I worked on this individual project in my spring semester of 2017. I was selected to present it at the 2017 Consumer Virtual Reality (now branded VU) for both Industry and Expo day.
Sketching, Conducting Primary & Secondary Research (Precedent Research, Human Factors, Persona, Journey Map, Empathy Map, User Tests, Mood Boards), Ideation, Storyboarding, Prototyping (A-Frame WebVR, Model), Presenting (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Powerpoint,)
The goal of the exercise was to explore an emerging tech for an assigned user (in my case virtual reality for astronauts), considering both the user experience and the ethical implications of my design.
With only 2 weeks to complete this exercise, my process began with discovery research and smart assumptions about my astronaut user to establish pain points and high level design goals.
I evaluated the constraints and future directions of mixed reality. I tested precedents of shared VR using the HTC Vive, and researched the speculations of experts in the field, such as VR pioneer Jaron Lanier.
- Make VR collaborative instead of isolating
- Design for time well spent (rather than competing for attention)
- Intuitive, Gestural in-world interface
- Astronaut's long travel with limited stimuli
- Simulated experiences feel real to the brain
- Submission, Abnegation, and Escapism
Product / Service Features
- Tool for productivity & creativity
- Avoid full immersion (mask instead of brain implant), quick exit controls, reality check
- Boring Mode (no new stimuli in VR world) activates after 2-3 hour use
Designing for complex, emerging tech is difficult.
I was faced with the challenge of how can I best communicate my ideas and begin to test some of my assumptions with new technology.
One of the first techniques I used was storyboarding & role playing, which helped communicate the scenario, and flesh out the user experience. However, these tools lack the kind of interactivity that I wanted to test my prototype.
With the pace of this project, learning complex programs was not ideal, so I chose to prototype in code with WebVR, using the js framework, A-Frame.
I designed an interactive, Wizard of Oz prototype, a "looks like, feels like" experience. It allowed me to role play scenarios with proxy users to get feedback. It is a low bandwidth solution, making it more accessible to users.
Rapid, Low-Fi Prototype with WebVR