UX & UI Design | MR | Research | Motion Design
YOUTUBE MIXED REALITY
YouTube is one of the most popular video streaming platforms on the internet, regularly being used by people of all ages and backgrounds. How do we keep such a prominent brand relevant within a growing technological world and how do we further enhance its goal of bringing together the community? Introducing YouTube Mixed Reality: allowing users to connect with others in a holographic space, elevating social media and interaction to an entirely new level.
For my User Experience design class, my partner Faith Hua and I were tasked to reboot a brand of our choice. We wanted this change to be a big one, something that will really move the brand forward, and so we imagined what YouTube could look like in 5-10 years.
User / Market Research
Lo-fi and Hi-fi Prototyping
We started off our project by doing statistical research on YouTube, creating a couple of user personas, and creating journey maps. From our statistical research, we found that most users watched YouTube on mobile, so originally, we decided to focus on that. This was one of the journey maps we created to understand how users interact with the mobile app.
We realized from our journey maps that since the mobile YouTube app is already well established, the pain points our users experienced were minor. We then conducted several rounds of interviews and surveys. We asked questions both about the mobile YouTube app and about emerging technology such as VR, AI, and AR. The results from this further reinforced our conclusions from the journey maps. People were mainly frustrated about aspects we couldn't address in this project, such as video ads. However, people did express interest in seeing new technology on YouTube and we decided to really hone in on this.
We researched our main video streaming competitors, Vimeo and Netflix, to see what our brand can do to stand out from its competition and reinforce its company mission.
MIXED REALITY RESEARCH
The deeper we got into our research, the more we both agreed that Mixed Reality would be the best direction to head in, as it addresses our brand's goal of bringing together the community and opened up more, newer opportunities for video sharing. We envisioned YouTube coming out with their own line of headsets, which lets users see the YouTube interface in their real-life surroundings.
After studying current Mixed Reality technology, such as the Microsoft HoloLens, we were able to further understand the possibilities of Mixed Reality and what our interface could look like within the medium.
VIRTUAL CHAT ROOM RESEARCH
We developed our idea of allowing users to interact with their friends while watching a video. However, we had to do some more research to see how this would work. We looked at Microsoft Holoportation. With this method, sensors are set up in the room, which allows you to create a 3D rendering of yourself and import it into a different user's headset.
To connect people around the world through interactive video sharing
After laying out our possibilities, we narrowed down our goals using a pyramid structure. We put the most important goals on the top and worked our way down. We wanted our project to directly address the questions we had at the beginning: How do we keep such a prominent brand relevant in this rising technological world and how do we further enhance their community building mission?
Our initial Mixed Reality concept revolved around using your phone as a remote to interact with the Mixed Reality interface, giving users an intuitive way to control the interface to balance out the steep learning curve that this new technology can bring. After getting feedback, we decided we wanted to advance past the bounds of a remote or buttons. This is where we introduced using gestures and voice commands to interact with the interface.
SKETCHES AND WIREFRAMES
The black outlines in these wireframes represent your room and the red represents the interface projections. We came up with the idea of using 3D projection technology to create projections of YouTubers whenever you go on their channel. This way, users can feel like they are actually interacting with their favorite YouTubers.
It was clear from our paper and Invision prototypes how big of a learning curve this was for people. We decided we needed something to help them through the learning process.
Toolie is our Artificial Intelligence with a personality. She is there in the onboarding process when you first activate the headset to introduce you to the new technology and gives you tips along the way. She is also the one that will respond and carry out tasks when the user uses voice commands.