Re-Imagine Campus Tour

Envision Future Campus Tour in Hybrid Environment

Completion - 2018 Fall

Media - Adobe XD, Storyboarding, Photoshop


Campus tour is one of the most common and direct ways for prospective students to know more about the school, but also very often ineffective to call on emotional connection. What role can digital experience play in enhancing campus tour?


I conducted interview with admission officer and questionnaires with campus tour users. The data collected reflects a large emotional gaps. Through affinity diagram, I summarized it in 3 main reasons:

  • Guides cannot always provide emotional connections;
  • External factors like weather or events can influence people’s opinions;
  • Disconnection between experience and information.

Problem Framing

CMU currently provides 3 main types of immersive campus experience: pre-college, Tartan Overnight, campus tour. Campus tour ranks the least useful among these experiences as shown in the questionnaires.

Thus the goal of the intervention is clear:  
Make campus tour informational while creating emotional significance.

Concept 1 -
Campus Red Chair Map

An app that generates personalized red-chair map, which guides you to red chairs on campus to learn information customized to your interests while enjoying the great views on campus.

The benefits of red chairs is multifold:
  • Visual motif - the color matches with CMU branding;
  • Visual anchor - the vibrant color help people locate themselves easily;
  • Different seatings options will be offered considering different situations.

There are also drawbacks:
  • Sedate - sitting and listening to audio is a passive learning experience;
  • Limited Usecase - the scenario is limited to good weather conditions;
  • Limited Resources - students also need to use the red chairs

Concept 2 -

The second part of the project envisions an AR campus tour with more human touch - CMU’s mascot - Scotty will be your personalized campus tour guide.

Branding - Scotty offers a friendly and unique brand image;
Active learning - users explore different locations and finish the tasks to learn actively; Navigation - AR+map provides more holistic navigation tool.

User Flow

Although both aiming to create a personal experience, there are two major differences from the red chair map:
- How to tie the experience to physical space?
- How the experience at each stop is like?

Enter the Experience

1. At the university center visitors are prompted to download the AR app;
2. Users turn to the physical doghouse and scan it with phone camera: virtual scotty dog came out of the doghouse;
3. Users tell Scotty their interests to customize the tour.

The physical doghouse acts as the threshold between physical and digital space to gives more credibility to the virtual dog.


1. The main purpose of the scotty dog is animated map navigator: it leads you to the destination and bark to notify;

2. 3D indicators helps you follow the lead of Scotty and know about the buildings you passed by.

3. User testing using Torch AR to see the comfortable distance for design assets.

Customized Tour

During visit user can ask any questions about the school or give suggestions to the Scotty dog about the next destination.

According to user’s questions, interests and the physical distance to various destination, Scotty will provide two places that user might want to visit for the next destination; users’ choice on the next destination will influence the generation of destinations after.

Users can easily switch between AR and map to gain detailed information about the buildings and destinations. The floating map/AR helps users stay connected with both interfaces.

Exit Experience

1. At the end of the tour, the scotty dog will lead the user back to the start. It will rub it head against user and return to  doghouse;

2. The kiosk will give the user a little Scotty toy as souvenir to not only positively reinforce the experience but also plays the role of threshold between tangible and intangible.
There could also be more extension beyond the tour such as a personal interests map etc.

In a three-week span, I explored introducing digital experience to college campus tour in order to bring personalization and relatable brand image to the prospective students. If given less time constraint, more consideration could be given into:

1) what should map carry to incentivize users to explore and optimize decisions?
2) expanding the lifespan of the product by allowing users to revisit the experience;