The aim of our first meeting was to come up with a couple initial app ideas to present to our tutors and the client. We came up with 2 (well 2.5) ideas to present and wrote brief descriptions for them.
IDEA 1: Magna Facts (and quiz)
Short, obscure and interesting facts about Magna Carta, its legacy and local ties to salisbury cathedral. It combines sentence long facts with a range of related multimedia to engage the user. After a few facts the user will be presented with a couple of related multiple choice questions about what they’ve just seen. This is to engage the user further requiring them to remember and recall details about Magna Carta to have a more lasting impact.
IDEA 2: Magna Translation
Provide Latin version of Magna Carta, translation into English (possibly other languages), and a short clause by clause commentary/ explanation to provide further detail and context. Intended to be short and easy to read with concise, jargon-free commentaries, possibly accompanied with multimedia to better illustrate ideas. Also a high-resolution image of Magna Carta for the user to zoom into and explore the physical details of the document.
Both of our ideas took an information based approach to the brief with one being a far more sensible option, and one which is essentially a game. I’ll go into a little more detail about how these respond to the brief, with information from our presentation.
With regards to demographic, we chose our target audience to be people like us – Young adults, possibly students, possibly visiting in groups etc. When we visited the cathedral we were told that they get a lot of group visits from students around our age, so obviously theres a demand there. If we aim it at people like us, we know exactly what we’d expect from an app for the Magna Carta exhibition.
As we’re students we obviously love learning so information is what we’d want from an app. Also as we’re young and were born into the information age we want it to be easily accessible in bitesize chunks to go with our short attention spans and love for technology.
Idea 1 (Magna Facts) was inspired by ÜberFacts which is an app which is simply countless, random, sentence long facts which the user can swipe through. What I really like about this app is how simple and easy to use it is, as well as addictive. As the facts are so short you end up swiping through and reading lots, struggling to tear yourself away. Our adaptation of this would only include facts related to Magna Carta and possibly Salisbury Cathedral. These facts could be about global impacts of the document, about how it was made, or whats happened to it over the years for example. After a few facts, the user will be presented with a couple of multiple choice quiz questions about what they’ve just seen. The aim here is to further engage the user, to get them to remember and recall details about Magna Carta To hopefully have a more lasting impact.
To accompany this we wanted to add in supporting multimedia to balance out the text We wanted to branch out from just using photographs and present information in more interesting ways. Here are a few examples and how they could be used (more details about this will be included in a future post):
- Visual anatomy can be used to label various parts of the cathedral’s architecture
- Timelines can illustrate key events leading up to and after the signing of Magna Carta
- Maps are a good visual aid to give geographical context to certain facts
- A scale can be used for comparison for example the heights of English cathedral
- Animation is a great method for illustrating a short story, such as the process of making parchment
- Side-by-side comparisons to visually show differences, allowing the user to actively compare images of the cathedrals restoration for example.
Our second idea is a translation of Magna Carta with a clause by clause commentary providing further detail and context to even the most obscure clauses. This would be a largely information based app focused towards the same demographic. The commentary is intended to be concise and easy to read, aiming it at general audiences so anyone can understand it. This idea was inspired by a website which also offered a commentary for the clauses. I found when I was reading them, often they didn’t make much sense or it wasn’t really clear why they were even included in the document so I would be good to get some more background information about it and learn about Magna Carta that way.
To make it more engaging and visual, images could be added to accompany each clause, or possibly a high resolution image of Magna Carta that the user than zoom into and explore on their own accord.
A few initial designs for this idea were made, to demonstrate potential functionality of it.
The first one features a long list view which allows the user to scroll down and select a specific clause. From there they will be presented with 3 options to view in Latin, English or read the commentary and then can chose from there.
The second layout idea was inspired by the calendar view which presents the clauses as a grid rather than a list to save space and make it easier to navigate. From there the user will be presented with collapsible sections to read the different versions of the clauses.
Obviously there are some limitations to this idea as currently there isn’t really much to differentiate between clauses other than a number in a list, and there is a LOT of text which can easily get overwhelming and boring which isn’t exactly what we want. But as we’re just presenting initial ideas future developments can wait until we receive some feedback on our ideas.