Enriching the Tour Experience / Bryce’s Reflections
Context: I’m working with Ana Baskinger to create a virtual tour of campus for my design studio, assuming AR technology has improved to a point ten years in the future. In this article, I’ll be both reflecting and posting updates.
Reflect: As the prevalence of digital media in our physical environments increases daily, what is the role and/or responsibility of designers in shaping our environments?
The term “user experience designer” often makes people roll their eyes, but it’s needed at an increasing scale to catch up with the prevalence of digital media in physical environments. We’re at a critical turning point– as products are still being created, designers are at a great place to make fundamental impacts on the design of these types of experiences. It’s important for us to focus on large-scale abstract thinking in a manner that’s uncharacteristic of the industry, rather than get caught up in “streamlining” and “improving” too early.
Reflect: How were the skills you developed in the first project similar and/or different from the second project? What is your understanding of the role of an Environments designer?
During this second project, the medium of this sketch video combined with the presentation allowed us to design for big-scale things and small-scale things. For example, some of the concepts that we designed around were pretty large scale along with their implementations- for example, the extension of the Tartan Ambassador program to be information intensive was a broad design. On the other hand, we also had the opportunity to design for smaller interactions in the sketch video. For example, our pinching to create a timeline was a very minor addition to our overall theme.
After this project, I’ve begun to see the role of an environments designer to be a person that works speculatively, whether it be in the space of technology, socially, or behaviorally. Additionally, I know that a lot of environments designers hate to be called this, but they are also user experience designers. I mean, this project has been the most explicitly experience-focused that I have ever had at CMU. For example, Tay talked about how I inadvertently used the five E’s of environments design to outline the experience of a conversation.