It's one of the oldest dreams of mankind: to rise up to the stars, see what nobody else has seen before and experience innumerous adventures in space. Yet until today it's only about 500 people that have left the Earth's atmosphere. The majority of mankind is somewhat left behind with little more than pictures and data.
We wanted to take a step to make that dream become more of a reality for all. To let you embark on a journey through our solar system, becoming an astronaut on a mission. And so, from bare visuals and data, emerged something more.
uSPHERE lets you dive into the beauty of space and have the planets and their fate at your fingertips. It let's you be the fearless explorer that you know lies somewhere within.
uSPHERE is an interactive installation, but above all it's an experience.
As our second semester project, we developed the concept for uSPHERE from scratch and implemented it on a multitouchtable. As a setting we chose an educational institution like a museum and so had to deal with a lot of different users with various skill and knowledge sets.
For me it was definitely an enriching experience. uSPHERE was my first step into interactive media as a creator. I was able to experience myself in the role of a project manager while still being strongly involved in concept and design. I made first experiences with paper prototyping and learned about User Experience and Gamification. As the team's sound designer I also did recordings and editing of sound.
In fall 2013 LOEWE approached my university with a special request. They had been working on a new product, a voice controlled TV, and were searching for support in the usability section. After a first briefing was set, questions cleared and tasks explained, LOEWE and a course of around twenty students under the support of Prof. Andrea Krajewski and Holger Bassarek, partnered up.
The assignment was to test five different aspects: the acceptance of a TV voice control in general and in specific, the speech patterns used, the general usability of the product and the usability of the information architecture.
Me and my team chose to investigate the acceptance of the voice control by the users before, during and after using the LOEWE product. Acceptance being expressed as emotional and verbal feedback, we basically dealt with the general user experience.
We conducted five tests along with pre- and post test interviews in a setting with two rooms - a test and an observation room where protocols were written. Later an evaluation followed.
It was really interesting to step aside and focus on the usage side on products. I saw live how mental model and application character can affect how a product is handled and it again reminded me of the importance of good design.
As a moderator I experienced the opportunities and drawbacks of moderation in a usability test. I learned that tone and posture mean a lot when you're running the risk of influencing the participant.
I really appreciate the opportunity to contribute to a real product and work with a real client, thus getting a better understanding of the industry. I enjoyed presenting the results to LOEWE and other partners of the project in early 2014, and discussing them afterwords.