The User Experience as an Active Journey through Time: UAE National Anniversary Website
On the occasion of their 50th National Anniversary, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commissioned us to design their anniversary website. The UAE wanted the website to be a venue for remembering, dreaming, and doing, and to thrive primarily on user-generated content: As a place that spans the arc from the country's foundation to the present and already heralds the changes to come in the next 50 years. At the same time, it should provide information about the numerous events and news surrounding the celebrations.
Traversing the Decades with Dreamlike Certainty
In the discovery workshop with the client, we figured out that, in addition to the brand and bot personality, the website should primarily portray three dream phases:
- Phase 1 (1971 to present): It is dedicated to the Early Dreamers, i.e. all those who, with their day-to-day actions replete with respect, tolerance and empathy, helped make the country what it is today—in line with the spirit of the UAE’s first president, Sheikh Zayed.
- Phase 2 (2021): It is a writing dialog. Here, the seven leaders address their people in their “Letters to the Nation,” while users also have the chance to dream their future in a letter to their own selves.
- Phase 3 (the next 50 years): Like the future, it is already being anticipated, but still in the making.
A Conversational User Interface for the Stories of the Early Dreamers
A chatbot proved ideal for interacting with the Early Dreamers. Not only does it guide users step by step through the process of uploading their stories, it also encourages them to talk to an Early Dreamer in their family, for example. After all, often all it takes is the right nudge to bring memories to life. In line with its personality, the bot not only provides helpful tips on the conversational atmosphere and possible questions, but also gives users the opportunity to view stories from other Early Dreamers at any time.
Always Up-to-Date—with the WhatsApp Chatbot
A new story? A new event? If desired, the chatbot can also be accessed via WhatsApp: This way, users are even closer to the action and learn first-hand when there is new content on the website. At the same time, the bot provides information on all the website’s sections, whether it's the stories of the early dreamers, the letters to the nation or other news.
Letters to the Nation—Powerful Messages to the People, Succinctly Staged
How can the content of letters be anticipated in the user interface? By being as far-sighted and self-confident as the visions that the seven leaders of the UAE hold for the next 50 years. On the clearly structured page, users can access the individual letters at any time or sort them by emirate. In addition to the respective original letter, the continuous text below ensures optimal reading.
Letters to the Future—the Dialog with Yourself and an Entire Nation
Just as the clear navigation encourages interaction, the language also inspires the user and lets them become active. Who wouldn’t want to share their thoughts in this empowering cosmos of a nation that celebrates its anniversary in such a poetic way?
And that’s why it’s time to get your dreams written and sealed—on UAE letterhead: “Our dreams come true if we put them in writing. Now it's your turn—write a letter to your future self!” Tomorrow’s visions can also be shared via photo or video. This way, the country can face 2071 with the conviction of having done the right thing and being in the right place: “Know whatever decision you made, it was the right one. You're here now, and you're exactly where you need to be.”