Installation that utilizes building blocks and a digital interface to educate users on accessibility etiquette, specifically re: blindness and low vision.
My Role
In creating the installation with my partner with specialty in graphic design, my role was to:
My Roles:
UX Designer
3D Designer
2020 Fall
Amber Lee
Experience and the user journey through research and user testing.
Testing our idea’s feasibility using Teachable Machine, p5.js,  and 3D printing.
The 3D elements and atmosphere of the space and apply the 2D graphics.
Designing an experience for a local healthcare provider to enhance their care for blind and low-vision patients.
Our client was a local healthcare provider in Pittsburgh, asking for ideas that will enhance the experience for their new center for Blindness and Low-Vision and Rehabilitation.

My partner and I went through the process of researching existing problems around the topic, iterating various ideas, testing the technology necessary, and polishing the final result.

“We are more disabled by the society we live in than our bodies.” - Kat Holmes
Through readings and guest lectures of professionals in the field of blindness and low vision accessibility. We learned that the essence of disability is not the physical limitations, but how the society refuses to accommodate them. In “Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design” by Kat Holmes, such interactions are called “Mismatches”.

(Mismatches most of the time happen due to misunderstanding, and assumptions made without proper knowledge about the people with disabilities. There are different resources about how to interact with or assist the BLV patients, but almost all of them are heavy texts, sometimes accompanied with illustration)

"Mixed-reality games that support physical observation in the real world have a great potential to enhance learning and enjoyment.”
The quote above is from a  research called “Learning in the Real World Tops Learning From a Tablet” done by CMU Simons Initiative. Based on the findings of our research, our goals were boiled down to 3 main points.

Link to the research article!
Publicize Knowledge —
A way for the public to better understand the difficulties BLV patients have to face to better accommodate them.
Provide Real Stories—
Provide real stories, rather than ones made up by non-BLV population.
Make It Approachable—
Be approachable and also enjoyable, having both digital and physical aspects to it.
Our stab at it
An installation that utilizes building blocks and a digital interface to educate users on accessibility etiquette, specifically for blindness and low vision.
My partner and I decided to propose an installation in the waiting area, where many patient guests wait for the patients for various reasons. Below is the storyboard for the experience.

Below is a render of the waiting room that was shown to us by the client in the beginning of the project. We concluded that it was a space where our installation can be most effective.
The main interaction of the space is the interactive tables with digital interface and block activity, where the users can learn about how to properly assist and interact with BLV patients in different contexts. The contexts will be the real stories provided by BLV patients.
Regarding the space being next to the hallway, where there are a lot of people passing by, we created an experience that people can engage with less effort and time, which is an interactive mural. People can listen to stories by just standing in front of the mural.
Behind the scenes
Making sure we are coming up with feasible & understandable concepts
While we were making progress on the idea, I prototyped the main technological part in the experience, which was making the table distinguish different blocks. I used the Teachable Machine and 3D printed blocks we created to prove the feasibility of our concept. We also conducted a rough user testing using Figma as well.

Collaborating with a partner with a different skill set
My partner’s forte was visual design while my strength was in 3D and testing different technologies. Because of this difference, we were able to delegate tasks quite easily, but sometimes it made our works seem not as unified in style. We dealt with this by increasing the communication frequency and honest conversations.