A Message from Earth
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Golden Record project, WeTransfer partnered with Stink Studios and an assembly of content creators to present “A Message from Earth”— an interactive site of specially-commissioned music, film, art, and literature paying tribute to the ambitious, optimistic spirit of the original.
How do we create a site that acts as an elegant frame, rather than overpowering the content? How do we keep users engaged throughout such a content-heavy site experience?
To keep users engaged, we created two interactive modules that present relevant scientific concepts in a fun and accessible way.
The first interactive module is an instrument that allows users to create, record, and visualize their own soundscape in the tradition of the sound poem included on the original Golden Record.
We partnered with electronic band SURVIVE to create the stem sounds that users create with. The game offers several levels of engagement. A casual user will get auditory and visual feedback from just a couple taps or swipes, while pro users will discover that they can create intentional rhythms and melodies by choosing the size of the sound's orbit, the sequence of their sounds, and by adding filters.
The second module visualizes the scientific concept of sonification, (or turning large data sets into music) that blind astronomer Wanda Diaz-Merced uses to study the cosmos.Users choose which of Wanda's favorite stars they'd like to talk to, draw waveforms to speak to it, and listen as it responds in kind.
To bring these modules to life, we created UX flows where users are already making cool stuff by their third click. The modules give a visual response if they are just tenatively poked or swiped at, so that users don’t have to read pages of instructions to get started. They simply begin, and discover the functionality by doing. This allows the interaction with the modules to be one of discovery. The module icons were inspired by the Wingdings used throughout the site, but redrawn to feel uniform and sit back, unobtrusive from the canvas area of the modules.
FWA of the Day
Webby, Advertising, Media & PR
Best Branded Editorial Experience
D&AD Graphite Pencil, Digital Design
One Club Bronze Cube: Interactive