How did you first come up with the idea for a new surf app?
It originally started as a personal design project from something that I felt the surfing community was lacking: visually stunning-designed surf apps. It began as a full-blown app with forecasting, charts, etc., but it later became more simplified and refined in the branding process.
As we were coming up with the name of the app, one of the ideas that rose to the top of the list was “Current”. The idea was based around water currents, which then lead into thinking about the current surf conditions. We ultimately shortened the name to CRNT, short for “current.” From that moment on everything was based around it. This also gave us an ownable space among surf apps. We were able to revolve everything around the current conditions and leave the forecasting up to others that had more experience and resources than us.
After I designed the first few iterations of the app, I showed it to the owners of Smashing Boxes, the agency I work for. Without hesitation, they helped me assemble a team and make it happen.
Was it originally meant to be a mobile app or was it designed specifically for the Apple Watch?
It was designed to be just a mobile app for Apple and Android. But when Apple announced that the Watch, we figured it would be perfect for it. Having the ability to quickly glance at the surf conditions just made sense.
What sets it apart from other surfing apps like Surfline for instance?
There are many surfing apps out there that are good, but most include more than just the surf conditions with features like forecast, charts, photos and a social component. Some even have nearby food/drink suggestions and accommodations. When I use these apps, I find myself only utilizing the part of the app that tells me the conditions (and maybe the forecast).
The apps that I feel work the best are the ones that are able to do a single or few things — and do them really well. That’s where I started in my thinking about CRNT.
CRNT is also all about being simply designed and easy to use.
I want CRNT to be the go-to app that tells you where the best place is to surf right when you want to go. When you’re ready to surf, you’ll know where the prime spots are at that moment, not two or three days from now.
Describe the process of being one of the first apps for Apple iWatch. How did you go about getting an app designed and developed for the launch of a new product interface?
Once Apple announced the Watch last year, I comped up the app the next weekend. The initial version looks a little different from the final version: