UX/UI Design, AR Design, and Gamification

Year: Junior Fall 2021

Duration: 4 weeks
Partner: Kira Lorraine

I worked with a partner to create an experience for individuals at the Penn State Arboretum that would reveal a portion of its “hidden world” and tell the story of it. The story we chose to focus on in revealing is that of honeybees, specifically the workers, and the roles throughout their life cycle. We did this through a gamified, AR application that users could download onto their phones and use as they walked through the Arboretum.

We spent a lot of time in the beginning learning about the roles of honeybees and understanding them. Once that was complete, we considered how to handle developing this app with the thought in mind that was wanted users to be immersed in the Arboretum and not their phones. We created user personas and scenarios to map out how the app would work in order to ensure this and help determine the deliverables of the gamified app and supporting signage. There was research that went into similar apps that had AR experiences so we could understand what worked for those and what did not.

In the beginning stages, we created user flows to map out how the app would work and determined that a single role would be assigned to an individual as they played. This would allow the user to play through the game and experience the Arboretum multiple times in various ways. We did some low-fidelities but jumped quickly into high-fidelities and prototyping as the AR experiences were being put together. Blender was used to create a lot of three-dimensional supporting pieces within the app and game. We chose an aesthetic that felt “otherworldly” to further emphasize that the users were looking at the Arboretum through a hidden view, through that of a honeybee.

The final result was a gamified, AR app that allows individuals to experience the hidden world of the Arboretum through a noninvasive lens. There was also signage created to match identity of the app and entice users to download it.