Frolian Travels

Details: Transmedia | Storytelling | Makerspaces
Technology: Social Media | 3D Modelling | Storytelling | Webdesign | Felting | WordPress
Created by Ann Marie Gribble & Taylor Pringle
Download the Frolian Travels Guide here with all the mediums used and the full backstory to the characters!

Leif’s New Narrative

Leif on 3d printer

Credit: Stefan Marks

Hazel is a 20 year old, 3d printing technician in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a supporter of the maker movement which is the main theme for her outputs in this narrative. Hazel finds Leif in her garden and an idea springs on her to start creating 3d models and plushies based on Leif’s shape. She finds out Leif also has a purpose and utilises this to inspire children to create their own Frolian or version of Leif.
Leif has been sent to Earth by the Frolians to discover whether the humans are ready to know of their existence. Frolia is a floating island hidden from the human eye however rumour is all non-humans are able to see it. Frolia hovers just above the Earth’s surface and shifts its location regularly in order to not draw attention to itself. It is occupied by hundreds of sentient beings that live and work harmoniously. Frolian is a very technologically advanced society where resources are optimally used and perfect democracy has been achieved.

The Frolian Reports

These reports are a crucial part to Leif’s journey on Earth. these are the reports he details back to the Frolians about what he observes, where he has been, and what further information is required therefore justifying is length of stay. The reports come in 2 forms, there are the beginning of month reports that consist of the most details. The supplementary reports are smaller and are more about weekly encounters with the species of Earth and crucial discoveries. All reports are posted on a Tuesday and the fuller reports are posted on the first Tuesday of the months that Leif is on Earth
The further information question will always stay the same per month so that the most information can be obtained. This will also enable a lower barrier to entry but may be revised if the transmedia project was implemented. This was also decided due to Leif’s website posting weekly musings that occasionally throw in a question and images that may need context. We didn’t want to overwhelm the audience, but did want to keep them interested and show their feedback was taken on.

User Testing

Implementing a user experience testing process to Frolian Travels was a way for us to know what we were creating was what the audience actually wanted. User experience is a popular tool where companies find “how people interact with products, other people and the resulting emotions and experience that unfold” in order to optimise the experience for the end user (Forzilli & Batarbee, 2004).
Stage 1 testing of the kits and their place within the narrative reiterated the need for how-to videos for each kit which was a consideration from the start. Though the diversity has been great with how the kits have been created, I’m sure the extra guidance will be benefited from. Guiding the users to sketch their own Frolian and develop a blurb of their own story has also given some great ways in which the narrative can become further interactive.


Makerspaces are shared workshops that cover many different disciplines from electronics to craft to cooking.  The makerspace movement has been growing over the past few years and more initiatives have been put in place for school kids and young people. These have included Nano-girl’s OMGTech and the 3d printers now available at a variety of Auckland Libraries.  Hazel is the promoter of the makerspaces as her job is a 3d printing technician. As she has a variety of interests, the makerspace movement was just the ticket. Hazel guides users to utilise the technology she uses to create more iterations of Leif and the Frolians. She uses the simple naturistic shape the Frolians have to create simple templates in kits and 3d prints.