Penguin Academy

November 27, 2009

The Penguin Academy kiosks at Living Coasts allow users to choose their own penguin to nurture, grow and teach skills to survive in the wild. Users learn through play about a penguins’ lifecycle of feeding, breeding and evading predators. Penguin fanatics can also play online, but can only get to a certain level of the game before they have to visit the Living Coasts attraction and enter a secret code to unlock the final levels.

“We really had a fantastic experience with HMC, the whole purpose was to come up with a concept that was lively, interactive, but that also taught our visitors about marine pollution issues and they’ve really managed to do that for us!” Elaine Lambert — Director, Living Coasts

Dwell time at Living Coasts has dramatically increased in the area at Living Coasts in which the Penguin Academy is situated. Hundreds of penguins are still competing for top spot on the leaderboards.

I also setup a Facebook page for one of Living Coasts’ penguins to support the online games. Bizarrely (I guess everyone wants to be friends with a Penguin) Ping at Living Coasts now has over has 1,000 friends on the account. Living Coasts use the Facebook site in a very clever way; telling people about special offers, inviting people to events and telling stories about how the other penguins are getting on.

Role
Project management, UX, Design, Development, Install

Length
3 months. Completed in 2008

Team size
Creative Director, Project manager, 2xDesigners, UX, 2xDevelopers, 2xInstall crew

Deliverable
3xKiosks, Web games, Facebook site

Design process
Interaction audit, concepting, UX and visual design, user testing, design refinements

Diary Wheels

November 26, 2009

The Driving Standards Agency management conferences are aimed at senior DSA managers to promote strategic thinking and define a vision for the future. In the past, these conferences lacked interactivity and engagement. To spice things up me and the team from HMC came up with the concept of ‘Diary Wheels’; A classic Mini Cooper, painted in the DSA’s colours. The car was gutted and pimped out with a plasma screen TV and custom built video diary software. Think of Kit from Knightrider but with a twist!

“The Diary Wheels concept was not only innovative and topical, but provided us with a new approach to gaining feedback from our staff in a humorous and engaging way” Diane Wragg, Internal Communications Manager, DSA

Once a user climbed inside the Diary Wheels the well known voice of Big Brother interrogated the delegates for a bit of Q&A fun. With all answers automatically recorded and edited overnight to be shown as vox-pops the next day (which received a huge round of applause), it proved to be the most successful way of finding out what really matters to DSA staff. At one point five DSA employees climbed into the Mini at once! For each conference over an hour of high quality feedback footage was filmed, edited and delivered to the DSA.

The Diary Wheels has since been around the country on tour. It has been particularly successful in engaging with the 18-24 demographic, an age range which the DSA traditionally had trouble receiving adequate feedback from.

Role
Software project management, UX, Install

Length
4 weeks. Completed in 2008

Team size
Creative Director, Project manager, Designer, UX, Developer, 2xInstall crew

Deliverable
Interactive Mini

Design process
Interaction audit, concepting, UX and visual design, user testing, design refinements

DSA Q&A

November 26, 2009

I programmed 32 touch reactive screens and turned them into the perfect live Q&A system for the Driving Standards Agency’s annual management conference.

The screens were developed to cope with multiple uses; voting, anonymous feedback, quizzes with scoring and submission of questions. This interactive was hugely successful and effective as it offered the DSA a non-intrusive feedback system which was great fun to use, over 90% of the delegates agreed that the interactive screens were useful.

Additionally this interactive included a live Q&A system which was displayed on a mammoth 20ft projection screen. DSA employees were able to anonymously ask questions to the Board of Directors about the company and these were answered in situ. Over 500 questions asked and 186 surveys about the event were completed; a massive increase on the previous year’s results.

