Although Empire App Labs was only managing the design aspect of this massive project — this was a challenge straight through. The main goal of this portal is to appeal to adolescents so that they’re interested in science, or in this case ocean research. So we needed to not only develop a proper experience, but to deliver it in a way that would interest 10 - 16 year old children.
Our portion of the research was mainly about user experience, and since our user is schooler – we decided to stick with GME-like interfaces, close to those you would see in computer adventure quests. To create an immersive experience that would also allow for interaction with scientific tools we used skeuomorphic designs. While some consider it to be outdated, we believe any technique can be used if it fits the goal.
MBARI ft. Quest Institute wanted to deliver four interactive tools for kids to investigate. Those tools are devices mounted 900 feet deep in Monterey Canyon — and each device is unique in how you interact with it.
To achieve the desired look and feel for the web app, we conceptualized the idea that the user can have a number of devices to help them manage all the information through lessons and minigame. We did this by giving each user their own journal, tablet and progress bar. To do this the design had to be just as good as the operating system in which it was achieved.
We achieved the desired result of the design specs laid out by the client. We achieved the game and interface look that they were going for while adding a little flair. Another happy client!