I am interested in traditional Chinese culture and life styles. Bencao Gangmu is one of the most treasure heritage for us. But it was written in ancient Chinese which is really hard to understand. It was left only for research purpose. Chinese medicine is getting popular around the world nowadays so I thought that it would be interesting to make this book much more simple for ordinary people, like me, to read and promote it. I converted these text based content into beautiful visual designs, animations and interactive functions.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Bencao Gangmu is the most complete and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine. It lists all the plants, animals, minerals, and other items that were believed to have medicinal properties. But it is really hard to understand for ordinary people today. We transformed it into an illustrated, animated, and interactive E-Book, which can be easily understood and give the user a fun, playful and meaningful experience.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
At the beginning, just tap the illustation to get into the different chapters. You can sweep left or right to chose different chapters to look into details. In each chapter, there are hints at the left hand side illustration. You can tap them to bring out different content at the left hand side to see some animations, to read detail information and to experience some interactive functions. At the beginning page, you can chose from the bottom button to get into prescription page to do a prescription for your friend by drawing a herbal for fun.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project was started in November 2013 and finished in December 2013. The first version was launched in December 2013 at Samsung Store in China.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The method I use to develop this E-book was: 1: Sketch out the structure of the book. 2: Sketch out the interactive functions. 3: paint the story board for development. 4: Paint the background image and characters, figures in detail. 5: Develop the program environment. 6: Test the E-book and find out bugs. 7: Modify this app.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
This E-book was developed for Android system. The Minimum Requirement for mobile devices: Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels, CPU: 1.2GH or higher, OS: Android 4.1 or higher, 1GB RAM or higher.
Ebook, Interactive, Experience, Illustration
We interviewed a lot of mobile device users to understand how they interact with small screens and what the interactive functions they wanted in an Ebook. Also we studied how visual matters and little animations can draw people's attention and what impact they can create. How visual factors can navigate user to go thought the whole chapters. All researches helped us to create a fun, interactive and meaningful learning experience for ordinary people.
The hardest part was to combine the art, design and technology together. And also it is really hard to pair the E-book for so many different screen resolutions and different version of operation systems. Moreover we have to transform the very difficult reading content into a beautiful visual designs and playful interactive.
TEAM MEMBERS (5) :
Hao He: Project Curator, Visual Design, UX Design,, Zijian Shan: Visual Design, UX Design,, Shengquan Chai: Animation, UX Design, , Shuai Zheng: Programmer and Weiqiang Wang: Programmer
Hao He, 2015.