This is a project I hold dear to my heart. Even though it's not a proper case study, I've decided to keep him here because of the good things it brought me, such as winning a national prize and being able to be part of an exposition overseas at the United Arab Emirates.
Kosme was the final project of my Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, presented by the end of 2014. I'm sure I did my best with the knowledge and resources I had at the time. Most importantly, this project stands here to show where I've come from and what I believe in :)
Astronomy has great potential of getting people interested in science. Spacial themes have long been perpetrated into our culture and entertainment, but in formal education is a subject that often gets little attention. My project scope was to create a tool for kids and teens who wanted to start astronomical observation with the naked eye, providing a way for them to feel engaged into discovering more by documenting their journey.
By the very nature of an academic project, everything about this process and its deliverables is very experimental. Design school at UDESC enforces the classic double-diamond methodology and this is how my deliverables were planned along with it. I took some time to really understand the matter of astronomy education, as well as to put a survey in lots of groups and forums to understand motivations and habits of amateur astronomers. I have then refined my research and made decisions to lead me in the second diamond, where the design iteration started.
Working on app screens that would be actually developed and coded was a first time for me and this handover process was surely challenging. While designing, I was divided into following Android guidelines and keeping experimenting with the layout of the screens. Choosing the more experimental path led me to constantly making small adjustments so the app could actually be brought to life later on.
some things i wish i've done differently...
This is a project from a time before I had any actual work experience with user experience design, and, to document it properly as a case study is at the same time cringy and delightful :) For starters, I wish I didn't spend so much time justifying the need for this project to exist. The initial bibliographical dive surely taught me a lot about astronomy and education, but I wish I had shortened it by half to prototype and test it earlier. This, I think, is a maturity towards research and analysis that comes only with experience. Research must be planned into a specific timeframe so you don't dig too deep without a scope of what you want to discover.
Also, some of the operational system guidelines do exist for a reason, and later on I wish I had taken a more conservative approach in my layout choices. Some decisions would cost so much in development effort I had to iterate them into a more viable approach to minimize impacts on the deadline.
...AND SOME THINGS THAT TURNED
OUT BETTER THAN EXPECTED
This project had a significant boost in confidence when Brazilian Ministry of Culture (MinC) announced a national contest called INOVApps. The prize consisted in financial support for app project development. As a design student, to put a product you conceived for a discipline in the market is a rare opportunity to have. Kosme's project documentation landed it at first place in the app category of the 2011 edition and through this I partnered up with a fellow developer to bring it to life and make it available for free download at Google Play Store.
Kosme also won best project of the semester at UDESC Design Week. And because of it, made into Dubai Design Week. It was featured alongside projects from design universities all over the world at the Global Grad Show 2016 exposition.