curiosity machine web/app
The design of the Curiosity Machine website and coordinating phone app involved more interface design than graphic design. This means that figuring out how the website/app would function was the driving design force.
The Curiosity Machine is an online studio where children can learn to build things by hands, share them with others, and get feedback from professionals such as engineers and scientists. It is the online continuing educational branch of Iridescent’s workshops.
While outside website programmers/developers wrote the code, Ioana designed the way the website and phone app behaved, together with feedback from the client. Ioana was able to do this because she understands the coding process - what is generally possible and impossible - based on her experience designing and redesignig (and coding) her own websites since 1998. It is/was, however, much more cost efficient to split up the tasks this way.
In the website, it was important that a child could see both an instructional video, the “recipe” of the project AND the window for sharing their project with others all within the same view, to avoid getting lost on other pages going back and forth. The same frame also needed to contain information on the child’s level of accomplishment, and easy search tools that wouldn’t pull attention away from the exercise.
The website also required for complex group interactions, which had to be carefully designed and integrated, and the management of several projects in varying stages of development.
In terms of the graphic look, the idea was to make it feel as much as possible like a warm studio environment, thus the browns and studio backdrop/opening image. Overall, it had to look child-friendly, inviting, and fun.
The phone app is a reduced version of the website, and its design came after. Due to the small size of the screen, the content had to be rearranged and navigation altered.
Many elements in the studio interior image came from Ioana’s “Correlation Collage” Mural, painted in Iridescent’s LA Science Studio. The mural itself contained both (mostly) new and (a few) iconic images Ioana had previously designed for other Iridescent projects.