This season Movie Park Germany will be opening a complete new “STAR TREK” themed park section. The heart piece will be a new rollercoaster experience named “STAR TREK: Operation Enterprise”. If the visitor embarks for a ride on the rollercoaster he embarks on a mission as a Starfleet cadet to save the U.S.S. Enterprise from their nemesis: the Borg. We were assigned to create a responsive microsite for the new park section and rollercoaster. Our mission was to create an exciting experience for a very wide target group that ranged from Trekkies to the common theme park visitor, who might not even be interested in the Sci-Fi theme. This experience included the microsite but also the concept for the queue line.
The project started off with a meeting bringing together all team members, who were to be involved in the process: stakeholders of the park, copyrighting, development and us. In this first meeting we defined goals for the website, it’s mood and target groups. The meeting ended with a tour of the construction site, where the stakeholders explained the layout of the new park section, which helped create a shared vision of the experience the visitors could have. A rough concept paper, which recorded this shared vision was quickly agreed on and we got to work.
We developed an interaction and a visual design that could satisfy the common park visitor as well as the Trekkies with certain sections of the page catering to certain target groups. The visual design is based on the LCARS (computer interface) system seen in STAR TREK: The Next Generation and dedicated to the Trekkies. The visual design was one of the greatest obstacles of this project. We felt that it’s recognizability immediately aged the design and tried out various versions before realizing that in this specific project sound was the missing factor and very important when wanting to create a spaceship interface instead of a responsive website interface feeling. The sound design was crucial for the immersion of people who were familiar with the LCARS design. Luckily we could choose from a vast sound database provided by the rightsholder CBS. While the sound enriched the experience we had one more obstacle to tackle. We needed to find a solution to fit the space consuming style of the LCARS interface into a responsive screen design. Our solution for this was an animated menu, which would open and close, when hovering the menu bar.
This project allowed us to work on another important usability aspect that is often neglected: wording. Button, CTA and some of the – normally boring but important – information texts were optimized to fit the story. Our goal with the text was to encourage sharing & newsletter signups.
The queue line of the new roller coaster attraction will be a special treat for Trekkie fans visiting the park (you will have to visit the park to find out more). But we also wanted to keep the other target groups entertained and more importantly use the time to give them a better understanding of the Star Trek universe. If you remember, the rollercoaster’s storyline is that the ride is the visitor’s final mission as cadets of the starfleet academy. The queue line, which they visit shortly before the ride, can be understood as their final written exam before leaving for their mission. The cadet exam is part of the responsive website. The visitor creates an account and is then guided through the process of designing his Starfleet cadet avatar, participating in the cadet exam and signing up for a raffle.
The Starfleet cadet avatar is the first step in which the visitor can decide (and learns about) the different types of life forms and jobs aboard the enterprise. It also helps them dive into a character that is within the STAR TREK universe. The game itself is a visit down memory lane for Trekkies and new information that encourages the common visitor to learn more about the story. It also helps all visitors find interesting spots within the new theme park section. When a visitor has finished completed a game he has the chance to show up in a high score list and sign up for the raffle. The whole process was planned mobile first because even though people at home could participate in the game it’s main use case would be on a mobile device directly in the park.