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Cosmic Compass

Project for ART 455 - User Interface Design: Models on human-computer interaction, software psychology, input devices, usability, cognitive and perceptual aspects of human-computer interaction, advanced interface, and research methodologies. A quarter-long project asked groups to design an educational tablet app for certain age groups. We were given the topic of teaching astronomy to middle school students, and we designed the Cosmic Compass.

When deciding the features and functionality for the app, we decided that, based on our target audience, to design for both educational and entertainment use. We aimed for an application that allowed users to have fun while learning about the cosmos. The app was divided into 4 user-goals: exploration, entertainment, hands-on education, and research. An augmented reality "Stargazer" allowed users to aim their devices at the sky and discover important stars and constellations relative to their position. Mini-games kept users engaged in the subject through space-themed challeneges and quizes that they could compete in with their classmates and friends. A constellation creator allowed users to discover stars and use them to create their own constellation, which they could name and create a story for. And finally, a wiki tool allowed users to research and learn about topics they were intrigued with. In addition to the research and design, I created an interactive prototype that we used to test with potential users and to gather feedback on the overal user experience. Launch the demo.