Explore history from your couch
It’s the near future and “Wiki Warp” a new Wikimedia Foundation project has been created, it allows you to travel back in time through history.
The goal of this project is to provide a unique experience to travel back in time throughout history, exploring years and dates in depth through text, images, video and audio formats. Wiki Warp needs to be accessible and understandable by a global audience.
-To educate a global audience of all age ranges about history
-Add gamification features to make this both educational and engaging
-Create a virtual ‘passport’ as an incentive to create an account to increase engagement and create memorable experiences
-Highlight non written history such as oral traditions and visual history
-Connect people to human and pre-human history and increase touchpoints for earlier and return engagement
HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE
8 hours to research, ideate, interview, and prototype
MAKE OF THE TEAM
I was the sole designer and researcher
To design a landing page
For this project I was the sole designer and researcher.
I had only 8 hours to research, ideate how to create a delightful, gamified and accessible landing page that gives users the power to travel back in time through history and explore new perspectives. I interviewed 6 people from various backgrounds, careers and locations (Berlin, USA, Canada) to get a more global perspective and get a high level understanding of how people will interact with and perceive my designs.
After transforming sketches into wireframes, I conducted AB testing to identify which features and interactions were more delightful and meaningful.
This project provides a multitude of opportunities for education, cultural partnerships and creating a space for diverse perspectives on history to shine.
Cultural Responsiveness and Relevance
An example of cultural responsiveness and relevance on Wiki Warp would be when you explore non written history and pre-history, depending on the year or location. This could highlight cultures that share history through storytelling and oral tradition.
As an example, partnering with Indigenous peoples and offering recordings and transcripts of stories and language. This could include interactive content with audio or video components like interviews, or cultural stories in the speakers own words.
Wiki Warp offers a huge opportunity for use in adult education. Wiki Warp could be incorporated into school curriculum especially now when many children around the world are distance learning.
On the individual Wiki Warp pages there would be sub-topics and features like historic aerials, videos, ability to traverse down streets, visit historic shops, take 3-D tours, explore landmarks, and discover influential people (i.e., artists, scientists, chefs, actors, leaders, composers, and more).
Some subtopic questions a Wiki Warp traveller could explore are:
What would they listen to?
What was the fashion?
What books were trending?
What were neighborhoods like?
What would you eat for breakfast?
What would you read?
What were common pastimes?
Were there any new inventions or discoveries?
How did people travel?
MAJOR PROJECT POINTS
To gain insights about potential features or elements people would want to experience when using Wiki Warp, I conducted ethnographic interviews and AB testing. This also helped me define the two important questions I always start with before embarking.
Who am I designing for?
How do I involve the person or group for whom I am designing?
Content First Approach
I wanted to stay within the style guide and identity of Wikimedia Foundation pages such as Wikipedia, WikiQuotes and WikiVoyage; This content-first approach is crucial to the accessibility and usability that Wikimedia pages have cultivated over the years.
I wanted to invoke the old but bring in the new, especially for Wiki Warp.
A storytelling component could also be integrated into landmarks or important events throughout history that have cultural significance, which could be embedded video or audio component that tells the story of that landmark or event. This opportunity to tell the story from another perspective, a more culturally relevant and responsive perspective, could allow for people to gain insights in a way they may not have access to otherwise.