Guide AR

I extended an academic project and explored the ways mixed reality technologies can be used to aide accessibility design.

Problematic Space

"It was a room full of excitement, that I couldn't step into"
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture was newly built in 2019. To address accessibility concerns, I undertook the mission of bettering the experience for disabled museumgoers whose needs weren’t met.

Through the Problem Space

To understand users' pain points, we conducted research. We focused on qualitative research including 4 rounds of interviews. From there, we established personas, journeys and storyboards.
Users responded in the interview that:
  • The space can be difficult to navigate.
  • Some accessibility features aren't apparent.
  • Exhibitions get crowded and noisy unexpectedly.

How Might We..?

Based on our findings, we honed in on a few ideas. These solutions benefit everyone, which goes to show that designing with accessibility in mind yields better products:

  • Create an intuitive visitor / floor guide.
    Unfamiliarity of a new space can cause users anxiety. Visitor / floor guide makes users feel welcome and provide helpful information.
  • More signage.
    Some accessibility features weren't readily apparent to users. Wayfinding artifacts and signage can help users navigate with ease.
  • Inform Busyness
    Another issue that users struggle with is busy, noisy environments. With live busyness flags, users can avoid busy exhibits or time of day when planning a visit.

Designing Intuitive Space

Of the many wayfinding aides, the minimap proved to be highly intuitive. An interactive 3D visual layout of space allows the user insight into their surroundings.
I started with the visual designs of 2D floorplans. I created a simple and intuitive map of the Burke, using minimal colors, fonts, and lines.

Using Blender, I built up. The challenge was to use the right combination of lighting, materials, and varying z-axis heights for visibility at different angles.

The map is in a .USDZ format and is made to be used on an iPhone. This is a screen recording of the minimap opened on my iphone.
I experimented with physical design artifacts such as accessibility signage. I've LiDar scanned and built part of the museum in VR, as a tool for user testing.
Accessibility & Visitor Guide Prototype
A large QR code at the entrance will give users access. Other functionalities include maps, busyness, amenities, audio guides, and more.
More Works