History rediscovered.


ADDY Award 2020 Icon
elements of
ADDY Award 2020 Icon
elements of

The client and brief


  • Identity design
  • Product design
  • Print collateral
  • Iconography

Tools used

  • InVision Studio
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Lucid Chart

People pass by history every single day without knowing it. It is my mission to harness the latest advancements in technology to create an immersive experience of history.

The objective for the proof of concept is to use a highly saturated data set localized in one square mile that results in an immersive historical experience. Using LBS (Location Based Services), GPS (Global Positioning Systems), and AR (Augmented Reality), the app will allow people to stand in a location and experience history on the spot. Following the proof of concept, the goal is to add gamification, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and behavioral engines to personalize the user's experience based on their interests.

History shouldn't be forgotten in the past; it should be experienced in the present.

Current solution to serve up history

The identity:

How might we design an identity that will be instantly identifiable and pay homage to the past?

The first challenge was creating an identity that could pay homage to the past while being timeless and relevant in modern times. I created the typeface from scratch to ensure that the design was uniquely mine. I incorporated elements from the first American flag created in 1776. I selected subdued colors making it appear more traditional.

Mind mapping:

How might we make history intriguing so people don’t get bored?

History is fascinating, but it can be lacking due to the mediums used to engage with people. Often history is missing due to lack of funding, outdated information, or even weathered signage sitting exposed to the elements. That’s why it was vital to spend time digging into experiences that could keep history engaging and exciting for the users wherever they might be.

Historik userflow mockup

User flow:

How might we explore multiple ideas in great detail?

For this version of the application, I broke out the graph paper, pens, pencils, and markers to explore the user flow before starting on the computer. I wanted to wireframe the user flow without colors, text, and other visual elements getting in the way.

A sticky prototype:

How might we create a prototype of the app that helps people see the potential before development?

As a product designer, it is my job to tell a compelling story through thoughtful design. For this, I chose to use InVision Studio to learn a new prototyping tool with powerful interaction capabilities. Here is a look at the launch of the app into the home screen, the experience of grouping historical points, and selecting a single point.

view prototype

Location and history cards

Currently location on map viewWiggett's building history thumbnailWiggett's building history card

Filtering your interests:

How might we serve up ONLY what the user is interested in and leave the rest out, until they change their mind?

Each time the user changes their interests, their experience changes as well. It gives the user the control to remove the noise. Filtering options will dynamically update the categories as the data expands.

Historik category filtering

Hidden history:

How might we encourage users to go out and explore without having the application open?

History is all around us. When a user walks within “x” feet from a piece of hidden history, the app will notify the user that they are near a historical point. Then, with a bit of low-tech AR magic, we put the user smack dab in the same spot the photo was originally captured. Once the user is on the location, the image shows up on their device.

This feature aims to create an immersive experience for the user and help them connect with history. We can push it a little further and gamify the experience by rewarding the user with badges.

view prototype
Hidden History screen with compass
Historik tain image landscape view 02Historik tain image landscape view 01
Hidden History badge award
Historik tain image landscape view 01Historik tain image landscape view 02Hidden History screen with compassHidden History badge award

Future gamification and intelligence:

How might we create an experience that is intelligent enough to provide added value?

For future rollouts, AI and behavioral engines will deliver what the user enjoys experiencing. This technology will also propose new areas to explore that match their interests. As their interests change, so do the suggestions. In the end, the AI's job is to delight the user by steering them toward the experiences that they love.

A hand holding phone with an old image of a train and showing the train in today's environment.

Conclusion - Bigger than myself:

Just because it is monolithic, doesn’t mean you stop trying.

The vision I have for this product is monolithic; it will take a team to execute. However, this is just the beginning, and there are many ways history can impact people’s lives. I look forward to seeing where this project will lead and how the Historik team can craft meaningful experiences around history.

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