Enriching the tour experience in place

Renee Chang
6 min readSep 30, 2021


Research about Tours

When I searched CMU tour on Google, the first site that popped up was the official Carnegie Mellon website that gave three different options: Visit Us Virtually, Visit Us in Person, and Visit Us Near You. It was interesting that CMU gave an option for people that are far away from Pittsburgh.

I have never been on a CMU tour in person nor virtual, so I decided to interview my friend who actually came to campus and went through the tour during her college visits. I asked questions that would help me understand how to improve the tour.

Interviewer: How long was your tour?

Interviewee: Around 40 minutes.

Interviewer: Do you think you fully learned about the campus? If so, why?

Interviewee: No because we didn’t go around everywhere and I didn’t know where everything is.

Interviewer: What did they mostly talk about?

Interviewee: What each building was, but not the specifics for example they didn’t tell me what the UC exactly was for so I didn’t know the point of it. A little bit about the history. Some of it I didn’t know the purpose like I didn’t know Margaret Morrison building was a design building until I got here.

Interviewer: Do you think it was engaging or boring?

Interviewee: It was pretty boring because I don’t really remember so I guess that means it didn’t make a big impression on me. I kind of remember only Gates and Tepper. Everything else was kind of a blur.


For the personas, we wanted to have one parent, one student from the States, and one student from abroad because although they are both students interested in college visits, they have different perspectives because of cultural differences. One student is more interested in arts and the other student is interested in CIT. We decided to add qualities that are related to the whole idea of touring a college campus especially in looking for and frustrations.

Self Reflection: Role of Designers

In a world where technology is growing, we must adjust to those changes. I feel that designers play a crucial role in making those changes whether that is through product design or environment design. As a designer, I personally feel that accessibility is a big part in shaping the environment that involves technology. I remember one time in Korea when I went to a restaurant, we had to order through kiosks, and I saw these elders struggling to order. I believe that it is a designer’s responsibility to consider how accessible the environment is to everyone no matter their age. Because technology has developed rapidly, it is sometimes difficult to design an environment that everyone can use and enjoy. Another responsibility that I think designers must have when shaping an environment is that we must not be too immersed in the digital world. I feel that sometimes we get distracted by mere technology and do not focus on our surroundings enough to appreciate them.

Sketching Ideas


We wanted to have the interaction where people can drag and drop a building to their 3d map. When they drop the building to their map, a text will come up that describes what the building is for. The pencil is the tour stop where it gives fun facts and history information about the building. However, after getting feedback we changed it so that people have an outlined map of the canvas and when you enter the building the building’s opacity will increase and when you visit the three stops the opacity will increase even more. The purpose of this is so that the visitors can remember where they thought was more interesting. The problem we are tackling is that people who visit CMU don’t really remember as much and they were only given tours to buildings that they weren’t even interested in.

Adobe Illustrator

For the video, I created on Illustrator the 3D map with outlined buildings and some detailed buildings. I also had to create Scotty walking. It was easy because it was similar to creating our freshman year animal project. I also created the step by step process that they first go through.

Creating on After Effects

We used green screen for the hand since if we filmed a video then the hand would be under the holograms. It was kind of difficult to match the hand to be in the location to where we wanted it to be. It took a few times since we had to film again and again.

We decided to have the map out of their view since we felt that people wouldn’t be able to enjoy the campus view. The map would be seen when you look down just like as if you had a physical pamphlet map held in your hand. We also have their chosen character walking as they walk to help them know where they are.

Self Reflection

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?

I feel that the first project is very similar to the second project because as designers, we have to consider every detail of interaction. It’s also similar in a way because we have to think about how people feel and think. Although the tour is different because it is not in a closed environment, the tour is similar to a space in a different way. The AR tour experience is a space considering that they walk around campus. The two projects are also similar because I had to consider communication design and product design together. It is the space that people experience. I feel that the role of an environment designer is to create a memorable experience within an environment, whether that is through interactions and small factors like signifiers to help our audience. As an environment designer, you have to consider the best, efficient way where people can understand what to do. Thus, the impact that an environment designer has is crucial in the understanding of interaction between a certain space and its audience.



Renee Chang