Alphero 36 Tsunami Ready

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Corinne Bowie
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    David Bedggood
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Briar Evans, Maddi Skeggs, Mitchell Coad, Tyree Gunn, Helen Wang, Ed Eloiart, Amarjot Parmar, Eujin Au, Josh Lindsay, Brendon Price, Liam Byrne, Connor Moody, Dallan Freemantle, Chris Meekin, John Welfare, Darian Lawrie, Andrew Ritchie
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Nicole Retter, Dan Neely

If a massive earthquake hits off the coast of Aotearoa, a tsunami could arrive within 10 minutes. Infrastructure damage is likely to be so significant that there won't be alerts or sirens. Most of us in tsunami danger zones are underprepared.

Tsunami Ready is a doing-good project, conceived, produced, and funded by us - to help make the people of Aotearoa safer. It's free, with no login, data collection, or advertising. Pure safety education.

The product had equal effort go into experimental design and technical R&D - balancing core safety messages and complex data with GPS mapping capability to create an effective and intuitive user experience.

We collaborated with WREMO (Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office) to ensure we applied best practice safety advice.

Expressing the visceral impact of a tsunami is key to motivating the public into action. The launch experiences for both the app and the companion site had to convey the 'why'. starts with a scroll-triggered, layered animation, with crumbling buildings and a person racing the clock to get away from a surging tsunami. It demonstrates the importance of heading to higher ground/inland immediately after a long or strong earthquake.

The app uses a 3D render of Oriental Bay to demonstrate the realities of a tsunami (not a crashing wave, but a sludgy wall of water), the user can rotate their phone to view the impact from different angles. Haptics in the phone mimic earthquake vibrations and aftershocks.

Users can search, save and share all their frequent locations to understand the fastest path to safety. A standard journey planner has a known start and endpoint for the route. We had to produce complex algorithms to analyse multiple endpoints along the safe zone and identify the endpoint for the fastest route.

Muscle memory is key in emergency situations. Users are encouraged to run tsunami practise drills. Families are a particular target audience.
Achievement badges are used to incentivise people to do multiple drills, and to reinforce core messages.

The user experience was tested, validated, iterated and re-tested throughout including the running of a beta pilot.

The visual direction needed to reinforce the product's messaging and purpose. It was inspired by 'safety' yellow colour palettes and motifs; and by game design aesthetics. The app font riffs off retro video arcade games. The drill includes design patterns from first person action games. Badges are 3D and slightly retro in style.

On the site, the visual juxtaposition of the apocalyptic crumbling city and the safety-brochure inspired 'running man' was deliberate. Motion design is key to the experience. Transitions on the website 'About' page are evocative of earthquake fracturing, and tsunami surges.

Tsunami Ready is currently available in the Greater Wellington Region. We've had great feedback so far and are in discussions with NEMA regarding a nationwide roll-out. Our desire is for Tsunami Ready to become the one place that anyone in Aotearoa can go to educate themselves on tsunami safety. Creating consistent messaging and experiences no matter where you are.