History In Emoji was initiated at the 2015 A&E History IRL Design Jam, which asked participants to design a new digital experience for A&E that seamlessly infuse history – facts, information, images, video and more – into everyone’s daily lives. The A&E Network owned many successful web/mobile applications that integrate history into our daily lives, including GPS location-based guide History Here, on-the-go trivia game Ultimate History Quiz, and This Day In History, a daily newsfeed that pulled historic archives from the History Channel’s database. These applications contained in-depth content for users to explore and experience, but lacked the feature to share and engage with potential users on social media that are not History’s core audience. To explore the potentials of social platform, I came up with the concept of user-generated history contents that invites users to upload their own history, and read other user’s histories, all through emoji.
After our initial discussion, my team started by creating a mind map and drew down concepts and features we wanted to include in the app. Taking those ideas in mind, I sketched out some paper prototypes and mapped out an initial user flow chart. The team went through another brainstorm session to simplify the design after some usability testings with the A&E mentors. From there, I designed mid fidelity prototype and tested with internal teams and A&E mentors.
Taking HCI practices in mind, I created mid-fidelity prototype in Adobe Illustrator, and animated the interactions in Invision. The interface design went through a few iterations, cutting down unnecessary functions and defining the essential MVP.