Shell : Exploiting the potential for exploration
Taking a tablet's strengths adds new dimensions to interactive content.
Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant, has cleverly translated a section of its website for the iPad to take advantage of the tablet’s touch capabilities.
Shell features an interactive Flash-based panel in its Innovation section that allows visitors to explore facts and videos about its Perdido drilling platform. ‘Delving deeper to deliver energy’ contains ‘dive’ and ‘surface’ buttons with which users may scroll through a graphic representation of the drilling site. Information and videos about the platform are revealed as users delve deeper.
The company’s Inside Energy iPad app, which can be downloaded from the web page, presents the same content. Here users may manipulate the content manually, swiping up and down to ‘dive’ or ‘surface’, watching videos and reading facts as they do. The app also features a greater amount of animation than the website version, with swimming fish and bobbing jellyfish surrounding the content.
Shell’s ‘Delving deeper’ feature demonstrates how it has neatly taken content from the website and migrated it to the iPad in a way that fully exploits the unique benefits of a tablet with a touch interface. While the website version of the feature requires users to click up/down arrows to navigate the content, the native iPad application allows for the information to be browsed via the intuitive swiping gestures made possible by the iPad’s large touch screen. In comparison, the web version of the feature begins to look pedestrian – no animations are offered and the awkward embedding of the Flash frame in the page means users cannot even use their mouse to scroll up and down within the Perdido feature.
While just one of many parts of the Innovation section that Shell includes in the Inside Energy app, the feature illustrates most clearly how Shell has thought carefully about the idiosyncrasies of the tablet platform versus the web, and has sought not only to replicate existing features there but to improve them by playing to the tablet interface’s strengths.http://www.shell.com/home/content/innovation/meeting_demand/deepwater/delving_deeper_deliver_energy/
First published on 05 April, 2012