History rediscovered.


elements of
elements of

The client and brief


  • Identity design
  • Product design
  • Print collateral
  • Iconography

Tools used

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

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.

Current solution to serve up history

Challenge 01 - 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 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.

Challenge 02 - 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 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.

Challenge 03 - user flow:

How might we explore multiple ideas in great detail?

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.

Challenge 04 - a sticky prototype:

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

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

Location and history cards

Challenge 05 - 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?

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.

Challenge 06 - hidden history:

How might we interact with users through notifications?

History is all around us. So why not share that history with the users without requiring them to open the app? One unique way of doing that is through hidden history. When users walk within “x” amount of feet from a piece of hidden history, the app will notify them they are near a historic point. Then, with a little low-tech AR magic, we put the user smack dab in the same spot that the photo was taken from the past. Once the user is on the location, the image shows up on their device, and can now move their phone around until they line up the old image with the real world.

The goal of this feature is to create an immersive experience for the user and help them feel a connection with history in the environment around them. We push it a little further and gamify the experience by rewarding the user with badges.

view prototype

Challenge 07 - future gamification and intelligence:

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

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.

Conclusion - Bigger than myself:

Just because it is a monolithic project, doesn’t mean you stop trying to make it happen.

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.

go to top