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Twelve Beauties of Prince Yon

胤禛美人图

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The first digital app of the most significant museum of China, which combined the traditional art and the new technology and provided an interactive experience through the exquisite, elegant life of Imperial China.

The app launched globally on 18 May 2013 and kept updating till now. It was featured by App Store soon and got more than 800 five-star comments after 10 days.

Featured by iTunes

Introduction of the app

Glimpse the exquisite, elegant life of Imperial China - through a set of screen paintings featuring court ladies whose identity remains a mystery. This interactive experience guides you through twelve meticulously depicted scenes in which the accessories, furniture, and objects for interior decorations aptly illustrate the raison d'être of some of the Palace Museum's highly idiosyncratic collections. Hidden meanings in traditional Chinese auspicious motifs, fashionable hairstyles of the early 18th century, and evolving genre of court lady paintings, are all at your fingertips with the first app of the Palace Museum.

Main features

1. 360-degree interactive view of selected objects;
2. High-resolution, full-screen images of the paintings;
3. The comparative view of objects depicted and actual objects in the Museum's collection;
4. The magnifying glass function that simulates traditional art examination and connoisseurship;
5. In-depth background information and insiders' stories from different perspectives;
6. Share the app with social networks and email.

About the Palace Museum

Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is installed in the imperial palace of two consecutive dynasties - the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911). The magnificent architecture, also known as the Forbidden City, and the vast holdings of the imperial collections of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and decorative objects make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world at large.

My Role

I led the dev team and collaborated with the designers of UI and content design between 4 Jan 2013 and 18 May 2013. As the UX coordinator, I did research, structure, prototype for the project.

Steps

The first stage of the project was to create as many concepts as we can. All the concepts should be interactive and based on the original collection of twelve beauties art. I provided several concepts and confirmed the practical ones with the client.

Then I structured the architect of the app and confirmed the content could be delivered to the user in an elegant, transparent and interactive way.


Another challenge for me was how to create a proper user experience to combine traditional Chinese art with interactive technology. By careful user research, I found if we slow down the dynamic effect, but provide the consistent movement of the dynamic element at the same time, the experience would match our expectation. To do that, I led dev team to develop a tool just for adjusting the speed and performance of the dynamic elements such as leaves and flames on the images.

Highlight

The team tried to find a unique way to show the original scroll correctly. By concept creating and designing, I suggested that we could create a layer sliding effect to display to scroll. It was used in my last case: The Moon first, and the effort was awe-inspiring. We created subtle different moving speed for 3 layers. The final effect was very positive. All the demo testing users said it was the best effects they've ever seen in App Store that year.

Results

The app launched globally on 18 May 2013 and kept updating till now. It was featured by App Store soon and got more than 800 five-star comments after 10 days.
It was selected to be the pre-installed app for all the China Apple Store, and also was the App Store Editor's Choice of 2013.

Review from users

Amazing app!!! Very well done! - BlueMeow

Thank you sooooooooo much for creating such a wonderful app! This is the best app I have ever had! Could The Palace Museum create more? Please~~~~~~~ - ngaiwinghong

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