My Experience Design practice has been formally evolving into the tech realm over the past two years. I was given the opportunity to lead visual and experiential design on complex code driven interactions driven by networked wearable devices for live audiences. Partnering with amazing teams to create technologically enhanced live events and web content has been extremely instructive. I am learning by doing, and have managed to generate award-winning results and highly satisfied clients.
I come from a storytelling background, with over ten years as a creative in Film. Just like UX, filmmaking is an interdisciplinary process of human centered design, informed and enabled by technical possibility. Research leads creation, emotional insight leads decision making, and user testing precedes release. Users want an experience that is seamless, rich, and intuitive. My job is to understand them and be a passionate advocate for their needs.
The next step in my process is to deepen my knowledge and formalize my process. The practices I’ve developed over the past two years need to become intuitive, and I hope to be invited to join the best and brightest and to challenge and be challenged through compelling projects. I am prepared to continue working hard and growing my skills at a rapid rate.
Lightwave was engaged by Pepsi to redefine the live event experience at SXSW 2014. We created an interactive dance party environment to enhance an exclusive DJ set from A-Trak. The audience was given custom wearable wristbands which drove live visual interactions, allowing the crowd's energy to influence the flow of the event. We used iOS technology to sign users in via iPads and route bluetooth signals from the wristbands. We built live reactive visualizations and interactive displays using web technology, customized to novel event interaction concepts.
The concept was deeply interdisciplinary, calling upon web technologies, custom hardware, and live production techniques. The goal for our creative team as well as the brand and performer stakeholders was to delight our audience and explore one possible future for live events, where the audience energy has a direct impact upon the show experience. Additionally, Lightwave’s goal was to use the show as a proof of concept and beta design for an interactive product platform.
My team embarked upon an experience-driven design phase, challenging ourselves to create a gameified experience inside a real-world space. We needed to educate our audience in the unique ideas at play at the show and engage them with interactions both intuitive and totally fresh. We needed a streamlined sign in process to enable certain event concepts. We were recording the device data and needed to ensure a strong path to analytics and useful data post-event. Our desired outcome for users was a high level of engagement with the Lightwave enhancement layer, which still did not conflict with the joyful, familiar experience of a banging DJ set. I created user flows to outline the show experience and map opportunities for familiarization with new concepts.
The central metaphor for this event was a video game. We asked users to sign in with a handle of their choosing, and also to indicate age and gender. Gender and user names were tapped for competitive concepts, including a boys vs girls dance off, which displayed indicators of average energy levels grouped by gender. Most popular for the audience was the Leaderboard, a familiar trope from arcade video games. Top dancers by cumulative motion were displayed at intervals throughout the show, sparking the audience’s competitive energy.
Due to the high production costs and technical challenges, user testing pre-event was not possible at scale. We ran reduced prototypes of the event to test technical parameters and show cues, but our best learning opportunity was to go live with our event concepts, and vet them post-event by analyzing data. Accelerometers provided a direct index of crowd energy. Repeated spikes in energy level that correlated to our competitive gameification concepts strongly indicated the success of these interactions. We were able to derive lessons from this event about most impactful interactions and ideal timing intervals, which were memorialized and integrated into an evolving product suite for future events. Subjective feedback further enhanced understanding, with strong positive reviews from participants, and two Cleo awards given for the event.
Lightwave was engaged by experiential agency MKTG to create the live interaction layer for Gatorade’s Unreal Around the World soccer tournament, leading up to the World Cup. Elite youth soccer players gathered at London’s Emirates Stadium and in New Jersey’s Sinatra park to participate in a rapid-fire tournament enhanced by a layer of wearable technology, iOS applications, and web visualizations created by our team. We created a seamless player experience, with technological interactions adding value to gameplay and automating quick-fire production concepts - such as instant scoring and player photo display - usually the exclusive realm of professional events.
This event was built upon a series of competitive concepts and drills created by soccer specialists. Our team worked with the event designers to align experiential and technical concepts into a coherent event plan. We translated the event rules into programatic designs and created a suite of applications and visualizations to create an authentic and exciting event experience.
On the field, player performance and scoring was tracked by coaching staff using our custom iOS application. Wearable devices placed on the player’s arms augmented scoring data with accelerometer and skin conductance (sweat) readings.
Players were signed in and photographed using a custom iPad application. Scores displayed in real time along with player photos on the stadium Jumbotron. As play progressed, the system sorted players on a leaderboard, advancing the high-performing group into final rounds. Custom scoring applications and front end displays were developed for the final rounds as well, including a podium finish.
At Lightwave, I also led UX and design efforts on a number of website and consumer facing app prototypes. Many of these efforts are pre-release/beta, and so are presented here with minimal explanation and/or details obscured. Further samples and explanations are available if discussed in person.
We prototyped an integrated iPhone and Watch application created for live events. I designed user flows, user stories, and affinity maps for app functionality, lead UI design and created motion mockups of the app in action.
Shown here are user flows and (sanitized) final designs for a prelaunch signup site, as well as still UI mockups.
Based upon learnings from in-house data analysis, we commenced a design process for an interactive analytics dashboard. I designed the initial flows and wireframes for front end interactions.
I am seeking an opportunity to continue this craft full time with awesome people.
I love talking about this stuff!
Please feel free to contact me.