product design capstone project
Creating an indoor AR-based navigation app for students visiting a new campus.
Sept '18 - Apr '19
A new way to navigate indoor spaces.
Navigating around campus as a brand new student can be a very overwhelming experience, especially for those who haven't been on site before.
Following my own design thinking framework, I was able to utilize my skills in research/design to properly conceptualize and scope the problem space.
Taking a look at the first year experience.
To get a better understanding of the problem space, I did some primary research into a first year student's experiences on campus and how they would familiarize themselves during their first few weeks on campus.
To start, I had sent out a survey to current first year students to get an overview of some of their problem areas. Upon completion of my initial survey, I have gained a significant amount of both qualitative and quantitative data. Using this data, it had allowed me to gain insight on their pain points and allowed me to be more informed on the decisions that I wanted to make going forward.
To further supplement my research and understanding of the first year experience, I conducted in-person interviews with 8 first-year students, from varying programs. Taking all the insights from research and the participatory design workshops, I created a thorough user journey that highlights the average experience for new students.
How might we help students explore campus?
With the insights I had gained from my research, I had more of a solid understanding of my users’ needs and what their pain points were. I have found that many students during their first year managed to get their way around campus by wandering around and/or by asking fellow students for directions. Some students who had utilized these methods had varying degrees of success and lacked the confidence in traveling campus by themselves weeks and sometimes months later.
My primary goal moving forward was to reduce the process of trial and error when exploring and to help students gain the confidence to explore campus on their own. I found many issues while doing research for this project, but I narrowed the scope to focus on the main issues that would help potentially solve the problem. By boiling down my research into these goals, it helps me make sure my later design decision are grounded in my user research and actually solve the problem.
How do we help inspire confidence within new students when it comes to exploring a new campus?
How do we encourage students to explore campus in a fun and interactive way?
Setting up the information architecture
To help me layout how user's will navigate the app and explore some its features, I had made a simple user flow to get some ideas down.
A simplified version of the user flow.
Once the user flow was laid out, I began with roughly sketching out the user interface. This was done so that I could quickly get my ideas down without having to worry about the high-fidelity. I started with low-fi prototypes and tested them quickly with some willing users to hash out and refine the overall experience of the application.
In an ideal scenario, I would have liked to create the experience with proper AR tools, but due to time constraints and just lack of software development experience, it was not possible.
Refined wireframes 1/2
Refined wireframes 2/2
Memorable and fun with a bit of 'POP'
To help bring this concept to life, I had spent some time developing a brand identity. I went through many iterations of logo designs, colours, typography, voice. Finally, I had settled on the name 'Beacon' as beacons are used to help people identify where they need to be (duh).
A small collection of old logo ideas
Final style guide
An easy to use AR-based navigation app.
Below is a brief walkthrough of the different features that users are able to experience whilst using the application.
The homepage is very minimal as it can allow users to easily navigate through the app without disrupting the AR experience.
The destination page is where students can select where they would like to go on campus, it could either be a classroom, restaurant or a service. Users will be prompted to select a wing followed by a room number or name of service/restaurant.
AR EXPERIENCE/OBJECT SCANNING
Once students have finished inputting their destination info, they will then be prompted to scan their environment to launch the AR experience. The purpose of this is to determine if the environment is suitable enough for the experience.
With this project I learned a lot about what it takes to design a product from the initial conceptualization to the final prototype. In hindsight, something that I would've done differently would be to have some form of an interactive prototype to formally test the design with my target users.