Interactive Communication Systems, habitable exoplanets

The goal of this project was to create an interactive information system for a topic of our choice. We decided to develop a system that informs people about the outer space. For me, space is something special, something mystical. Since the dawn of the humanity we asked ourselves, are we alone in this universe?

That is why we focused on habitable exoplanets. Those are planets that could have the right parameter like distance, radiation type, and other geophysical aspects to be habitable. After we defined our topic, we had to do some research. So we visited the planetarium in Stuttgart to watch a movie about habitable exoplanets. It was really interesting and we gained a lot of insights.

The first concept.

It all started with a few scribbles on paper, but we also worked on the information structure. What aspects are important and how do we structure them? The basic idea was really easy. The system should be displayed on a large touchscreen. That way it would be easy to use and to transport. It could stand in a museum or in a school. We wanted to inform, but also to inspire the people. The outer space is a very abstract topic, so we tried to design the user experience informative but also funny to use.

mars__Menü aktiv
The first digital scribble.

We decided to structure the system into two different parts. One part was the exoplanets and facts about them. The second one was the three big telescopes. The Kepler, Hubble and James Webb telescope are indispensable for the search for new exoplanets, so we included them. With the zoom bar, you could zoom out of our universe to explore new planets and dimensions.

Scribble, the second generation. A new background and instead of a horizontal zoom bar a vertical one.
Wireframes_IKS_11.1216_Menü aktiv Kopie 3
Random space facts should make the experience lighter and more fun.

One of the biggest problems of this design were the different styles. There we plenty of them and they weren’t really harmonic. That is why we discussed how the art style of the system should look like. We decided to discard the abstract comic like style for a new, more realistic approach. In addition to that, we revised the detail sites of the planets and the telescopes. The font was also changed in order to create a better legibility.

We wanted to use as little typo as possible. The Roboto is perfect for touch and web applications in general.

After interviews and more feedback, we defined the scope of functions. So we started to concentrate more on the details. The general style was a contrast of realistic photos and flat design graphic/icons. We created our own graphics and icons for the different categories. Furthermore, we developed a style guide with customs colors.

wireframe_iks_15.01 (Emily Jägers in Konflikt stehende Kopie 2017-01-16)-04(1)
Scribble, the third generation. The burger menu was rejected, instead, we used an icon bar on the right side of the screen.

After all the different prototypes, we designed the final screens. Through the feedback and the previous versions, we had a pretty clear picture of the final product. The final screens look and feel a bit different from the old version but are still easy and intuitive to use. All the icons, graphics and picture were revised. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun because the topic was really cool.

The graphics should simplify the comparisons.

icons 2

The icons. Simple, easy to understand and inconspicuous. Oh, and his name is Larry. The cow, not the astronaut.
The final screens.
All the screens and the complete use case is shown in the movie. Take a look!

I always wanted to do a project about the outer space. The research was great because I learned a lot about space and Space technology. This project was also the first real one for us. Before that, we only did special exercises or had all the same project scenarios, which was good, to begin with, but it is something completely different to work on your very own project. Because this was a project from the second semester there are a few small mistakes especially in the details, but nothing unforgivable. Nevertheless, the idea and the project itself is quite good and hopefully informative. The prototype was created with Framer and a movie was made.

I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.  – Elon Musk

I really enjoyed working on this project, made my first steps in creating a unique project and learned a lot. That is the reason why I choose it for my portfolio. Everyone started at some point and not everything is perfect from the beginning. It’s what makes us human.

  • Interaction Design, Second Semester, WS 2016/2017
  • Interactive Communication Systems 1 by Fabian Schröbel
  • Group members: Emily Jäger, David Glock, Stefan vom Bruck
  • IKS_Doku

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