How does it work?
The site lets visitors explore the studios and control rooms with a level of detail impossible in traditional Street View implementations. They can browse Abbey Road’s famous microphone collection, watch the engineers at work and view historical photos and videos that are integrated at the exact angles at which they were originally shot. Original 360 degree video content also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process.
My involvement with this project was really early at pitch. It’s amazing when you look back and see how much a project evolves over time.
How does UX fit in to such a project?
The site’s interaction was complex, detailed and needed to integrate with content that was not yet created. So first I started collaborating with the content creation team on a Content Inventory. We then ran a few workshops to map the content to the space.
At this stage I also began with some early scamps and sketches.
The sketches were used to in workshops with Google to see what they thought.
I also began working on the overall sitemap and some initial high level user flows.
Once the content inventory began to solidify I continued with several iterations of wireframes and scamps coupled with workshops at Google. These were very dynamic and changeable. The rate of change and iterability is what made this project such a success. When something needed to be changed I wasn’t precious. I changed it. After all that’s what design is all about!
Like most of the projects I’ve been working on recently everything was content first and mobile first.
My favourite part of the project was getting the change to do a bit of game design as a way of rethinking and introducing Abbey Road’s inventions.
And finally all the deliverables were of course handed over with tight annotations.
When it comes to content you can’t beat over 85 years of quality music. Welcome to Abbey Road, a content first project with an aim to connect the heritage of British music and the cultural relevance of Abbey Road with the innovative and forward facing brand of Google. A feat that is not without it’s challenges.
Google & Abbey Road