IXD304 Apollo Project : Data

I’ve sort of been working backwards through designing the different pages of my prototype. The page I’m going to talk about here comes after the actual journey content and focuses on the data content. From the content provided I decided to omit the data on the other Apollo missions as my design is focused on telling the story of Apollo 11 and I feel that if I added that data in, it would just feel out of place and mess with the narrative flow.

Inspiration

In Week 9’s lecture on Amplifying data we looked at all sorts of really cool data visualisations for all sorts of purposes and it brought me back to in IXD104 where we looked at that topic in depth. A problem I had in finding inspiration was there were loads of cool examples but not ones that really matched with my comic inspired design concept.

So for a bit of research i looked into comics being used to present data and here are some things I found on the online…

I learned a lot about how comic art can be uses to explain data in really fun and engaging ways. I decided to use visuals to provide added context to the data as opposed to focusing on explaining every piece of data visually because I’m running against the clock a bit now after being sick a lot and it would just take too much time.  Also I don’t think that that approach would work well for my data. Regardless I did learn a lot from both the lecture and doing my own research that I’m able to bring into future projects. I know that data comics are definitely something I want to explore further.

Other than that I’m taking inspiration from the pages inside comics generally, not just the covers. Looking at single and double page spreads in particular.

Sketches

As you can probably see from my sketches, I started with a more free kinda layout but the more I considered it I realised that I wanted to stay in that more linear layout so that it’s more historically accurate but also cohesive with the other pages. I had considered having the different focal points of each section animated is some sorta way but in the end I decided against it because I didn’t want to over complicate things and I don’t think my design works well enough without. Besides if I had animations on just one page it would be pretty in cohesive and would leave users wondering why not every page. Basically, in short my rationale is if animation isn’t gonna be implemented through out the storytelling, it shouldn’t be used at all because it’ll just feel out of place.

Assembly

After I sketched out my ideas, I started putting things together. The first thing I did was set my margins and loosely map out my panels and created the header banner for the top of the page. Data is pretty self explanatory so it doesn’t need any kind of intro paragraph I don’t think.

Then I worked on the illustrations I decided on in photoshop and picked out and styled my images in a similar way to my hero page. All my images I picked are in the public domain and I got them from and Apollo photographs archive on Flickr. I knew from the outset that I wouldn’t be drawing the lunar module because there is so much detail it would be too time consuming.

Then I added my content in basically the same way as I did for the Heroes page with the text boxes, except I used a bolder type from the data points and I added sub headers to the panels to indicate what the data was about in the font “Orgovan” which I also used in the main title/logo.

After I had all the different components designed and ready to go I made sure to get the placement right. I did this all panel by panel and it was once again a painstaking process but I think it was definitely worth putting the time in to getting everything to look just right.

For the rocket panel, I made a new blue dotty panel and for the rest of the panels I used the space background I had already made for the cover

The Result

I’m happy with how it turned out. I think it flows really well despite not have the animations I had initially envisioned and it works in really cohesively with the other pages. I really like how the content you see in these panels and the size of the panels themselves isn’t what you’d see in a comic book, after all it isn’t one, but it still has this unshakable, a maybe nostalgic, comic feel to it.

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