not been tested.

Concept by Ryan Geraghty and design by Alisa Rantanen.


How do you recognize someone you’re meeting for the first time?

How do you find your friends in a crowd of strangers?

How do you rendezvous with someone in an unfamiliar place?


A stylized compass is at the heart of Marco Polo. This compass rotates to guide users in the right direction, while the background slowly changes color to match the compass as users get closer. Marco Polo uses red to silently suggest the user is “getting warmer...” This color change provides a quick visual update on progress and is complemented by the numerical distance reading in the center of the compass. 


Using a combination of GPS, bluetooth, and wifi between two phones, Marco Polo tells you where and how far away your friends are – and updates in real time as you move towards them. Marco Polo uses GPS to guide users broad distances, Bluetooth to pinpoint locations at near range, and a mid-range communication tech to bridge the two. Marco Polo establishes a phone-to-phone connection independent of cellular service.