Ruth kikin-Gil://
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Max. Interactive | Compulite | Reframer | PrintShop LiveMail | Eye Candies | Makers of the 20th Century |  
The ‘Makers of the 20th Century’ is an award winning reference CD-ROM, a database of archived information about the 200 most influential people of the 20th century, owned by News Corp. My roles in this project were co-art director, and interaction designer.

makers of the 20th century

The Makers was developed at the Zapa Digital Arts Research & Development center in Tel-Aviv, in 1994-1995. At that time it was a pioneering product in its category, and it won several awards, including First prize for Best CD-ROM in the Frankfurt Book Fair 1996, and PC Plus Gold Award for best CD-ROM 1996 by PC Magazine.

Frames from the opening animation


The design concept: Diversity

The CD contains 200 culture icons from various fields: from science to art, from philosophy to sports and from poetry to terrorism. We faced the challenge of turning piles of dry facts into both entertaining and educating experience.

The product had to appeal to a wide range of people: young and adults.
Its appeal and strength was in its diversity, so we based the whole CD on this concept.
We explored different ways of accessing the information that would appeal to different types of users: from analytical minds that would find an indexed lists to browse, through the fun seeking personalities that would explore the CD's different sections (we called them "WORLDS") to the adventurous souls that would access the information through the random search. These methods of accessing information were uncommon at that time.
The diversity was expressed in the visual concept as well: each "world" had its unique look and feel that would express the nature of its content, and we explored different visual languages: Typography, illustration, 3D and 2D images, photography, video and more


The 200 people which appear in this CD were divided according to their fields of contribution to the 20's century. Each individual has their own multimedia biography, which can be accessed through the interactive worlds or through the Search and Random Search mechanisms. Each biography contains contemporary photographs and video shoots (if existed at that time), newspaper articles and explanatory texts to put all the historical facts in context.

The main menu


The main interface provided access to six "Worlds", each designed uniquely in accordance to its content. The logos are the gates to these worlds. Moving the mouse over the 2D logos changes them into three dimensional animations.

The search window provides eight ways to find a Maker.
Seven of them are textual.
We wanted to give the user the ability to choose based on their visual memory as well.
So we added the "Images" section which shows each Maker as they appear in their World and transports the user directly to the Maker's position in the World.


Seven textual search and browse methods

The image search


The random search

Clicking on the roulette wheel symbol anywhere in the CD sends the user to the Random search section.
Random search presents a parade of Makers in a random order, each represented by a graphic or a photograph.
The user can choose any of these images and enter the person's biography.

The Worlds

The Mind world
The mind world is a three dimensional space in which the great writers and thinkers of the last century are assembled. The users survey the space from the center, then advances to a Maker they find interesting.
When drawing close enough to the person an animated quote appears.
The mind world is made of typographic symbols that comprise the environment.


information nuggets

An additional way to provide knowledge to the user is by "Flying Facts".
These information capsules contain trivia items that highlight different aspects in the Maker's personality.
The nugget appears as an object which crosses the biography screen from time to time.
The user can choose to open it and reveal its content, or just let it pass by.


The design world

this is the home world for architects, designers and technological entrepreneurs and innovators


Rooms with objects were the metaphore for the design world interface

Biography page

The senses world

The senses world is a memory game. The makers of art, film, theatre, music, and food are spread among decks of cards.
Each maker in the deck has teo cards (not necessarily identical), that the user has to match, to view the maker's profile.


Main senses interface

Intro page

Text page

Image page

The power world
This is where politicians, political activists, media people and terrorists reside alongside. The politicians and business moguls of the power world occupy five three-dimensional regions. The user enters the region selected in the globe.


The globe is P ower world's main interface

IPower world - Russia

A biography image page

The body world
The Body world includes makers from medicine, fashion, dance and sports. Each maker is introduced by a marionette that can be brought to life at the click of a button .


The "Body" marionette as Babe Ruth

Biography page

The discovery world

The discovery world invites the users to find the scientists and explorers hidden in the darkness of the screen.
The navigation is done through a spotlight highlighting objects and animations. A click takes the user into the Maker's profile


Main senses interface

Biography page


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