Design AR Educational Platform for Classroom

Research Group -
Co-Augmentation, Learning and AI Lab (CoALA Lab)
Completion - Ongoing

Participatory Research
UI/UX Design
Game Design

The project is a collaboration between CMU Entertainment Technology Center, Simon Initiative & CoALA Lab at HCII.

My role is to bridge development and research, balancing the workflow between the two and bringing research insights into AR development.

Based on past research on AR educational apps (Radu, McCarthy, and Kao, 2016), we aimed to involve K-12 teachers in the iterative design to learn about children’s cognitive development that designers & developers often lack.
Game Design︎︎︎
We designed a ‘magical ability’ card game that tasked K-12 teachers with imagining AR features for teaching free from real-world constraints.

Interview Script here

Pilot Study︎︎︎

We conducted a pilot study before the final design using the low-fi mockup before. Two issues arise from the practice:

  1. The participant had little room to brainstorm new ideas since we provided too many examples;
  2. The participant had little background in AR and found it hard to connect it with magical ability;

Therefore, for the final interview activity, we took down some examples, and chose the following gifs from existing cartoons and AR apps to provide the participants some contexts about what AR can bring.

Game Development
Process @ Medium

We are building the AR eduational platform on top of ETC’s ARCADE system. I identified pain-points in the existing user experience and proposed a new interaction framework.

High-fi Prototype︎︎︎
What is ARCADE︎︎︎
ARCADE is a creation environment in AR still under development. In essence, we hope to turn it into an AR Minecraft Education with real-world connection.

The current ARCADE interface follows a PC game design UX pattern and disregards users’ capability and the nature of AR.

User Persona︎︎︎
One key observation is that both key user groups welcome and have used technology in classroom. However, their knowlege on new tech are limited.
Pain-point 1 ︎︎︎
Information Architecture
As summerized below, the original information architecture is anti-intuitive, unorganized and inaccessible. I therefore proposed following changes:

  1. Flatten the layers of interaction from 3 to 2 for faster access
  2. Recategorize the buttons based on functions in a more intuitive way
Pain-point 2︎︎︎

I redesigned the following aspects for more comfortable interface:
  • Accessibility - Place the buttons on sides for the ease of pressing;
  • Legibility - The buttons are contrasty enough to separate from the background, whether dark or bright;
  • View-blocking - The buttons cover as little camera view as possible.
User Testings︎︎︎
During design, I gathered opinions on the readability of different button designs, and hand preference for performing different tasks on screen.
Pain-point 3︎︎︎
The original interface inherits the less intuitive game design software interface. In this case, the redesign simplifies the RGBA slider and Color hex to HCL color wheel to give users a easier way to control color.
Pain-point 4︎︎︎
Teacher or Student?
One major issue in the original design is that the entry for students and teachers are not seperated. It was confusing for the users to select.