Before we begin creating any prototypes we needed to ensure that we were clear on what we wanted our App to do. We both went off separately and designed our 'dream app'. We didn't want to limit ourselves to begin with. We went as big and bold as possible and then when this project becomes a reality, we can begin to scale back and find out what is actually possible.
Below are some pictures of the designs which we both drew up and showed each other. There will be a description by each photo about what we want our app to do.
This first picture comes from the Creative Director, Cherry. From top left to bottom right; we are first shown a potential log in screen. As a team, we both decided that we would want the app to be an addition to the experience, we did not want people to be able to download the app and not pay for a storyline. To avoid this, we would implement a code which our customer would receive and they could then enter it into our app and it would take them to their chosen storyline. This would ensure our commercial ability of the app, as we would still need to make a profit from out services and would not be able to afford giving our experiences away for free.
Looking at the next picture, the case file welcome page. We wanted an area of the app to have the information of the storyline which our customers were taking part in. This would ensure that they could go back to the synopsis and also be introduced to the storyline as soon as they have logged in. This would work hand in hand with a live experience, as the actors there would also give them a brief overview of their storyline. However, if they had opted for an actor free storyline, then this would act as their prologue which is normally given by an actor.
Moving onto the last 2 images at the bottom of Cherry's diagram, it shows what the customers will see when using their camera within the app. We will have our physical crime scene available for them to explore, however there will be AR markers throughout the scene which they can then click on to assess a clue. All markers will look the same and will not specify what type of clue they may find. This will allow us to hide our clues within our scene and make the act of searching for clues more gratifying once they have found a clue.
Next we will look at the company director's, Charlotte, interpretation of their app. When designing the app, she concentrated a lot on the interactivity which the user would experience when using the app. She agreed that there should be a log in screen, however, she was struggling to envision this during her design.
Starting with this first image, she wanted to keep the screen very open and clear of clutter. She did not want anything to take up a lot of room on the screen, this way it was less distracting for the user and made it easier for them to explore the physical scene. There are a few key areas in this image which she implemented during her initial design. She had a similar idea to Cherry to add a 'case overview' section. She added in a title at the top of the screen which indicated which storyline their customer was taking part in. She also added in a 'saved clues' area. Something which both Directors agreed on was that having a section within the app where users could revisit saved clues. They did not want all clues to save automatically, this would be optional and clue could be saved by pressing a 'save' button when a clue is being viewed. An aspect which Charlotte added and Cherry liked also was a timer at the bottom of the screen. Nearly all of their experiences are timed, as it adds a stressful element to the scenario for the team to work against, and having the timer visible on screen would let the participants know how long they have left.
Finally, looking at the next design which Charlotte created was all about the potential animations which could be used within the app.
The first animation are the markers which will be scene throughout the crime scene. These markers will be shown next to an object or area within a scene and can be clicked on to show a clue. At first Charlotte used a question mark, but when Cherry showed her design and used their logo within these markers, Charlotte agreed that using their logo would be very effective.
The next animation is a magnifying glass. This will be at the top of the screen and will be where the 'saved' clues are. When this is click a case file will open up and have a list of all the clues which have been saved.
Moving on, Charlotte liked the idea that when specific types of clues were discovered throughout the scene, such as DNA or fingerprints, that a specific animation could happen. Examples which she used were, a helix spinning for DNA and a fingerprint being printed on the screen when a fingerprint is discovered. Any other clues would then be viewed in a normal case file.
An animation which was also mentioned in Charlotte's initial design was when a clue is saved, either by clicking a save button or staring it, then a 'saved' or 'confidential' stamp would come down and stamp the clue and it would then save.
Overall both team members had similar visions for their app, and by using this process to design their app, it allowed them both to think big and bring their ideas together. After this brainstorming session they agreed that they would like their app to do the following;
Use marker-based and location based AR.
Log in screen.
Welcome case file with a synopsis of the storyline, this will then minimise into the corner of their screen which can be clicked on at anytime if the participant want to refresh their memory.
A timer at the bottom of the screen.
A 'saved clues' section.
Saving clues to be voluntary by clicking a save button.
Markers throughout the scene indicating where clues are, these markers will be their logo.
If possible, to have clues based on proximity. Therefore, you may not be able to see all the clues when standing in one spot, you would need to walk around and get close to an area to see specific clues.
Case file animation when discovered clues.
Clues get stamped when saved.
Themed animations when clues discovered (fingerprints and DNA).
When time is up, an answer screen appears where the participant will need to input their answer.