Mercedes-Benz Canada [65" touch table]

The Challenge

Develop a digital artifact for Mercedes-Benz Canada’s (MBC) contribution to the German pavilion at the Canada 150 celebrations that took place in Ottawa, Canada in 2017. The theme of the German Pavilion was "Partners from Immigration to Innovation". It was a showcase of Canadian-German cooperation in the business sector.

The Product

65" multitouch Ideum table featuring an interactive map of Canada. The map has three focal points at the core of the story: Environment, Collaborate to Innovate and F-Cell Technology. Each of the focal points has sub-stories that connect the dots on the map, giving visitors insight into how Mercedes-Benz is developing hydrogen cars. In total the map has six nodes: Climate Change, Amazing Canada, Mercedes-Benz (General), Mercedes-Benz in British Columbia, F-Cell 101 and Partners.

My Role

  • UX Designer

Process

1. Research and Discovery

During the research phase I got a better understanding of the following variables as it was important to take all of them into account when making a proposal for the experience my team would develop.

Key findings

  • Our audience would be families. This implied a wide range of ages and different leves of familiarity with tech
  • Canada Day is generally a major festivity in Canada. However, because of the importance of the 150th anniversary we could expect Canada Day to be bigger than ever => multiple people would visit the place where our product will be at the same time
  • F-Cell technology is highly technical topic

2. Design

I. Defining the core of the experience

In this stage we considered different options which included: a) an interactive map of Canada b) an interactive wall to highlight the role of Mercedes-Benz's Canadian partners and c) a maze game where users would help the hydrogen travel through the car to become fuel. After evaluating pros and cons of each option, the space we would have for our product and feedback from the client, the chosen option was the map of Canada.

A map to navigate Canada (Prototype #1)

In this early prototype, cars were used explore Canada. Users could go anywhere in Canada and upon arrival they would see interactive information of each province or city.

Key outcomes of this stage

  • Map as the center of the experience
  • Define platform: touch table
  • Identify the risk of misleading the audience (driving across Canada with hydrogen cars currently not possible)
II. Defining the content

Based on the findings of the previous stage, we decided to move from location based content for the map of Canada to topic based content.

The Storylines

  • Climate Change
  • Hydrogen Powered Cars (F-Cell Technology)
  • Mercedes-Benz in Canada
  • Canadian Partners

Information Architecture

II. Validating the core of the experience

Prototype #2

In this stage we developed a prototype with higher fidelity in order to test the core interaction: using cars to navigate to nodes of content.

Testing prototype #2 using a Microsoft Surface as a proxy for the actual touch table.

III. Designing the nodes

Mercedes-Benz General Node [Initial sketch]

Mercedes-Benz General Node [Lo-fi prototype]

Mercedes-Benz General Node [Testing the lo-fi prototype]

Mercedes-Benz General Node [Final Result]

What about the rest of the nodes? Most of the other nodes were simpler than the Mercedes-Benz General Node therefore the design process was slighty shorter. However, for all nodes I started by sketching out my ideas.

Example: Sketches for the Partners node.
IV. Final Testing

Once design was ready for all nodes and my team had finished building them we were ready for the last batch of user testing. We were lucky enough to get the touch table shipped in time for us to conduct testing with it.

User testing with 65" Ideum touch table.

3. Handoff and Delivery

Little big details
Once the main components of the table had been developed, I focused on the following things which enhanced the experience:
  • Animations: what items to animate, animation style and timing
  • What should happen when cars crash?
  • Toggle UI element for language
Touch table goes live
Touch table live in Ottawa. German military interacting with the experience we created.
Final Result - Demo