Case Study: World’s End

The prompt asked for a prototype app that could exist either as functional or abstract, so long as it was meaningful* for its intended audience. My answer was the brain-child of my love for astronomical bodies, hyperbole, and coping with existential anxiety.

World’s End allows users to not freak out over the end of the universe by simulating it through a variety of scenarios—text, video, interaction—in a non-stressful environment.


What is the difference between catastrophe, apocalypse, and the universe ending?
    Is it objective or subjective to the person answering?
What happens when a particular end is chosen?
    Does what continues on still considered an end, or a new perspective?
What kind of coping mechanism is casually considering the world ending?

*What does meaningful mean? Is play meaningful?

Through a combination of secondary research and user interviews, I found three areas to answer through the app’s conception:

- The balance between gamification and utility
- Presenting science in a way that’s engaging without oversimplification
- The overlap between a consumer and a contributor

A handful of different visual languages were explored. The idea of a simulation or isometric landscape were scrapped, due to their overtly game-like tones. The app’s functions resembled a stress ball: the app became a tool/aid compared to a game with objectives.


I wanted to experiment with a menu screen that was a medium between a flat plane and a 3D environment for the elements to float around.

This was accomplished in, which allowed me to time the individual animation to the user’s swiping across the menu. The finished prototype was not as smooth as I was hoping for, but it conveyed enough about how each element on the menu moved as the user swipes from screen to screen.