Ideation, Interaction Design, Research
Commonly misunderstood, augmented reality is entirely separate from virtual reality. While virtual reality takes the user into an entirely new space, augmented reality adds layers of virtual pieces onto the user's current environment.
After doing secondary research and understanding the landscape for design in augmented reality, I came up with six major UX principles around using the augmented reality: Follow, Integrate, Respond, Simplify, Immerse and Give Cues. It is important in moving this project forward that our design solution follows these UX principles in order to be successful.
What is Civic Engagement?
My group came together and identified, via secondary research, three types of important methods for civic engagement:
Citizen relationship management, dealing heavily with how people and the government share information.
Legislative management, which attempts to simplify legislative meetings/events.
Right of way management, which primarily deals with coordination between those already involved in governmental affairs and governmental professions.
After figuring out that we were most interested in how citizens receive information about current state of both local and federal affairs, along with education on the areas surrounding pieces of legislation, we discovered current platforms that attempt to solve similar problems.
Once we understood that citizen relationship management was the area we intended to focus on, we created a few open-ended questions to fuel our design thinking process.
What barriers exist in making civic education enjoyable?
What political issues are difficult to grasp?
How does the current system explain policies to voters?
When are people exposed to political issues, and how are they exposed to these issues?
Initial Hero Sequences
After researching based on our guided questions, we saw an opportunity to create a deep-dive, educational tool for users, allowing users to investigate their built environment and learn deep information surrounding it. Below is a low-fidelity prototype/example, in which the user wears future contacts with AR technology built-in.
After presenting our initial hero sequence prototype, we received critique on how creating an entirely new ecosystem for education, civic engagement, and wearable technology seemed like a stretch given today's current actions and markets.
With further research, we saw how civic engagement (and lack thereof) is often connected to engagement in youth, and saw our audience space change from 'everyone' to children and adolescents. We decided to find a new hero sequence that catered to a younger audience specifically, using augmented reality as an educational tool.
AR and Civic Education
Augmented reality is a growing space in technology with infinite room for development and change. This project, worked on with 4 interaction design peers, attempts to solve 'How might we use augmented reality to change the way people learn about current critical issues in their environments?' This project is currently in its final design solution phase, and will eventually be judged for the Microsoft Expo this summer.
What Is Augmented Reality?
How Might We Change the Conversation, and Thus, Action, Surrounding Civic Education?
Critique and Iteration
Currently working on next steps! Check back in 3 weeks to see our final piece.