Role
Project management, UX, Design, Development, Install

Length
8 weeks. Completed in 2008

Team size
Creative Director, Project manager, 2xDesigners, UX, 2xDevelopers, 4xInstall crew

Deliverable
20ft Q&A interface, 32xKiosks

Design process
Interaction audit, concepting, UX and visual design, user testing, design refinements

Living Autopsy

November 26, 2009

The Living Autopsy, created for BBC3’s Make My Body Younger programme, was filmed live in one take to build up the shock factor of the contributors. Each contributor was hooked up to a heart rate monitor. As the person’s heart beat faster and faster in real life the animations projected onto their chests beat faster and faster to match the heartbeat.

“Forget those NHS adverts, any young binge drinker should be made to watch this programme…” The Times

MRI scans and X-Rays were carried out on each contributor so that the projections on their chests would be anatomically accurate. The contributor’s body elements could be aged dynamically at any time, showing what the their heart looked like as it aged, or what their lungs looked like as they filled with smoke.

Role
Software project management, UX

Length
3 months of pre production then 1 weekend per TV programme. Completed in 2008

Team size
Creative Director, Project manager, Designer, UX, 2xDevelopers, 2xInstall crew

Deliverable
Live projection system, Heart rate monitoring system

Design process
Interaction audit, user testing, design refinements

Mould Me

November 26, 2009

Mould Me is part of the Purple Planet exhibition at Cadbury World. It features virtual chocolate technology and casting incredibly lifelike chocolate busts of visitors into a hall of fame.

Cadbury were finding that users wanted to take home images of their experience so the software was modified so that the user’s images could be sent to the gift shop. Here they could be printed onto t-shirts, mugs and keyrings. Due to the success of the Purple Planet interactives Cadburys reported that the spend in the gift shop went up by £2 a head, not bad when the attraction sees over 500,000 visitors a year.

Role
Software project management, UX

Length
1 month. Completed in 2008

Team size
Project manager, UX, 2xDevelopers, 2xInstall crew

Deliverable
Installation

Design process
User testing, design refinements

Angry House

November 26, 2009

Angry House was an interactive, performance-based installation created for The Big Chill multi media festival. The house looked like a wooden, cute backyard playhouse, appearing innocent and calm. It sat in on a manicured piece of land, surrounded by trees. It had the appearance of innocence and calm. When no one was around, the house slept… all was quiet, except for the wind chimes hanging above the door.

“I enjoyed the enduring enthusiasm of the team as they helped me create my Angry House for the Big Chill Festival. When things got tough, the team pitched in with good humour and delivered creative software solutions under difficult circumstances.” David Bickerstaff — Artist & Founder, AtomicTV

But the house was sentient. It knew when someone approached and from what direction. Proximity sensors embedded in the front of the house, detected the distance and movement of visitors. As they got closer, the house stirred, getting angrier, it growled and the door banged from inside. Sometimes, a bright light shot out of the small windows, projecting shadowy figures onto the adjacent trees. The house appeared to be alive and active, attracting attention with its internal, flickering light and nightmarish chimes. The Angry House was always locked and visitors could never go in, but curious folk could always peer through the windows at the dark secret within… Needless to say when we finished the project in our warehouse, switched the lights out and turned the house on, none of us wanted to get close to it!

Role
Software project management, UX

Length
1 month. Completed in 2008

Team size
Project manager, UX, 2xDevelopers, 2xInstall crew

Deliverable
PR stunt

Design process
Concepting, user testing, design refinements

Hoyts

November 26, 2009

Hoyts is one of the largest cinema chains in Australasia with 450 screens across 40 Australian and 9 New Zealand cinema complexes.

I worked on a complete back and front end redesign which included a quick ticket module where users could view trailers and book and buy tickets from the homepage, competition systems, membership schemes and for Hoyts’ exclusive cinema screens such as La Première, Halfpipe and Xtremescreen users could book their own seating arrangements.

The site has since been redesigned but I’m pleased to see many of the user flows I orignially set out are still being used: http://www.hoyts.com.au/

Role
Project management, UX

Length
6 months. Completed in 2007

Team size
Creative Director, 2xProject managers, 3xDesigners, 2xUX, 5xDevelopers

Deliverable
Website

Design process
Interaction audit, competitor research, concepting, UX and visual design, user testing, design refinements