Making the past more present

For this auto tour of the Gettysburg battlefield, “U” is the (time) traveler, and “X” is getting lost in history’s landscape. We wanted to keep our history buffs focused on their surroundings—what happened in Gettysburg, and exactly where—instead of on their weird, futuristic phones, so we gave them an app with only the most basic functionality and design.

Screens of the Gettysburg Story Auto Tour displayed on mobile phones

The graphics simply alternate between an illustrated map on “driving screens” and a picture of the relevant landmark on “stop screens.” This lets users immediately know whether to be driving or stopping during each section of audio.

Map from the Gettysburg Story Auto Tour Audio player screen from the Gettysburg Story Auto Tour

The app is both manageable while driving a car, since a third of the audio plays in transit, and accessible to older audiences, since a large percentage of users are over 65. Finally, the battle sites have no wifi, so the app has to work without being dependent on a connection.

Diagram of how the app is able to manage many different apps