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Designing New Worlds: Design, evaluation and specification of user experiences within immersive environments

Poster

Poster

Designing New Worlds: Design, evaluation and specification of user experiences within immersive environments

This is a research project in collaboration with the Ulster Museum in Belfast (NMNI) and Ulster University. This project will design an immersive VR experience for NMNI’s most popular key exhibit, the Twenty-fifth dynasty Egyptian mummy Takabuti. It will provide the possibility to virtually make Takabuti and the world she knew digitally live again in a VR experience.

The aims of this project are:
 
(i)             to explore the power of rich storytelling – ‘story living’ as a key spatial design tool to improve immersive User Experience (UX),
 
(ii)            to investigate the UX of immersive reality platforms and design and evaluate a narrative driven case study (Takabuti) where the technology has been adopted,

(iii)           to subsequently identify and evaluate a series of guidelines for designing immersive technology and improving user experiences, informed by expert and lay user groups.

Recreating in VR a museum map room, part of Karnak temple, an upper-class Egyptian home and an Egyptian afterlife environment based on the beliefs of the time. Documenting and exploring (through Reflective Practise) the fully immersive techniques/tools used to create and develop a ‘story living’ immersive experience with a positive User Experience (UX). 

Developing a new form of narrative based design which some term ‘Story living’ is crucial to VR UX design. Unique to all other visual/interactive mediums, VR places participants at the very centre of an experience, as both audience and director of all that happens within that experience. The participant moves through a story, VR is after all a spatial medium and not frames based like film. A current lack of understanding of how to design for VR results in poor UX. Never more so than when the VR experience is museum sector based and has the added roles of historical authenticity, usability, and storyteller educationally to a wide range of participants. 

Philip O’Neill


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Ulster University

Biography

A 2018 MEDEA award winning multimedia designer, Jisc RSCni Innovation and Ulster Distinguished Education Excellence Award winner, Philip is currently a full-time PhD researcher in UX for VR/AR/MR design, based in the Belfast School of Art on the Belfast Campus.

Involved in the creation of a number of highly successful and award-winning digital learning initiatives at Ulster University, including the (ODL) Special Call, which was a unique opportunity for academics, support staff and students to work collaboratively with creative designers, to enhance the quality of their digital learning content on large student focused projects.

Research Interests/projects: Serious games, animation and 3D for education, VR/AR/MR, 360° video, design thinking, instructional video design, co-creation projects and multimedia for use in teaching and educational research and development in higher education.

Designing New Worlds: Design, evaluation and specification of user experiences within immersive environments

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