Human Rights Defenders

Gagarin designed and developed an interactive touch screen installation that told the story of several Canadian human rights activists. Based on research materials and multimedia provided by the museum, I carefully crafted visual stories, which had to adhere to the Museum’s goals of inclusive design (e.g. subtitles, sign language videos and described audio) to meet the client’s goal of setting new Canadian and world standards for universal accessibility. The client would later earn the prestigious Gold Award from the International Association of Universal Design (IAUD) at a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan (2016).

For more information about the exhibition, please visit Gagarin.

Client: Canadian Museum for Human Rights

My role: UI, script and technical writer, graphic design, testing, illustration

Tools: Photoshop, Indesign, Glyphs

Research and Storytelling

Based on research material from each human rights personality, Gagarin created storyboards. For each personality, I finalised the story, text and multimedia content as well as creating prototypes in Photoshop for the Museum’s approval. Due to the sensitive and private nature of the content, I had to follow strict museum protocols and seek approval for each stage of development.

Storyboard by Magnús Elvar Jónsson, courtesy of Gagarin.

Layout, Navigation and Flow

Each story was made up of several pages containing multimedia elements, which had to be carefully considered, not only to create an interesting flow and ease of navigation, but to also make it accessible. Considerations included image contrast, tab order and animation timing of elements.

Inclusive Design

It was crucial that I communicated effectively within our team to ensure that all elements from the sound and video engineer and illustrator were coordinated with my designs and compatible with the touchscreen system designed by the software engineers in order to meet the high standards set by the client.

As it was a bilingual installation (French/English), we had to incorporate two sets of Closed Captioning, Sign Language and Described Audio.

Video courtesy of Gagarin. Human Rights Defenders begins at 00:32 of video.

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