experience design

The Expanse – Enter the Future

For the launch of the series The Expanse, the cable and satellite TV channel SyFy wanted to create an engaging platform that could add value to the viewing experience and at the same time attract new viewers to the show.

The team reflected around what excites people about science fiction and quickly realised that a digital representation of the world of the Expanse could be the starting point to start exploring the series and its secrets. As a result, a map of the whole solar system was created entirely using WebGL.

Expanse-iPad-3 Users can either explore the map itself or use the episode navigation menu at the bottom of the page to find information about where the different episodes take place and who are the main characters. As a bonus content, a timeline connecting snippets about Julie Mao - a central figure in the series -  was progressively unlocked in parallel with the air date of the episodes and represented an extra incentive for people to visit the site.

Because users’ viewing habits suggest that people like to use a tablet or smartphone while watching video content on TV, the experience is created with touch screens in mind and is completely responsive, becoming the ideal companion for the fans of the series and recent viewers alike. Such a platform can be used before watching an episode (to be up to date with what happened in the previous episodes), during an episode (to deepen their knowledge or just satisfy curiosity) and after an episode (to explore content or share it).

During the 3 months of airing time of the series in the US (from December to February), the site received a total of 1.2 million pageviews, with 83.000 unique visitors and an average time spent of nearly 4 minutes, ranking number #1 in daily pageviews among the digital content previously produced by SyFy for the launch of a new series. .