MooR is a Mixed Reality app built for the Microsoft Hololens. The core function of the app is to provide museum curators a way of viewing an artists portfolio remotely.
This project demonstrates a proof of concept for the spectrum of artistic mediums for which it can be used: painting, sculpture, video, audio, and interactive. The museum curator can put on the Hololens while in any room, look at the artist’s custom “key”, and participate in a curated studio walk through.
My role: I was part of the UX design team, graphic design team, and book design team.
Once the goal and project are understood, I have found brainstorming first can be very productive because it accomplishes a couple of tasks. First, by brainstorming first for all ideas, big and small, the team will naturally think about all aspects of the project, and they will be drawn to the parts that most interest them. This provides an initial boost of motivation to the team which can help set the tone for the rest of the project. Second, by not contaminating the teams’ minds with attributes of existing products by performing initial research, the team is free to devise unique and creative solutions to problems other companies/apps have faced. This can lead to developing original features that wont be found elsewhere.
Exhaustive research into all areas and aspects that the project touches is next. This product is the conduit between 2 distinct users: artists and curators. This user groups have opposing and symbiotic needs. We reached out to people who fulfill each of those roles and interviewed them to learn the nuances and depth of their areas. We interviewed 5 artists and 2 curators. Additionally, we researched the various mixed reality technology on the market and the different methods currently utilized by artists to present their work.
With our ideas and research in hand, we combine what is currently available, the ideas generated while brainstorming, and the needs of our users then evaluate them. Now that we have a good idea of the product’s features and are aware of what the market and users expect, we begin the development stage of the product design through storyboards. We sketch and detail how we expect the elements in MooR to be laid out on paper to better envision the user journey.
Bodystorming & Paper Prototyping
After these sketches have been made and agreed up by the team, we transition the sketches to a physical brainstorming session, also known as “bodystorming”. This is the process by which we attempt to replicate the sketches and storyboards in the physical world. We do this by placing objects in a room and labeling them with their intended functions. Then we ask a user to pretend to be in the app and perform tasks. The team then moves the objects by hand to simulate how the holograms would function in the final product.
In addition to the bodystorming session, we also developed a paper prototype. The app, Marvel, allows for quick production of a primitive prototype with only paper. We send test users with this app as well to gauge their expectations. The Marvel prototype can be found here.
Hololens Prototpye & Unique Features
With our results from user testing we created a much more fluid User Flow when creating our Hololens prototype. The Microsoft Hololens uses Unity to develop all their apps, so our final prototype was created in Unity as well. A demonstration of the Unity prototype can be seen in the video at the top of this page.
Through the initial brainstorming, user testing, and interviews several unique features were developed for MooR.
The “Artist Key” is a physical item that serves two purposes: it acts as a security feature so that only people with the key may view that artist’s portfolio, and it provides a smoother transition for the user from the physical everyday world to the augmented one in MooR.
The “Desk” is a way to organize the artists’ personal information (contact info, calendar, biography, etc.) in a familiar fashion while not distracting from the artwork.
“Activation Zones” were a method to fully utilize the augmented world because the Hololens is not tethered to any machine. Activation Zones were a physical space within MooR that the user must physically walk to in order to experience that artwork or feature.
The “Exit” is similar to an Activation Zone, except it’s used to leave the portfolio. Artists may customize the Exit appearance to better capture the aura of their work. Additionally, users can simply click on the Exit to leave the space.