Reflecting on the project

At the start of this project, it was hard to figure out how to begin. The assignment was not very specific on what exactly we had to do. This meant a lot of brainstorming was required at the start of the project on how to create a new, exciting and informative experience for the visitors of the museum. We also wanted to focus on making it an authentic experience for the visitors of the temple of Taffeh. This brainstorming caused some discussions in our group. Because with four people, there are multiple views on what is most important for the project; creating a very nice idea or creating the actual prototype. These different points of view were mostly due to our different studies and the way we were taught to do things. However, these discussions made us aware of the different possibilities and we were able to reach a good compromise on how to execute this project. We also became a closer team, because we were able to tell each other when we didn’t agree with the way things were going.

At the start we also needed some sessions trying out the hololens, so we could learn the possibilities and limitations of the hololens. These sessions were fun to do, because the hololens is such a novelty and a very nice device to play with.

We learned a lot during this project, because there was so many new aspects to this prooject that we hadn’t come into contact with yet. Working in a multidisciplinary team, learned us to take into account different views. Working with the hololens was also a complete new experience, because we needed to learn to program in Unity3D, which was none of us had done before. By deviding in smaller sub-teams, we worked most efficiently, each one of us focussing on what we were best at. The Industrial Design students focussed on the idea and the brainstorming, while the Computer Science and the Mechanical Engineering students focussed on programming and creating the app. However, this does not mean that the two teams didn’t work together towards the end of the project. The last weeks we all worked on the app and the presentation of the prototype together.

After one week, we noticed there were a lot of people interested in our project. We even got interviewed by Reuters. This gave us a lot of motivation for our project, which in turn made working a lot more fun.

The main difficulty during this project was the amount of work we wanted to do  and the fact that the team was incomplete most of the time due to sickness. This meant we had to work double as hard during the time we had, to create what we had in mind. This also caused an uneven workload for the different teammembers, which caused some frustration. Fortunately, we had so much motivation to work on this project and got even more motivation after noticing that a lot of people were interested in our project. So due to good communication and a lot of hard work, we were able to create a nice prototype for this project. We are very proud of our work and the final product.

If we were to work on this project another time, or again, we should start with listening to each point of view before we start working (and continue to do so during the project), because this could have solved some frustrations during this project. Also we should take into account sickness of teammembers to devide the workload in a better way. Furthermore, we now have more knowledge about Unity, so we could further develop the next prototype in the same amount of time.

In conlcusion, this was a very fun and interesting project. We had great team members and we developed a great prototype that we can be proud of. Thank you all for your interest in this project, because this gave us a lot of motivation to work hard.

 

Usertest(trouble)

This weekend, we went to the museum once again to test our prototype with actual visitors. We planned on using the Presence Questionnaire by Witmer & Singer, revised by the UQO Cyberpsychology Lab. We also wanted to create a heatmap of where the visitors walked and stayed the longest, and compare that to the routes we had programmed in the app itself.

When we got to the museum, this proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. The new script for the heatmapping couldn’t be deployed due to errors we were not able to solve. After this setback, we regrouped and figured we could still place the app and heatmap people manually. This was also not as easy as we thought it would be. The app was programmed for a flat surface, whereas the floor leading up to the temple had a small staircase.  We tried to solve this by standing on a crutch and having the temple at eyelevel.

 

Trying to deploy the app

Trying to deploy the app

Unfortunately, this did not work as well as we wanted. Standing still, the app looked nice and was placed correctly. However, as soon as you started moving, the app shifted and the statue and the routes were placed through walls. This lead to some frustration.
Due to this setback, we decided to look at the day as a testrun.

Holograms placed through the wall

Holograms placed through the wall

We placed the app as well as we could and took some pictures using the live preview of the Hololens. We also asked some visitors to put on the Hololens and give their first impression. This proved to be difficult because they were unable to walk around without crashing the app. However, their initial reactions were positive. They liked the idea and found the information and the different routes interesting.

We also showed the pictures and the demovideo that we made so far to some of the employees at the museum. They were very enthusiastic, asking to see even more content. Hearing their feedback really cheered us up again and we left feeling pleased about the possibilities of our project.

Interview with Reuters

More exciting news this week: our interview with Reuters came out!
We are very happy with the result, as well as having the opportunity to share our project with a wider audience. Check out the interview below:

 

 

Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s – Validating Content

The project is slowly coming to an end, which means it is time to finalize the concept.
This week everything will come together, in time for the big presentation in tuesday, the 1st of November.

Last week we conducted some user tests, to validate our original concept and content.
The general idea of the app is an Interactive and Personal tour. This means the visitor will be free to explore whichever part of the temple they find most interesting, whether it be Architecture, Origin, Tradition or Relocation.
However, the way this is presented has to be clear for the visitor, seeing as adjusting to the novelty of using the Hololens can be hard enough.

We were pleased to find out that people responded positively to our new way of offering information. Instead of having one place to read one sheet of paper, they can now pick a route and discover more information as they explore the temple.

The old way of receiving information

The old way of receiving information

Isis providing the main menu of the tour.

The new way of receiving information

Another thing we made sure to double check, was the information about the temple that is incorporated in the app. We went to the museum again to meet with Professor Raven, the curator at the National Museum of Antiquities.

Our meeting with Professor Raven

Our meeting with Professor Raven

One of the main things he wanted us to know, is how hard it is to say with certainty what the interior and surroundings of the temple looked like, and what the traditions were exactly. Unfortunately, the temple was damaged over the years and the floor was not salvable anymore.

This means we have to find a compromis between creating an experience that is as authentic as possible, but also shows the possibilities of incorporating the Hololens. We feel like we are well underway with finding that compromis and have high hopes for the end of this project.

 

Scenario sketches

So far we have not shown much content and results of the brainstormingsessions. We have decided to make an interactive tour for the visitors, where everyone gets the same basic information at the start. After completing this route, they can choose a subject they want to know more about, making it a personal exploration and more engaging than the current way of displaying information.

Depicted below is just one of the ways we can do this, by letting the goddess Isis give the options. Below is also a sketch of the scenario where the visitor follows the basic route. The first picture will be used in future user test to find out if it is in fact the best way to display the options.

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Photoshop sketch for user test, only an example

Storyline
Scenario sketches, 3 steps to begin the tour

New Week, New Work

This week, it was time to sit down and finalize the concept.

We had some difficulties deciding which part of the project was more important to focus on,-because of the limited amount of time-  the concept or the final product.

This was mostly due to the fact that our different studies had different views on the matter. However, after having discussed this, we came up with a good compromise.
We split the group up into two teams;  team Brainstorm and team Unity, meeting every day at lunchtime to discuss our progress.

Team Brainstorm was responsible for collecting all the information relevant to the exhibit, and designing a new user experience for the visitor of the museum.

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One of the many brainstormsessions

The brainstorming not only meant coming up with a concept on how to display the information in a new way using the hololens, but also working out all the details (e.g. pop-ups, specific texts, interfaces etc.). So far, we are very pleased with the results. Over the course of next week we want to conduct additional user tests, with the help of visualisations.

Team Unity focused on the technical part of the experience, the programming. This meant we first had to become more familiar with the program, by following the tutorials and discovering the possibilities of Unity. We learned different ways to interact with surroundings, using gestures and different voicecommands. The tutorials gave us new insights and ideas on how to implement the newly learned features in the project.  Even though the tutorials were very hard work and took a long time to complete, the results were more than worth it and made us very enthusiastic and motivated.

Next week will be a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s concerning the brainstormsession, and then the four of us will focus solely on the realization of our concept.