Historik is my personal passion project I’ve been working on since 2011. 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 of the MVP is to use a highly saturated historical data sets, localized in one square mile, and create a mobile 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. The second objective is to add gamification and AI (Artificial Intelligence) 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.
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 font 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.
History is fascinating, but it can be lacking due to the mediums used to engage people. Oftentimes history is missing due to lack of funding, out-dated 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.
With no project deadline, I wanted to take the time to break out my graph paper, pens, pencils, and markers to explore the user flow before starting on the computer. I wanted to wireframe out the user flow without colors, text, and other visual elements getting the way.
Being a UX designer, I can only do so much. However, it is my job to tell a compelling story through thoughtful design. I decided to use InVision Studio because of my experience with their online products and their success with creating interactions with basic screens. Here’s 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
To ensure that users are only shown what they are interested in, filtering is a vital part of the experience. Each time the user changes their interests, their experience changes as well. It gives the user the control to remove the noise. The filtering will dynamically update the categories as the data expands.
The greatest challenge for this project will be integrating AI into the app, however, conceptually it is rather straightforward. The AI's job will be to learn what the user enjoys experiencing the most and 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.
Before I began this project, I got advice from a successful entrepreneur that stayed with me. He said, “If you are going to start a business, make sure that you’re passionate about it because you will have plenty of people tell you that you can’t do it or it is too hard.” That advice helped my compass stay true North when naysayers started chiming in.
The vision I have for this project is monolithic; it will take a team to keep the ball moving forward. I have to admit that sometimes I wonder what I got myself into. However, if it were not for pursuing this passion project years ago, I would not have learned what I have about UX and UI design.
This is just the beginning and there are many ways history can impact people’s lives. I look forward to seeing where else this project will lead and how I can help make history relevant and exciting for generations to come.