Paper Prototype: Interactive Train Schedule

Role

  • Concepting
  • Paper Hacking
  • After Effects production

Timing

Spring 2016

Agency

Cramer-Krasselt

Client

Brightline

Although I worked with a wide array of clients during my time at Cramer-Krasselt, a personal favorite was Brightline, a company responsible for bringing high-speed rail to south Florida. Many marketing clients want to stay well within the time-worn boundaries of television, radio, and print/OOH, but we had the opportunity with Brightline to create something entirely different.

My team (myself, a member of our UX team with product design experience, and a visual designer) were commissioned to bring something interesting and technology driven to the train schedule (which are rarely known for being pretty or easy to use ), yet still affordable enough to hand out hundreds of units at trade-shows.

Our first deck of ideas that we presented to the client focused on truly technology-driven solutions, using augmented reality, reactive paper, and other solutions that ultimately felt cost-ineffective and gimmicky, but it sparked an idea for our next round of concepts, that there might be room for interactivity without a digital element.

BL Schedule Slider

My "aha" moment was remembering the Rand McNally Dist-O-Map I used as a touring musician before the prevalence of GPS on smartphone. We felt like there was a visceral appeal to actually rotating a dial or pulling a slider to find out the train times, and it helped reinforce the regular, on-the-hour schedule they had created.

Once this connection was made, we explored other executions with paper prototypes as well, and ultimately felt like a slider was more immediately accessible to users, if less visually elegant.

My final role in the process was to take the PSD's of our paper prototypes, and reverse-engineer them in After Effects back into animated gifs for use in our presentation.

Ultimately, the timelines for print production precluded bringing these prototypes into the world, but it did inspire a similar execution for the mobile app coming out in 2017: from digital, to print, and back again.