Nº5 – the ultimate sprint.

After a series of sprints, brainstorming sessions, workshops, meetings, lunch discussions, peer pitches, presentations and friday drinks the UNStudio project at the Publishing Lab has come to an end.  

 

fast-slow

 

Before jumping to the final conclusions, it is important to mention the improvements and work developed during this fifth sprint. The visit to the Usability Test Lab was a significant moment; it helped us better understand where to focus our efforts for the last changes.

At the lab, we tested two scenarios: the user as a student and the user as a client, which was important to provide context to the experience and also made it possible to cover the two navigation modes. After the test, we exported a video recording of the screen and some image maps which supported the analysis of the user’s behaviour. Notes were taken simultaneously, by the team conducting the test, which worked as a sort of written report and a very useful addition to the test. Afterwards, we made a summary of the postive and negative aspects which came up during the test. 

 

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The overall feedback was positive, but some details on the navigation inside the image galleries and the video display could be enhanced. For these new buttons and new functions have been added.

 

gallery

 

The access to the glossary (Design Tools) seemed a problematic feature because the icon chosen for this wasn’t clear enough. To solve this, we gathered a collection of icons that could potentially represent the idea of ‘glossary’ and we made an extra small test to choose the most suitable icon.

 

glossary

 

Another improvement added to the app was on the ‘immersive’ experience part, which opens every chapter as an ‘introductory’ section. We added a ‘skip’ function for users who revisit the page or look for specific content in the app.

One of the most remarkable achievements during this last sprint was the completion of the circular menu, which provides a non-linear experience of navigation. Our developer, Lucia met this challenge and overcame the last hurdle to complete the App experience.

 

rotatemenu

 

Et Voilà!

This last sprint has allowed us to reflect on our path from the beginning of the project until the present moment. While preparing the “Presentation Package”, which includes the orginal brief, conceptual studies, the style guide and design structure, we could clearly analyze the complete process and finally look at the project as a whole unit.

We also produced a video that shows the user’s journey through the app, including a simulation of the potential features we envisioned.

The video will be presented at the PublishingLab MeetUp event on the 28th of January.

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Some final thoughts..

The interactive book, ‘Knowledge Matters’, represents the time and space that Anastasia, Joana, Jess, Lucia, Karina and Wahid shared to bring together the ideas and experiments for the UNStudio project.  The project started with the premise to design an extension of a printed book: maybe a digital book? While analyzing and selecting material from the digital archive of The UNStudio, and feeling its potential, we immediately understood that a new approach had to be considered. Maybe not a mere translation between a printed matter and a digital one, instead an exploration of the digital format in such a way that in the printed matter would not be possible.

By enhancing the non-linear quality of the navigation, distintictive from the digital media, and by giving priority to material in motion and interacte features, we decided to create an App. After having considered other options such as e-pub format, we could undertand that the high definition and performance required for the project was then more suitable for an application to be distibuted for iPads. For these a combination of programming languages (html5, css and javascript) together with graphic studies and shared motivation and enthusiasm made the ‘Knowledge Matters’ a very unconventional book.

Since the media environment is constantly changing, the question of how digital media formats relate to print will definitely be carried further in our future projects as designers.  It is a very relevant question and the Publishing Lab is a space where this question is constantly revisited, further explored and applied to different circumstances.

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