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Redefining Dinosaurs

Redefining Dinosaurs

Redefining Dinosaurs is an interactive, touch-screen museum exhibit aimed at older children and families. It is meant to teach users about how our understanding of dinosaurs and fossils has evolved over time thanks to advancing technologies

 

Since this is a quickly advancing topic, Redefining Dinosaurs would be able to offer more up-to-date information compared to physical exhibits that can quickly become outdated.

Preview Available | 48 MB | 63 Pages

Skills

UI/UX, Illustration, Motion

Programs

Figma, Illustrator, After Effects

Duration

10 Weeks

Prompt

Interactive Information Guide

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Prototype

For the prototype of Redefining Dinosaurs, the animation focuses on exploring the touch points and different versions of one dinosaur that would be available to the user.

Research

Problem

Many depictions of dinosaurs and fossils have become inaccurate and outdated as science advances and more discoveries are made. Explaining this process of how exactly scientists get from just fossils to fully fleshed-out renderings of dinosaurs can be complicated and vary from situation to situation.

Solution

Create a touch-screen digital interactive museum exhibit that allows users to explore and learn about different versions of fossils and dinosaurs, and to learn about the science that helped paleontologists to get to these conclusions. This could work in conjunction with a traditional exhibit on dinosaurs and fossils.

Target Audience

The primary target audience for this project would be older children and young teenagers (~12-15). They should be able to go through the application on their own without any assistance from an adult and have an enjoyable and educational experience.

The secondary target audience would be younger children (~5-11 years old) and their parents. Younger children would certainly be interested in learning about dinosaurs so they could possibly go through the application with an adult, though I imagine they would mainly focus on the visuals

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UX Research

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Timeline Style Navigation

This style of navigation would allow the user to explore the different versions of the dinosaurs without having to go through an excessive amount of screens.

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Navigable Map 

Navigable maps give the user a chance to explore the site in their own way. Even though I ended up using a stationary map, these were still helpful to research and understand when putting together my final solutions

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Touch Points

Touch points allow the user to learn about what they want to, and takes away some of the “hand-holding” that other educational programs tend to lean towards.

Content Development

Once my intial research phase was completed, I moved on to content development. This included creating both visuals and graphics as well as deciding on the actual information and scientific facts presented in the product. This process included creating a sitemap, exploring different visual directions, establishing the key features, and creating wireframes.

Site Map

This site map focuses on investigating and comparing the different versions of a single dinosaur. The user would select a continent to see what fossils were located there. This allowed the program to have more fossils to explore without overwhelming the user.

For my mockup screens, I focused on fossils found in Asia and specifically the Sinosauropteryx. However, each dinosaur would have the same basic setup and navigation.

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Visual Inspiration 

When deciding on the visuals for this project, I decided to go for a style that was bright and colorful to be more appealing to children. I decided on the keywords friendly, bright, cozy, illustrative, warm, and welcoming.

 

For the user interface of this project, I decided to let the illustrations take up most of the screen. This meant I needed to take the time to make sure the illustrations didn't overpower the UI later on in the project
 

Wireframes

Although the layout changed slightly since these versions of the wireframes, the same basic screen functions are still there.

Map Screen

Selecting a year on the map view would change how the continents are arranged based on their estimated placements from millions of years ago. In this earlier version of the design, the dinosaurs would actually appear on the map as their new living form. This was later changed to being their fossil.

Dinosaur View

For the single dinosaur view, the idea of different touchpoints and versions was always present. However, touchpoints were separated into topics. This was later changed since it added unnecessary steps and they weren’t enough fun facts to justify having separated topics.

Comparison View

A comparison view between the three versions of the dinosaur also made it to the final version. This would take over the entire screen. to show all 3 versions of the dinosaur at once. However, once the illustrations started to take over more of the interface, the layout of this screen and others changed a notable amount.

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Style Guide

Visual Development

Once I decided on what content and user flow paths to focus on, the final step was to of course actually design my screens. While designing my screens, I still ended up updating certain aspects of the functionalities of my designs, but all in all the fundamental purposes of my elements remained.

Welcome Screen

This opening screen would display while the device that is idle. The colorful dinosaurs and scenery would hopefully attract the attention of museum visitors and draw them in to try out the experience themselves

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Map Screen

After an introduction explaining the program, this screen is the first one where the users could interact with the program. The interactions include selecting a continent, as well as using the bar in the corner to change how the map actually looks.

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Selected Continent Screen

Once the user selects a continent, they are presented with a number of fossils to choose from that were discovered in the region.

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Fossil View

Each dinosaur in the "Redefining Dinosaurs" would have three versions available. This is the first version, the fossil. Each touchpoint would provide information on what just discovered and recreated fossils of this particular dinosaur could tell us.

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First Look

This look would focus on how paleontologists first believed the dinosaur looked based on their findings and understanding of dinosaurs at the time.

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New Look

For the new and final look, this page and its touchpoints would focus on the most recent iteration of the dinosaur and the updated research on how scientists came to this conclusion

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Touch Points

Each version would have its own set of touch points, the number varying depending on how much information there is to tell. Each touch point would offer some information about how paleontologists came to the conclusions they did as well as an illustrated diagram to help visualize the information.

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Takeaways & Conclusion

One of my biggest takeaways from this project is to not be afraid to simplify my designs. There may be a million things I want to include, but realistically they won’t all make it into the final product and that’s ok! Revisions are always essential to creating a good final design and you can never revise too many times.

If I were to go back to this project, I'd love to animate more of the dinosaurs as well as the transitions and such.

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