An inspiring wave-form interface

Voyagers from THE LIGHT SURGEONS on Vimeo.

I visited this installation at the British National Maritime Museum in Greenwich last week and was fascinated by the quiet design principles employed to convey the story of Britain’s relationship with the sea.

The Light Surgeons used software from Flightphase to construct a 20 metre long wave structure in the gallery, employing a Puffersphere spherical projector to display images on the surface of the wave.

The design combines typographical effects with symbols pulled from nautical charts to simulate the effect of a breaking wave rolling across the sea. As the wave foams, a collection of 300 images from the Museum’s archives follow the crest. Ambient sound is also used to create the atmosphere.

The overall experience is gentle and relaxing, yet conveys hundreds of years of history through a huge digital display. The same quiet design principles which made this installation an experience of gradual absorption rather than a demand for immediate attention could be employed by mobile user experience designers to make better interfaces.

We are looking at this subject as part of MEX Pathway #13, ‘Use quiet design principles to reduce the visual noise of mobile interface design‘.

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