Shatter allows you all the anxiety of breaking your screen, with all the satisfaction of having done it on purpose. This experiment algorithmically generates each crack, matching it in size to a pitched sound of glass breaking. The end result is a remarkably convincing simulation of glass shattering, despite the simplistic implementation.
The first version of Shatter was as seen above, white cracks on a gray background. As there are no cracks on the screen at first, this meant that the initial state of the app was a blank, gray screen. This was confusing, and didn’t give the user any inclination towards what they were supposed to do. Once shown, however, it seemed to be a convincing and compelling interaction.
In order to add context to the interaction, I added this background image reading “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass”. Calling out a common concept, it encourages the user to try and “break” the screen.
While convincing enough of an effect in the browser, this really shines on a touchscreen device. Try it yourself here (make sure your sound is on).
Used in this piece: P5.js, tone.js