The myth gold

Interactive Communication Systems I
HfG Schwabisch Gmünd SS 2017
Lecturer: Fabian Schröbel

Arthur Farger, Alex Gottschalk,
Christian Paulo


The task in IKS is to design an interactive system that not only displays data and facts visually, but also contributes to knowledge transfer. In our case, it could be interactive exhibition, website or application.

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The myth gold

Science is still undecided how gold came to earth. So far, two theories have prevailed. One of the theories says that the element gold can only be formed by the dying of a star in the form of a supernova. With our interactive communication system, we have reconstructed the process in five chapters in the form of short documentaries, which are occasionally interrupted by further information, comparison and small interactions.


Research & Conception

As a first step, we first had to familiarize ourselves with the topic. So we researched all the necessary information about the origin of gold. We created a transcript that served as the basis for our own documentary film.

The plan was to present the entire process in the form of animations and visualizations joint with sound effects and a narrator, to obtain a documentary character. The sequences are compressed to the essential. After each video sequence, the visitor can view further information on the chapter he or she has watched before moving on to the next one.

Watch the whole documentary

Problems to overcome

At the beginning we had great problems in this project to illustrate the information. Since it is not an earthly natural spectacle, there are only fictitious pictures to which we could orient ourselves. We finally decided to animate all the video sequences ourselves, which took a large part of the time. In total, more than 130 hours of working time were invested in the animations.

The exhibit

For the conceptual design, we decided on an interactive exhibit. The exhibit consists of a large monitor or screen that can be operated with an input device. In addition, a sensor in the form of the Microsoft Kinect is used to detect people who are in the immediate vicinity of the exhibit in order to restart the application and receive a guided experience.

Visual language & appearance

In the visual language, we have attached great importance to large-scale animations and images. It was very important to us that the user interface makes a lively and active impression so that the exhibit can attract a lot of attention.


For the implementation we have again used some proven design methods. We created sketches, an information architecture for the application, wireflows, wireframes and storryboards.

User Interface

Since our exhibit is intended for a large target group, we wanted to keep the interface as simple as possible, to not overwhelm the visitor. Nevertheless, a small learning curve is required here. For each active window, the user has only one limited interaction option, which always corresponds to the same interaction model.

Input method

For practical and aesthetic reasons, we decided on a simple input method. The visitor can only turn and press with a knob / controller to navigate through the system. We wanted to reduce the initial complexity. A short onboarding should help to make the initial operation as easy as possible.


We have worked with Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D and Unity 3D throughout the project. In addition, several programs from the Adobe Creative Suite served us in the implementation.

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