Before starting this project, I thought it was important to look at how different apps go about teaching the periodic table. This would give me an idea of who I would like my target audience to be, the approach I should take and what has been done well/what has been done poorly.
Periodic Table 2021 – Chemistry
Upon opening the app, it displays the periodic table. You cannot see the whole table on the screen, and you do have to scroll to find what you are looking for. This means it may take more time to find a certain element, however, it means the elements can be displayed as a bigger size, making them easier to see. This may be easier to view in tablet view, for example. You can view certain categories and it will highlight them. You can make them display certain text such as atomic weight, year discovered, electronegativity etc. Overall, the landing page is visually appealing and uses colour to break up the groups.
When you click on an element, it brings you to a page about it. it provides an overview, properties, atomic properties, reactivity, electromagnetic properties, grid parameters and prevalence. I think the detail that it goes into is amazing and it means users likely won’t have to go elsewhere to find information. However, if they can’t find something, the app has a link to a Wikipedia page with even more information on the chosen element.
This app is designed to be used by anyone “schoolboy, student, engineer, housewife”. Therefore, the information in it goes into detail but is also easy to understand for those with less knowledge. The layout makes it easy to follow and navigate. When you click on an element you simply scroll down to find out more.
Another thing I like about this app is that when you are reading about an element, you can easily click to view the next one. This reduces the number of clicks a user makes as they don’t have to keep going back and forth to the landing page.
Overall, I think this is an incredible app with all the information someone may need. One thing I may do differently with mine makes it more interactive and engaging by adding a quiz perhaps as this is beneficial for people when learning.
Periodic Table (Royal Society of Chemistry)
When you open the app, you can choose your experience level from introductory to advanced. This means anyone can use this app and you can change this setting at any time. I like that the landing page displays the whole periodic table as users don’t have to waste time scrolling.
When you click on an element, a short overview of it appears in the corner providing its name, group, relative atomic mass, and an image. You can then click on it to find out more. Like the last app, it includes lots of useful information. The colour scheme changes for the different elements you click on, depending on their group. I like that they display images of the elements as it helps break up the text, providing a visual pause. It can also help people learn if they are shown what the element looks like.
The whole app can only be displayed as a horizontal view. This enables the whole periodic table to be viewed on the screen. However, I feel that some people prefer to view things vertically when reading information as the line length is shorter, making it easier to read. I feel that giving this option may be beneficial.
I really like this app because there are videos and even podcasts available for each element. This can make it easier for users who prefer learning through watching and listening rather than reading. They also go into further detail which can be beneficial for older students or people at a more advanced level.
There is a filters tab that adds interactivity to the app. For example, you can use the slider along the bottom to see how each element changes in state as the temperature increases. You can also scroll through the years and see when each element was discovered. I loved looking through these different options and seeing different ways users can learn and explore.
Periodic Table Battle
I decided to look at something aimed at a younger audience. This is an educational game with the aim of “help the Doctor beat monsters by your periodic table symbols skills.” The game displays an element symbol, and the user has to choose between two options. If they get it wrong or don’t answer in time, a monster gets them, and it is game over.
When you open the app, there is a home screen with a play button. There is a nice illustration in the background, setting the tone of the app. It suits the target audience as its visually appealing and has a fun character. There is also suitable music in the background and sound effects that keep users engaged. Users can check their high scores which encourages them to keep playing to get better and improve their knowledge.
I think it is a good game for learning the different symbols and element names. However, if I were to create a similar concept, I may consider adding varying difficulty levels. This would prevent repetitiveness, encourage users to improve their knowledge further and perhaps open it to a wider audience.
Periodic Table Quiz
In this app, you can choose from 3 different games. These include, find the element, multiple-choice, and text input. There are then different categories for each game with varying levels of difficulty. At the end of the game, it shows which ones you got right so you know what you need to improve on.
In the find the elements game, there are so many options to choose from. This means if there is a certain part of the periodic table you want to improve on, you can. For example, you can choose to just focus on a certain period, group, block, or the whole periodic table. I like this because, if the user just wants a quick game, they have this option.
Overall, I like the aesthetic of this app. The muted colour pallet makes it simple and visually appealing, and it leaves the bright colours for the games themselves. It’s very easy to use and navigate and I think it’s an enjoyable way to learn.