MIXED REALITY BEST INTERACTION DESIGN PRACTICES

MIRADA STUDIOS + MIXED REALITY

PLATFORM | HOLOLENS


PROJECT OVERVIEW

This project provided Mirada Studios with best interaction design practices to better understand how produce positive results when developing Hololens applications for their clients. It produced measurable improvements for task learnability, memorability, efficiency, errors and satisfaction.

MY ROLE

As a UX Designer I participated and contributed in every aspect of the research, discovery, rapid prototyping & usability testing.

Managed client relationship and expectations ensuring project was completed on time, and within scope, applying Agile and Scrum methodologies.

ABOUT CLIENT

Mirada Studios is a multi-platform storytelling company, notably co-founded by Director Guillermo Del Toro, based in Marina Del Rey, California.



RESEARCH

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UNDERSTANDING HOW A USER INTERACTS WITH HOLOLENS

In talking to various subject matter experts, and having our team experience this technology I determined the following:

possible user inputs WITHin THE HOLOLENs

*Aside from external hardware, existing inputs can't be modified and new ones can't be programmed.

The Interaction elements that User inputs interact with to make it a mixed reality experience

 
User Input  Copy 1.png
 
HOLOGRAMS

HOLOGRAMS

PHYSICAL REALITY

PHYSICAL REALITY

SPATIAL SOUND

SPATIAL SOUND

*The sketches above belong to Microsoft.


DISCOVERY

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DISTINGUISHING CURRENT AND POTENTIAL USERS, AND WHY IT MATTERS

WHO ARE CURRENT USERS?

INNOVATORS

  • They mainly want to create experiences in Mixed Reality (MR).
  • They currently own at least one device.

 

WHO ARE POTENTIAL USERS?

EARLY ADOPTERS

user-7.png
  • They are eager to consume experiences in MR.
  • Some have experienced MR, but do not own a device. 

 

WHY DOES DISTINGUISHING THESE TWO MATTER?

We need to start by listening to what current users have to say, as they are the only ones that have consistently used the device thus far. Having said that, it is key to focus on potential users feedback when testing for usability, as they are the ones that will be consuming the applications at a larger scale. This also minimizes the inherent bias presented from an innovator's standpoint. 


UNCOVERING NEGATIVE USABILITY PATTERNS

TO DO THIS WE BEGIN BY DETERMINING WHAT MAKES A HOLOLENS EXPERIENCES USABLE, EMPLOYING THE NIELSEN NORMAN GROUP STANDARDS OF USABILITY AS OUR BENCHMARK.

INTERVIEWS

what USABILITY pain-points IF ANY, have current users experienced while using apps in the hololens?

All interviewed (5/5) expressed concerns related to usability standards throughout various user inputs and interaction elements.

Gestures Input

One can screw up the air-tap easily.
— Cody N. (Tech Evangelist / Entrepreneur)
 

Voice Inputs

Voice commands are cool, but can be a mess if you don’t know how to talk to it.
— Andy C. ( Digital/Interactive Production Consultant)

Holographic Elements

It is missing feedback from virtual objects (easy to not understand what is going on).
— Kat H. (Developer at Startup)

CONTEXTUAL INQUIRIES

What usability PAIN-POINTS if any, are POTENTIAL users experiencing while using apps in THE Hololens?

All interviewed 5/5 showcased usability conflicts related to usability standards throughout various user inputs and interaction elements.

 

RAPID PROTOTYPING

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3d paper prototyping FOR INTERACTION DESIGN

we created simple yet innovative ways to rapid prototype and test interactive components in Mixed reality

By applying three-dimensionality to our paper prototypes we were able to:

  • Save time and stakeholder resources when testing interaction modifications based on user feedback. No coding through frameworks such as Unity required.
  • Able to easily involve a diversity of stakeholders in the design process if necessary. 
 

RAPID PROTOTYPING BINAURAL SPATIAL SOUND

I Constructed a Low-FI binaural sound recording setup in order to rapid test the usability effects of spatial sound

This allowed us to better understand the positive usability impact of the sound interaction elements in MR.

I then partnered with Steamboat Sound to build a high-fi prototype version of binaural spatial sounds. The example below utilizes spatial sounds with the intent of communicating:

  • Location of sounds
  • size
  • weight
  • speed
  • material
Lo fi binaural.png

*To experience the hi-fi spatial version below headphones and closing your eyes is required. 


USABILTY TESTING

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BASED ON FEEDBACK, WE TESTED USEr INPUTs AND INTERACTION ELEMENTS against our rapid prototype MODIfiCATIONS, IMPROVING overall RESULTS IN TERMS OF the AFOREMENTIONED USABILITY STANDARDS.

 

NDA mirada.png

NEXT STEPS

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  • Test external hardware user input to determine if usability meets the proposed standards - not included in SOW due to time constraints.
  • I recommend exploring and testing safety as a usability component. It may be beneficial to understand the consequences and limitations imposed by user locomotion while tasks are being performed. 
Safety.png

 

  • Determine Utility, to then achieve in making the application USEFUL for a user, as well as DESIRABLE.

In order to figure out features (utility) Mirada would need to continue to narrow the focus of the project scope and allocate further resources and time to properly determine user requirements in terms of a particular platform for a particular client.

Through this project we determined how to build interactions that are easy to use based on the constraints and capabilities of the Hololens. The next focus lies on understanding a client's ecosystem and its user requirements.


FEEDBACK

For any additional comments or questions please feel free to reach out!