Cogito: Eye to Mind

AM+A Designed and produced a series of CD-ROMs containing educational multimedia science content.


User Interface Design, Project Management, Programming, CD-ROM Mastering

Project Duration

June 98-Oct 98


Macromedia Director on CD-ROM

Project description

Cogito Learning Media, Inc., a publisher of educational multimedia products, asked AM+A to design the user-interface for its Eye-to-Mind series of CD-ROMs for high school and undergraduate science students. Eye-to-Mind is an audio/visual aid to be referenced by professors during lectures, and to be used as a study aid. Cogito’s challenge was to create a high-quality product with a narrow focus that could sell at a very low price point.

AM+A de-emphasized navigational controls in order to focus attention on the content. This simple, neutral, quiet interface encourages exploration, and allows for easy re-use of the shell for other titles. Animations such as the Aids virus invading a cell, voice-overs, diagrams, and images convey high-level, difficult-to-understand concepts in an engaging narrative format. Audio voice-over helps retention by allowing students to hear as they see, as well as to help them learn correct pronunciation of scientific terms.

Quiet Interface

Cogito wanted a “neutral stage” to present a variety of modular content consistently. The content is simply organized and is not extensive in scope, allowing minimal titling. Eye-to-Mind is meant to be browsed and experienced over and over by students to solidify their understanding of the content.

Subtle Lighting Effects

Live items on the screen “backlight” on rollover to signal their status.

Favoring quality versus quantity, Eye-to-Mind fully leverages the combination of motion, sound, color, layout, and narrative to efficiently convey information in a form that is clear and memorable.

Harpooning a Cell

AM+A worked with top scientific illustrator/animators to convey content authored by the leading authors in the field. We were a key link in the team’s effort to convert “book information” into interactive content.

Careful storyboarding and an iterative review process with the authors ensured accuracy and quality control.

In this view, the illustrator visualizes the Aids virus “harpooning” and penetrating a living cell membrane. Assigning shapes, colors, positions, and movements to such abstract concepts as cells, viruses, and proteins drastically improves students’ memory retention.

Audio voice-over

Eye-to-Mind delivers narrative content to students via voice-overs instead of using long, scrolling text passages. Transcripts, however, are easily accessible via pop-up windows.

The voice-overs allow students to focus on the animations and thus benefit from the increased retention resulting from seeing and hearing coordinated content. Voice-overs also help students to correctly pronounce complex scientific words, which is an important part of impressing any science professor!

Posted on 21 July 2008 in Archives, Featured-Projects | No Comments » You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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