White Elephant: Story


Story communicates ideas. To the listener, stories make life that much easier to comprehend. We learn context and unearth hidden meanings. Story helps us see patterns in our own lives. Story reminds us where we got started and that we’re all connected. Billions of dollars are spent worldwide because we want to hear a story.

Story offers perspective, one that gives us that hope that things can change. We belong to be known in story, and you are telling a story everyday with your life. Align yourself with your sense of your purpose. And together we can change the world.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet; keep looking, and don’t settle.―Steve Jobs

Saving the wild places and animals that live in them is a story we all want to be a part of. It’s the story Animat Habitat is working to tell, and chapter one invites you on a journey with an elephant across seas of sand.

The Pages.

Time has a single unbroken reading line; as you move through space, you move through time. Every element on a comic book page has a spacial relationship to every other element at all times. The use of iconography in a comic book, to represent texture and character of sound ― even in print, is an attempt to embrace more than its visual medium. A screen is not a page, it’s a window to an infinite narrative.

White Elephant App [Menu] (c) Animat Habitat™, 2015

© Animat Habitat, Art of White Elephant (2010)

Sneak peek: a look at our menu design behind the White Elephant app shares early clues to its narrative. The White Elephant app indexes the sixteen-page comic book in a menu designed that effectively shares limited screen space with the artwork, communicates how far you are along its journey, and lives within the context of the iOS experience. White Elephant is a beautiful journey, our menu needed to be its beautiful road map.

Mai―We wanted a way to jump to any page at any time without having to flip through. This menu had to be easily accessible yet have little visual intrusion over content. We also wanted it to fit our visual style and feel more as part of the story rather than a menu system. This is when we came up with the Journey menu. It’s a pull-down menu with shortcuts to pages in our comic, which represent key points in our story. The menu is designed to mimic the iOS experience that users already know well; tucked-away in its default state, and a simple downward swipe anywhere on the screen brings it down. That means the entire screen space can be used to show off comic book art. Hidden, easily accessible, and incorporates the art style of the rest of the app; all requirements, checked!

The menu artwork, above, is currently exclusively featured in full on our developer’s portfolio website, mai.codes, and you can check out Mai’s tutorial on how to create your own iOS style slider, here.

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