Orion Behavior Design Studios created an engaging online destination for the public television series Closer To Truth. The program explores vital ideas of existence and humanity’s deepest questions around topics such as the universe, brain/mind, religion, and meaning and purpose, through intimate, candid conversations with leading scientists, philosophers, and theologians. The site leverages a myriad of video content from an archive of over 2000 video interview clips and TV programs. The overall UX strategy supports multiple user types, from the every-person seeking answers to life’s big questions, to the intellectually curious who is familiar with Closer to Truth and interested in the perspective the program provides, to the professional research-focused user who is interested direct access to source materials.
Many Questions, Many Paths
Based on typical user needs, Orion enabled two primary ways to navigate content: by topic or by contributor. Each path exposes a topic taxonomy or subject fields respectively and follows a logical route to information within categories that are cross-referenced for lateral movement.
Surfacing Deep Content
As an alternative means of navigation, Orion’s strategy surfaced deeper content in a more exploratory mode by leveraging the television program’s format, which frames each episode around a question. Behavior applied this idea to the site’s taxonomy and grouped different kinds of content in a web-like structure that contained full episodes, subtopic videos and contributor interviews together to expose the many facets of a particular theme.
Movement & The Message
One of the key hallmarks of the design is the use of video. Behavior used the elegant and beautiful cinematography employed by the series, applying video as a background movement texture as a prompt to watch the full video. Environments from the series subtly move and are used as backdrops to present topics and visually brand sections. Movement is also encouraged through the display of a unique topical navigation.
Orion created a unique video experience for Closer To Truth’s Interview Series that assembles responses from selected thinkers who are posed a single question. In order to create a seamless yet flexible experience, Behavior exposed each respondent in the video navigation to allow for automatic playback to the next respondent as well as non-linear selection of contributors videos.
Orion created a new visual identity for Closer to Truth that reflects the program’s inquisitive nature to life’s timeless questions. The circular shape containing the word mark reflects the “C” in “Closer” and draws diverse references from nature ranging from planets in the cosmos to the iris of an eye. The curvilinear twist in the shape references the ways in which the show reflects many sides of an issue.
- Immersive, experiential storytelling and discoverability
- Focus on driving audience engagement
- Media rich content strategy and curation
- User-friendly taxonomy to encourage continuous viewing through layering of interrelated topics
- Close collaboration with client team to bring vision alive