Time Uncovered: Design Process

Date Created

2014 - 2015

Project Team Size


Skills Used

User Experience, Digital Strategy, Rapid Prototyping, User Research, Visual Design

Time Uncovered: An App Exploring the Concept of Time

After having success with our mobile interactive experiences for Color and Sound, the Creative Application group decided to tackle the concept of Time as the next focus of our Uncovered series.

Here are the design boundaries we developed for the ideation process:

1: It has a hook; something compelling that reveals a surprise

Even though the educational app market wasn’t as saturated as it is today, standing out is always a challenge for an educational app. Unlike games or entertainment, educational content can commonly feel like work. Our goal was to make Time Uncovered a journey of discovery; something you are compelled to try that rewards you with an “ah- ha” moment.

2: Users can connect to it personally

We always learn best from something that we are personally connected to. Time is an abstract subject; how do we explore the concept of time through simple and concrete experiences that people can connect to? We thought about many ways that people experience and think about time: video gamers experiencing lag, movies going out of sync on Netflix, the years passing on our own birthday, and so on.

3: Users can tweak it, adjust it, and interact with it

Creating experiences for users doesn’t go far enough unless we give them a chance to “get under the hood”. For many people digital is still very much a black box. As a foundational principal guiding the Uncovered Series, we established that we wanted to give users the ability to change parameters, try variations, and create their own experience.

4: Users have a reason to come back to it

Why do users come back to an experience? What is the difference between a tool that we sometimes need and an activity that we continue to learn from? Creating experiences that users wanted to keep on their device and repeatedly come back to was for me one of the most difficult and exciting challenges of the project. Several of our prototypes connected users to time-based experiments that lasted not only several day but in one case more than a year.

Time Uncovered was never released to the public, but a portion of the project was spun off and released as “How Many Saturdays.”

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