Shaolulu (小鹿鹿)

This project was completed over 15 years ago and is an early cross media project that featured flash based games, mascots, print collateral, clothing, ringtones (we had them then too), and website.

Out of the hundreds of projects I was involved with while at ITRI Shaolulu was one of my favourites. Shaolulu was a character I created to help ITRI celebrate their 30th anniversary. Influenced by Japanese animé, Anne of Green Gables, Dora the explorer and a colleagues daughter with the same nickname, Shaolulu consisted of a range of products from clothing to stationary, character design and animation to games and a cool looking Mascot.

Unfortunately none of us noticed the Pinyin was wrong in the English version. Fun project with a talented group of people.

Like many projects during my early days in Taiwan I had the opportunity to wear many hats, I provided: art direction, graphic design, sound design, game design, and web development.

Process

Though influenced by earlier multimedia cd-rom like projects that the team was very familiar with doing, there was still some early UX methods included in our process. I created persona’s for the users of the products with data from our publications mail list which conveniently included some basic demographic data. The majority of the projects at this time also included user testing in some form. We didn’t have a dedicated usability lab nor were we able to recruit users, but we would select representative users from throughout the organization and run task based tests during all phases of the project. I was particularly found of using think aloud protocol at the time so as to gather more qualitative data/feedback. Other than these methods and their deliverables (often there were no deliverables as the issues found would immediately be addressed in the work), I was and still am a fan of writing stories about the characters and the product we are going to develop.It helps to give life to the product. Also, writing user stories capture the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a product in a simple, concise way. I used user stories to help keep teams focused on user needs.

Screen shots

Early concept sketch for the main title

Early concept sketch using photoshop. This was for a game screen.

Concept sketch

Concept sketch

Concept sketch – someone was having fun.

This sketch would form the basis of the final artwork

Artwork of one of the evil enemies

Artwork of one of the evil enemies

Artwork of one of the evil enemies

Final full size title for the project. Really regret that no one caught the incorrect pinyin spelling.

Far too small screenshot of one of the 6 games

Far too small screenshot of one of the 6 games

Website featuring old school web design art – we were scheumorphic before it was cool.

Website featuring old school web design art – we were scheumorphic before it was cool

Opening screen for one of the games

Game screen

I was particularly proud of the mascot we created. So much of what we created at that time was intangible, just digital bits, it was nice to create something big and ‘real.


Project was withThe Industrial Technology Research Institute where I lead the user experience practice as Creative Director