Enriching the Tour Experience

Project Background:

  • Client: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Target audience: Prospective students and their families
  • research and development in wearable mixed reality devices
  • blending real world and virtual to create hybrid experiences
  • Current tours are very broad and limited info

Questions to Consider?

  • What information about CMU and the surrounding neighborhoods is currently available and in what media?
  • What are the affordances of augmented reality? What happens when you move beyond a flat screen into full 3D digital artifacts situated in place?
  • 3D physical objects, furniture, display cases/student work, etc. added to the environment to improve the interaction? How does our physical environment impact how we use digital devices?
  • What are key stories that need to be told about CMU and the area? How should this information be delivered?
  • What information is each type of user hoping to learn through the tour?
  • What are the current identity guidelines for CMU and how can your design relate?


  • develop an autonomous augmented reality tour
  • explores campus and surrounding community(vital parts of the CMU experience)
  • work in teams to brainstorm, conceptualize, and prototype
  • tell stories, convey user info, and delight users

Skills and Deliverables:

  • Documenting and analyzing existing physical space
  • Personas
  • Low-fi AR prototyping
  • Adobe Aero and/or Reality Composer
  • Sketch videos
  • Adobe Illustrator mock-ups
  • Adobe AfterEffects

Sep. 28

— Personas —

  1. Jennifer Rodriguez
  • junior in high school(17 years old, female)
  • hometown: New Jersey
  • interests(STEM, drama)-overall broad interests
  • looking to narrow down her choices
  • figuring out major(lots of academic questions)
  • activities: drama club/cast; hispanic student organization, auditioning
  • introvert(feels uncomfortable asking questions in large settings)
  • international student from Singapore
  • Sophomore in high school(16 years old, male)
  • joining pre-college
  • focused major: CS or architecture
  • just arrived on campus(wants to learn more about food, buildings, access, and rooms)
  • sports- soccer team/intramural sports
  • curious about Greek life on campus
  • cultural organizations
  • extrovert(very social and looking to join a lot of clubs)
  • mother of Ethan(incoming first year in Tepper)
  • 50 years old
  • bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • works for a mid-sized marketing consultancy
  • middle class(income supports tuition)-not concerned about the cost
  • concerns: safety + job placement after college, average salary?
  • hometown: Pittsburgh
  • looking into dorm + business clubs for her son to join

Sep. 29

Initial Ideas:

  • focus more on off campus experiences
  • tour of CMU iconic spots
  • interactive experience: auditory, visuals, touch
  • Schenley(flagstaff), museums, scenic views
  • experience flagstaff at any time of day(weather?)
  • games + scavenger hunts to create a more enriching experience
  • constellation mapping at flagstaff
  • scan specific spots and receive points(goal to get a certain number of points)
  • apps to scan the environment

Sep. 30

Crit. notes:

  • narrow down ideas

Oct. 4

Flagstaff Hill(research)-off campus location ideas

Single Stop Tour


  • music, art, artchitecture
  • auditory component of those spaces(violin, guitar, drums)
  • voice assistant(voice navigation with disabilities)
  • scavenger hunt(famous spots)-painting and sculptures in main part of CFA)
  • gesture starts the music
  • summer tours- prospective students get a feel for real campus life
  • re create the pose of the sculptures
  • architectural sculptures
  • immersive experience without affecting people around you
  • attaching a microphone to the side of the glasses



  • 10 years into the future, everyone might have these glasses(sync info from app on phone)
  • the idea of loaner glasses for people that might not have them
  • get some ideas about fixed labels and labels moving within the space
  • how does the Scottie dog respond to the questions?
  • get as much info into 1 tour as possible(people will not want to do the tour multiple times)
  • distance of interactions within the space
  • how are family glasses connected?
  • take videos and stills inside CFA
  • start working on after effects
  • overview of campus w/ starting points
  • off campus location w/ flagstaff overview

Self Reflection

How were the skills you developed in the first project similar and/or different from the second project? What is your understanding of the role of an Environments designer?

  • first project was focused on real world with some digital aspects; confined environ; using specific software and materials to convey certain ideas
  • approach to prototyping was different(physical + CAD model); communicate ideas
  • second project: relying on digital tools like after effects, adobe aero, and illustrator; decide on the space and the interactions; given the option to use after effects or adobe aero(what is the best medium to convey our ideas)
  • first project: multiple components; this project: video is the most important to communicate ideas
  • aspect of individual vs. group work(exchange of ideas, narrowing down broader ideas, getting more work done in a shorter amount of time,
  • research about potential users and consider experience within the space
  • second: considering accessibility in both physical and digital spaces



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