Design for Startups Success Story: Angler’s Atlas

Images via Angler's Atlas.
Images via Angler's Atlas.

This is part one of our ongoing series on participants in the Design for Startups Program. Design for Startups was developed by Living Labs at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and is supported by BCIC.  The program pairs startups at Highline with Emily Carr designers. Learn more.

Prince George-based Angler’s Atlas is an online resource for fishers, with detailed maps to find the best fishing. The site also publishes a magazine and has developed several apps for community building and animal population tracking.

“It started as an online service providing fishing maps and related information to anglers in Prince George back in 1999”, says Publisher Sean Simmons. “We’ve been growing since then, providing resources across the country. We’ve catalogued over a quarter-million water bodies. Every water body has information tagged to it, whether it’s a topographic map, or user-generated comments, photos and map markers.”

The Situation

To help with their growth, Angler’s Atlas recruited Emily Carr student Eli Muro to design their app.

“We’re really trying to build the platform out and increase that social component of the platform. An app is a natural extension of that.”

The Student

While Angler’s Atlas had employed Emily Carr students in the past, this was the first time they participated in the Design for Startups Program.

“Eli championed the app design. He initially started by doing some preliminary investigations into anglers,” Sean explains. “From there he started on a design, modelled on something similar to Instagram—you have the social feeds, but it’s tailored specifically for our audience and their interests.”

The Solution

“It really is important for us as we’re developing a consumer-based product—whether they’re apps or websites—being able to design something that is intuitive for the user. There’s a natural flow, almost like an effortless experience”, says Sean.

“It’s a challenge: it’s easy to see something that’s good, but it’s hard to build it. We’ve got a strong development team up here, … but they build for requirement, not for experience. So a necessary part of this is making sure that the experience for the user is there—otherwise they won’t use your product. So that really is a critical part of what we got out of Emily Carr.”

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