Exploring Mixed Reality Design Issues In Studio

talk – 20 min | Feb 4 – 15:00

Sharing takeaways from bringing Mixed Reality Design Issues to studio course.

During the fall semester 2017, design students in the school of design explored and identified design opportunities around specific themes in which Mixed Reality (MR) could be a game changer. The students developed stakeholder-centered MR scenarios that, compared to the traditional non-MR experience, show an improved task-flow and deliver a compelling argument as to why mixed reality can improve certain types of experiences. Students focused on experimenting with the Microsoft HoloLens, a head mounted display (HMD). This presentation tells the story of bringing a MR design project to the classroom and shares the insights for future MR interaction design education projects.

In an MR environment, the confluence of reality and digitally enhanced reality needs to be carefully modulated. The blending process requires constant questioning on how much or how little information is displayed in the user’s field of vision and the extent of interactivity.

The MR development process was guided by the question “How can we simulate a digitally enhanced, immersive experience to persuade a potential client to commit to production?”. This senior level design studio exposed students to systems thinking and pushed the development of a certain set of design skills. In addition to the thorough design research process needed to develop empathy for the user, UX/UI considerations for MR require the ability to think in 3D and to be able to ideate at the intersection of 3D interaction and time. The traditional process of wire framing a 2D interaction is not sufficient.

To overcome this challenge, the student teams hinged their projects on scenario-based ideation, which drove the use of analog and digital tools such as sketching on photosphere templates, MR interaction sequence templates and testing ideas in an augmented setting using PTC’s ThingWorx software, a new AR/MR authoring tool.

Ralf Schneider

Ralf Schneider
Syracuse University

About the speaker

Ralf Schneider

Ralf Schneider

Syracuse University
Ralf Schneider is an assistant professor of industrial and interaction design in the School of Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. As a designer and design educator, he combines European and American design values. In addition to teaching industrial design at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and DAAP in Cincinnati, Schneider worked as an associate director/senior design researcher at the Live Well Collaborative. Schneider is interested in solving complex problems with interdisciplinary teams. His current research focuses on design technology especially how mixed reality impacts design.

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