An Interactive Website Dedicated to Those Who Serve
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, S1T2 worked with PICO and the Queensland Government to create Queensland Remembers, a digital reflection pool filled with user-generated floating poppies. Every poppy in the gentle stream has been created by someone with a personal story about Remembrance Day – stories that users are invited to share as they explore the site.
Designed to give Queenslanders the opportunity to both contribute and explore personal stories about Remembrance Day, the website uses WebGL to create three dimensional poppies and realistic, rippling water that echo the real world commemorations of WWI with a twist. Ultimately, the website’s power lies in its ability to visualise the meaning of both the individual stories and the collective experience of Remembrance Day. While exploring each of the poppies individually reveals an intimate message, interacting with the visualisation as a whole serves to celebrate the collective spirit of resilience of the Australian people.
During the month-long campaign leading up to Remembrance Day 2018, over 1,300 poppies were created and submitted to the Queensland Remembers website. This included two VIP submissions from the Premier of Queensland and the Governor of Queensland respectively. The project was also featured on Channel 7 News.
Digital Poppies Reveal Personal Stories of Remembrance
Each of the 1,300 poppies that populate the Queensland Remembers website represents a personal story about Remembrance Day. The actual design of these poppies aligns closely with the offline Queensland Remembers campaign, which saw thousands of Queenslanders create their own real world poppies and transform them into a huge public art installation. By fostering a close visual relationship between the real and the digital poppies, we were able to amplify the impact of this campaign, bringing it to life online for countless more Australians to experience.
In an ideal world, all poppies contributed to the Queensland Remembers site would contain a personalised dedication. These kinds of unique, diverse messages create a much more meaningful experience. However, forcing this kind of customisation risks users becoming paralysed by the need to write a message of their own. To address this, pre-filled message options were included, while personalised dedications were prioritised through the streamlined customisation process.
- Laravel Framework,
- Google Captcha.
Customised Algorithms Ensure Quality and Curation
While including pre-filled poppies was important in encouraging engagement, they aren’t nearly as interesting as customised dedications. As such, in order to ensure a satisfying user experience while exploring the website, we developed a customised poppy ranking algorithm. This algorithm would allow for the steady stream of poppies to be curated to fosters more meaningful interaction.
According to this system, pre-filled poppies, while representative of the volume of people who have interacted in the site, are given the lowest priority. This means that, as the site matures, these poppies come to constitute a smaller and smaller percentage of the overall poppy stream. Instead, they are replaced with customised poppies that introduce variety and meaning. In addition to these customised poppies, another level of priority was introduced whereby “featured” poppies could be manually selected (due to their notable author or particularly poignant content) to have the highest level of priority in the stream.