Eclipse is an anticipatory tool for couples who live apart yet are looking forward to an upcoming vacation together. The product has both a digital and a physical interface, the two individuals in the relationship would be using the Eclipse app, whilst also having a household artifact that projects teaser visuals of their upcoming getaway. The two devices together encapsulate the feeling of being on the same countdown page to something big and exciting.

This project was based on a week-long exploration of a ‘building up of anticipation’ experience, and its development via consistent prototyping. The team used many technical platforms (Figma, After Effects, Proto Pie) as well as craft methods (laser cutter, shadow creation) to make this experience come alive, in addition to several user testings throughout the process.

When a couple makes a reservation for a vacation, they will immediately be notified by Eclipse. Each couple’s screen saver will slightly alter to show a subtle circle with small markers representing each couple. The markers will move around the circle on different sides, alluding to a countdown where we wait for the markers to eventually meet (on the holiday day). Each day the couple will be supplied by fun facts about their destination, if they like the fact it will be added to their surprise itinerary, presented only on the last day when the couple comes together. As the days go by, their physical artifact will display daily shadow images of what they may find on their holiday. This adds a more poetic and cinematic angle of anticipation, one they can enjoy after a hard day of work at a place of comfort in their homes.

The concept development started by a low-fi paper cut out, to a body storming process, and eventually a technically savvy experience where testers were able to use a real-time mobile app test (Figma); enjoying many of its interactive features at length. Also, a hi-fi shadow image was developed with a digital window interface.

Towards the end of the project, it became apparent that focusing on a single case study rather than generic scenarios of couples living apart, allowed for much more intimate and thorough exploration.