REACHING NEW AND EXISTING AUDIENCES

A Brief History of Time is Professor Stephen Hawking’s best known work and is largely regarded as one of the greatest science books of the late 20th Century. Whilst selling over 11 million copies in 40 languages, it has also been said that its complex subject matter has made it one of the least-finished books.

Transworld challenged Preloaded to use our expertise in visual and instructional design to re-imagine the book in interactive form, with the ambition of reaching new audiences and making the content more widely understood.

Transworld challenged Preloaded to use our expertise in visual and instructional design to re-imagine the book in interactive form, with the ambition of reaching new audiences and making the content more widely understood.

MAKING COMPLEXITY UNDERSTANDABLE

Pocket Universe presents the book’s concepts through the lens of Hawking’s proudest accomplishments as a physicist, as well as his Singularity Theorems with Roger Penrose, ‘Hawking Radiation’ and his No Boundary Proposal.

The book’s topics are explored in this context, sparking ‘light bulb’ moments with narratives, visuals, and interactions that connect the dots and lead the audience from idea to idea.  

In the first update since 1998, this app also features new material from Hawking, explaining how his thinking around the book’s original ideas have changed in the light of new discoveries since its original publication.

The app delivers a core reading experience, presenting the abridged text alongside infographics and illustration, allowing readers to explore the ideas at their own pace, and challenge themselves to meaningfully understand the original text.

In the first update since 1998, this app also features new material from Hawking, explaining how his thinking around the book’s original ideas have changed in the light of new discoveries since its original publication.

I’m delighted that my original text is getting a new lease of life in the form of an app. I hope the app will bring my work to a whole new generation of people looking to find out how it all began.”

Professor Stephen Hawking , Cambridge

AUDIENCE-LED DESIGN

Establishing where the obstacles were in the reading of this text was a critical and complex task. Understanding how and when users put down the book, or skip over sections relies on in-depth analysis – not just for the traditional readership, but for a new audience re-engaging with the subject matter prompted by other formats such as podcasts and documentaries. Designing a solution that would allow differing audiences to feel a sense of progression through the material, despite different levels of prior understanding, was a fundamental pillar of the design. The process relied heavily on frequent user-testing sessions from initial qualitative concept testing, through to learning outcome and usability tests throughout.

Designing a solution that would allow differing audiences to feel a sense of progression through the material, despite different levels of prior understanding, was a fundamental pillar of the design.

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