Sue the T. Rex

Multi-user, interactive puzzle engages visitors with The Field Museum's famous dinosaur skeleton


Information Architecture, Experience Design, Game Dynamics, Flash Development

The Field Museum, one of the world’s preeminent natural history museums, asked Bluecadet to bring to life the skeleton of their famous T. rex, “Sue,” as an eye-catching touchscreen centerpiece for the newly remodeled Searle Lounge.

Sue is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. The Field Museum wanted visitors to act as paleontologists, discovering for themselves how to assemble the skeleton’s bones based on their distinctive shapes and features.

Learning through collaboration

It was important to the Field Museum that visitors work with one another to learn about Sue. We created an engaging puzzle interface that allows up to three visitors to interact with the puzzle simultaneously.

Interactive Puzzle

Exploring in detail

In this immersive 3D experience, visitors can fluidly rotate Sue’s skeleton and examine it from every vantage point while choosing bone sections to add. Each bone section can be individually rotated and zoomed using intuitive gestures and then dragged onto the correct location on the skeleton.

Created using actual 3D scans of Sue’s bones, the puzzle highlights the stories that her skeleton tells. Selected bone pieces activate additional information about what scientists can learn from the bones, including how Sue lived and why she might have died. Visitors can also examine these bones at life-size to get a sense of how enormous her skeleton is.

“Visitors love the interactive! We've witnessed great reactions, and people seem to be walking out of the space more excited than when they came in... I haven't seen the puzzle without people in front of it since we installed it. It's a hit.”

John Parr, Media and Interactives Supervisor, The Field Museum

The Sue interactive provides visitors of all ages with the opportunity to explore how a T. rex skeleton comes together. Through multiple rounds of prototypes and user tests, we created a hands-on activity that encourages Field Museum visitors to engage not only with the bones, but with one another.


American Alliance of Museums MUSE Awards – Honorable Mention

ADDY Awards – Silver, Digital Broadcasting

FWA – Site of the Day

IxDA – Nominated: Engaging: Capturing Attention, creating delight and delivering meaning

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