Awesome Astronomy Kiosk App Built with InDesign & in5

photo of interactive kiosk in use

“I just printed out a poster on foam core, cut out a space for my iPad, and stuck it to the kiosk unit.”

That’s Dave Hickey, designer of The Artful Astronomy of L.M. Montgomery—an interactive kiosk app built with Adobe InDesign and in5—referring (modestly) to the beautiful display he created in the image above.

Dave teaches in the English Dept. at the University of Prince Edward Island.

The project was part of a digital public humanities project on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s interest in astronomy and the night sky.

Building the iPad App

interactive screen from the ipad kiosk app

Dave wanted to have long, scrolling pages, as well as non-linear navigation (the ability to jump to different sections) to create his digital experience.

The Tools

The layouts were done in Adobe InDesign, with a few Overlays and other interactive additions applied, then exported to HTML with in5.

The in5 output was then embedded into an offline iPad app using KioskPro.

“The real advantage of combining KioskPro and In5 is the ability to run an interactive display entirely offline. When you consider not only how unreliable wifi can be when you’re setting up at a remote location, but also how important it is for things to just work for the user the first time, combining KioskPro and In5 just makes sense.”

The Result

“KioskPro worked like a charm. It just pairs really well with In5. I ran my interactive display all week at the conference I was attending, and I had no issues whatsoever. And that’s with a lot of people hammering away at my iPad.”

Dave was kind enough to share of version of his app so that I could record the video demo below.

How was the experience of creating the app?


“I think it was a neat experiment in trying out new ways to deliver academic research to a general audience. And something I definitely plan to continue in the future.”

Using in5 & KioskPro for iPad apps:

“I suspect anyone with an iPad who uses in5 would find it an especially useful tool. I used the KioskPro Plus version, but the basic app would have worked just fine, especially since I was just adding the html from In5.”

Pro tip:

“My favourite KioskPro feature: the app screensaver, which cycles through videos automatically. That may sound small, but it enabled me to create a few trailers that didn’t need to be included in the InDesign document, which kept the main file much smaller.”

On using in5 to export interactivity without coding:

“In5 is a fantastic product. I’ve had a lot of fun using it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s possible from here.”

Check out Dave Hickey’s portfolio to learn more about the project and to see more of his work.

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  1. LK says:

    Pretty awesome share. This is a great solution for upcoming/potential projects.

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