Designers : Tommaso Bertagnin, Loris Bottello, Graziana Saccente, Ricardo Tamagno
Interaction Design Lab 1 · Iuav University of Venice 
Tutor : Philip Tabor, Gillian Crampton Smith
Year : 2013

Venice is a city with so many hidden things to experience that is hard to find them in a short period of time. Venice is a perfect place to lose yourself in its maze of streets and canals and to appreciate everyday revelations: smells, plays of light, sounds, particular climatic states.


Our app, Epiphany, aims to help people share with other users their special moments in the city, which can be experienced again when the same conditions occur. We want to encourage people to go out and live the city, rather than just looking at other people’s experiences through an app.

Epiphany loves exploration and helps motivated and curious people to share with other users their special moments lived in the city, which can be experienced again when the same conditions are replicated. Sensors are used to determine the specific state of the city when an experience is shared, and to check which experiences are available at the time someone uses the app.

Navigation. Users can see available epiphanies near their position, and their remaining time.
Diary. It’s possible to see paths and epiphanies saved from previous days, and to share them.

Graphic principles. The app has a clean and simple interface, with the fewest possible elements to interact with, so the user doesn’t have to focus attention on the smartphone but can enjoy the walk in the city.
Atmospheric effect. The background is generated in real time, taking colors from webcams in Venice.
Compass navigation. The app, intentionally, doesn’t indicate precisely how to reach a spot but leaves users to explore freely and to find their own way.

Visual tagging. To save an epiphany, users simply blow on the screen, which then becomes steamy. To represent the experience they can draw a simple symbol, which disappears after some seconds and is saved in the “diary”. This method is fast and requires none of the on-screen button-pressing which might take away some of the magic of the moment; on the other hand, requiring users to draw something meaningful to them creates an emotional bond with the experience.
Duality. The two parts of the app are always accessible with a single quick gesture.

Diary. The user can see his path over the previous days of exploration; any epiphanies are represented with circular markers. Tapping on a marker brings up the symbol associated with that experience and some current details about the city. If an original epiphany is discovered by the user, it can be shared with the system (up to three per day of exploration).

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