Mnemosyne


12/2022

UI/UX, AR, 3D











Mnemosyne is a conceptual app design for users to create location-based interactable augmented reality experiences. Shared experiences count a lot in the establishment of a community within a multi-layered society, no matter it’s a cultural community or social community, a large one or a small one, as we could find from the public art programming and space design in multiple levels. Such experiences could be strengthened with emerging medias like AR and integrates with the digital side of our life, making both the creation and the expansion of shared experience more accessible to people. Mnemosyne stands for the goddess of memory, and allows users to interact with memories and makes it part of the physical and social context we are living in.



Challenge

How can XR technologies jump outside of their niche position within the public recognition, and involves in our daily production and interaction with digital experiences?



Ideation

The experience of visiting and living in many cities around the world,  like Beijing, New York, Mexico City, Paris, Osaka, etc., inspires me a lot in how the design of shared experiences in multiple situations forges their uniqueness. Public art, either big installations or grafftis, always reveals the energy of the culture and community and bonds people together by the shared memory. Therefore, I developed this concept of combining pubic art and space with the usage of mixed-reality media that allows people to leave trace on the space and store that memory digitally. Literature review about public art and AR technology help me set up the theoretical foundation of such practices.






Research

I have conducted researches upon this idea in ways like data analysis and quastionaires among my friends, and build data visualisations of city space distribution and mind maps about the emotion dimensions people are experiencing. I also made platform analysis that compares different AR creation platforms like Acute Art in their target audiences, interface designs, etc.  











Some of the opportunities I identified in the research phase includes:
  • Better assistive functions that supports and enriches the AR experience instead of only featuring the AR.
  • Spice up the AR experience by customizable assets and more situations to apply it.
  • Making the function more accessible to people without professional knowledge.
  • Personify the product experience and make it unique for each user by adding functions like dark mode, more language option, personal gallery, etc. 
  • As such a product would attract more young generations, the experience should be visually appealing and trendy instead of a plain one.

Reframe

After the research is conducted, I reframe my initial problem into a more specific one: how to integrate XR technology naturally into our daily experience across situations and space, and make it a tool to fuel our relationship with digital products? I would like the concept to be a product that applies and relates to many scenarios, instead of only a few of them (e.g. art galleries, tourist attractions).



Prototyping

After analyzing the initial concepts and researches, I started to prototype the design. The main feature of the app builds around the AR function, which allows the user to detect AR scenes by location data, and add their virtual assets into the scene, or create their own scenes. There are pre-made assets for users to use and adjust easily, so they don’t need to be experts in modeling and developing to enjoy AR (but they can still upload their own assets). The logic is similar to leave a graffti on a wall or a polaroid photo on a bar’s album. The core of the function would be to create and explore with accessibility, so people could use it as a tool for production. Other features that supports the AR experience includes recommendations of locations and feeds about AR and public art, a map function that navigate the users to their target scenes, and a personal gallery of scenes they visited and created.






After making ui iterations and creating a basic flow, I improved several screen designs into more intuitive and simple ones, making the whole experience more consistent visually. While making the wireframe, I also detected many transition between functions require micro-interactions and detailed designs to bridge the experience, as users would jump back and forth during thier experiences. In the following part of making design styles, I would think about how to pair the results from this phase with design elements.



Design Element



The visual style should be approachable and straighforward for users to navigate and browse through different content, with relaxing color gradients to indicate transitions and changes. Neumorphism is used to indicate the spatial experiences this concept would create and futuristic vibe of implementing AR in life. The elegance I found in multiple public art programs provides inspirations in a neat, friendly, and color oriented visual design. The sample scenes used are my personal assets for my similarly titled AR project. 













Final Screens 

Several iterations are conducted to the high-fidelity wireframe prototypes in perspectives of accessibility, clarity, visual hierarchy, etc. The final screens polish some details in order to strengthen the visual identity and smooth the user experience, making it more up-to-date and consistent. 

HI-FI PROTOTYPE︎︎︎






Onboarding




Scan & Placement




Create






Share


Profile


Dark Mode







Reflection

Takeaway 1:
While doing research and testing the prototype of this project, I realize that though XR technologies are thriving rapidly now, there isn’t a certain standard in how to bridge the functions with users. The process of wrapping up many functions in an information architecture and visualizes the design through interfaces is challenging but intriguing. I hope one day there will be a shared solution that provides guideline to designers and makes the experience between XR and other functions more seamless.

If I have the opportunity to get in touch with a real XR project I would like to devote more time into the user research phase and focus more on the details of XR screen by real-life usability test. The process might be tedious and tiresome, but any imrpovement in the final product would make the effort worth it.


Takeaway 2:
From the perspective of design, what makes the users stick to a digital product without getting bored or frustrated by it? The consistency between the platform’s content, the brand identity, and ui/ux counts a lot. The harmony between those elements makes the experience pleasurable and relaxing, while only one or two of them standing out makes the experience laborious. Many digital experiences still lack maturity in achieving this balance, and this is an opportunity I can dig into. 

         

         JUN ZHOU-©2022