Interactive application; technical development of television in Germany

The concept of the interactive application I designed addresses the technical development of television. It was developed specifically in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of television in Germany.

The prototype of the application could be utilized in an interactive installation at an exhibition about the topic.

The application is tailored to three types of users:

  • those unfamiliar with the topic and want to learn about it
  • users who are somewhat familiar with the topic, and want to deepen their knowledge
  • others who are highly knowledgeable and able to chronologically place sub-topics in the right context and want to reference information

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The start screen of the application plays keywords and historical facts that heighten users’ curiosity and motivate them to research a topic in more detail.

The application gives three types of entry modes, which can be accessed from the bottom left. The entry modes are available at all times and give access to:

  • an associative map
  • an alphabetic index
  • a chronological entry

The associative map is for users who are entirely unfamiliar with the subject. Once accessed, they can pick keywords organized in clusters. Words related to a certain topic are grouped in close proximity to each other.

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Once a term is selected, users can learn everything about it. The information is media rich and optimized for the best learning experience.

The information is presented in form of text, images, diagrams, and schemata, photos, and video material.

Lengthy content is paginated. From anywhere within a topic, users can go back via the thumbnails breadcrumbs in the top of the screen.

Text is interlinked to related topics, and a section with “further reading” is included at the end of each topic.

From anywhere in the application users can switch modes.

For users who are somewhat familiar with the topic, an alphabetical index enables them to browse terms based on interests.

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For this feature, I made adjustments to the layout. All content is paginated and icons visualize the length of content. While accessing content in the alphabetical index, users could jump to a specific page or flip through pages consecutively.

Media that enriches the content can be accessed via media icons.

Photos and video material can be accessed in their own galleries associated to the topic.

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Text is interlinked to related topics that can be browsed from within the content.

The chronological entry point is tailored to users that are more knowledgeable about the topic. The hierarchical information is displayed as tree rings. The entire history of television is broken up in five major eras:

  1. 1884 – 1934: Technical visions
  2. 1935 – 1946: Regular program operations
  3. 1947 – 1966: Reviving television in Germany
  4. 1967 – 1983: The world in color
  5. 1984 – 2002: Dual system

Selecting an era, allows users to drill down further. Once selected, an era will expand and reveal all the years with their events and innovations.

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Users will pick a year of interest.

From there users will select one of the highlights that are organized clockwise and in chronological order.

From within the content, users can use the thumbnail breadcrumbs to jump to a specific year, an entire era, or to all eras. Users can also navigate back to previous screens, using the back button in the top left corner.