Interactive touch screen kiosk

Chorley Remembers

"Paul brought our vision to life. He delivered an experience that was immersive and looked fantastic." - Dan Johnson, Marketing Director

Chorley Remembers is a major heritage project devised, managed and delivered by the Trustees behind the Chorley Pals and funded by The National Lottery.

Heckford Advertising Agency were commissioned to produce a permanent exhibition space, on display at Astley Hall in Chorley.  Heckford came to me to create a touch screen kiosk to illustrate what life was like for the Chorley Pals, who were on the front line of the battle of the Somme in 1916 and go on a journey through history, discovering the stories of the war heroes.

As always, when creating any user experience,  knowing the audience is important. In this case it was extremely important. Many of the users are elderly and a complicated user journey would just not work. The system had to be slick, intuitive and respond well to users gestures and actions whilst still able to display information effectively. Users needed to be able to search and view soldiers records, watch videos, read articles and be able to navigate between journeys. 

Working with the project manager I gathered assets compromising of images, databases of soldiers’ records and videos to begin breaking the experience down into stories. Before beginning designing user journeys and final screens, I drafted in a developer to guide me through any technological barriers and to build a prototype of the initial idea before we started to build the final piece. The system, needed to work offline due to wireless issues in the exhibition space, while still able to be updated with an online CMS. My aim was to keep the experience as simple as possible for the user so decided break the data up into 3 journeys; Search records, Watch videos, Read books.

I began sketching out the screens, trying to keep the amount of screens down to a minimum and maximising the use of the 32 inch screen to simplify the journeys. I decided that a ‘hub and spoke’ model would be the best option, treating each journey as a separate task for the user. Each journey would consist of 2 screens, a navigation screen, and a result screen.

The main focus of the experience is for the user to search by name for the relevant record then view that individual file. The soldiers file consists of an individual photograph and several set fields of information, all stored in a central database. The aim was to make this journey as visually exciting as possible, to design a way to display the information beautifully whilst staying in-keeping of the style of the exhibition and Chorley Remembers brand. The user has the option of either swiping left and right through the full list, which includes photographic portraits and name, or narrowing their search by typing a name using an on-screen keyboard.

Once the designs had been implemented into the final build it was time to play. The developer and I tested the journeys, making tweaks to the sensitivity of the gestures and adjustments to positioning of design elements until we were happy we had produced a robust, simple platform that gave users an engaging, informative and special experience 

The Chorley Remembers Experience opened with over 600 people visiting over the opening weekend. A family even flew from New Zealand to use the system to look up a relative who was killed during conflict. The Deputy Speaker of The House of Commons wrote a letter of thanks, stating that the success was “tribute to the professionalism and quality of the displays and exhibits.”



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