Immersive Audio-Vision is a project that provides users a relatively freeform experience in a nonlinear virtual environment. The audience is divided into two parts; one is the user with headset and the others are the observers in the room. Accordingly, the experience is divided as well.
The user does not need to finish any particular tasks in each environment on the project. What we are trying to do is make a 5 or 6-minute immersive experience in a free exploration model.
An Ideal User Experience Journey Map
User’s feeling would be continuous during this process even in a nonlinear environment, and it can be controlled by our design. Experience Map is an important design tool to understand our product interactions from users’ point of view (Endmann, 2016). “To create a heart-racing, nail biting, roller-coaster ride of excitement, we need to first organise a level plan with a carefully structured series of events, prior to the construction of the level, mission or course (i.e. during pre-production)” (Anon, 2017). Similarly, we envision an ideal user experience journey map as a guide (Figure 1). At the beginning, participants usually thirst for sense of presence in a virtual environment (Torisu, 2016). The participant gradually entering blissful circumstances with the adaptation to the scene and interactions.
Figure 1 The Ideal User Experience Journey Map
Scene transitions can be a very artful way to add uncertainty and an element of organic randomness for this project. It can be used to control the user’s experience journey curve. In our current Scene Setting (i.e. storyboard), there are a total of six environments. Also, we will set some interactions in each scene allowing the user to play around with sound within these environments. By doing so, trying to provide users with a one of a kind experience.
In order to adapt the virtual environment, and explore the operational approach, the first scene should include fewer visual and auditory simulations as well as interactions to avoid being overwhelmed. Ideally, the second scene pops up when the first decrease happens in their experience curve. The second scene with more vivid colours, animations and abundant interactions will promote their experience to the high tide.
The equipment we may use for the navigation in the VR world and interaction process:
Oculus Touch: easily and comfortably navigate in the VR system with familiar operation mode by most users which will reduce learning cost.
Leap motion: simple gesture can be detected, which allow users to interact with the objects intuitively with low learning costs.
Ideas and concepts to incorporate moving forward:
- The interactive elements specific to each scene; how the user will interact with the environment and manipulate visuals, sound and lighting, etc.
- The transitions between various scenes and how the user will trigger access to the next scene. We have two key ideas, one of which will show an actual ‘door’ or magical portal, containing a trigger (Figure 2). The other idea would be a more passive transition, triggered by certain user interactions. For example, like the magic in Doctor Strange (Figure 3).
Figure 3 Magic Portal in Doctor Strange
Endmann, A. and Keßner, D. 2016. User Journey Mapping – A Method in User Experience Design. i-com. 15(1).
Anon n.d. Predicting Intensity. Gamasutra – Gameplay Fundamentals Revisited: Harnessed Pacing & Intensity. [Online]. [Accessed 17 February 2017]. Available from: www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3848/gameplay_fundamentals_revisited_.php?print=1.
Torisu, T. 2016. Sense of Presence in Social VR Experience. Interactive Architecture Lab. [Online]. [Accessed 17 February 2017]. Available from: www.interactivearchitecture.org/sense-of-presence-in-social-vr-experience.html.