Week 13 – Adding more features

This week, we worked on adding some final features and recorded a video before soft opening.

1. The hover effect and zoom in/out effect of UI (Saumya)

2. Generate some models of future machines and computers from markers in the physical world (Charley)

3. High five with the robot in the scanning part (Charley)


1. Introduction and overview of the project

Career2040 is a project aiming at simulating the algorithm hiring process. It provides an immersive AR experience in the form of an installation that simulates interview and hiring practices for young adults in 2040 based on AI and innovative readiness. The AR algorithm career decision-making experience will highlight the biases in the workforce. It’s a part of AHC (Algorithm Hiring Center), whose goal is to get people curious to have questions and reflections on biases and discrimination. In the experience, the guest plays an evaluator to watch the algorithm hiring process. The algorithm would match a potential career for a young lady by asking her a few questions. After that, the guest can decide whether to tweak the algorithm by adding more positive words of the young lady into the algorithm and see the result changes.

Career2040 is an AR experience built on MagicLeap.

Team members: Ruochen (Charley) Li, Yue Yuan, Qiu (William) Jin, Saumya Lahera.

Faculty Advisor: Scott Stevens.

Client: Temple Lovelace, Jason Swanson, Ani Martinez.

2. What went well (or what went right)

Team building: the team members are easy to work with and willing to communicate with each other.

Client-side communication: the team had a meeting with clients at least once per week so that clients could see their effort and progress. The clients are quite happy with the deliverables and what the team has built. 

Ideation and experience design: the team first had several different ideas / approaches to simulate the algorithm interview process and help AHC to get people curious about bias in the workforce. After that, they talked to faculties and clients several times before making a decision to choose one of them. For example, at first, the team decided to let the guest be a young lady in the AR experience. However, considering that it’s difficult, or nearly impossible to build empathy in merely 3-5 minutes, and it may be rude to reject the guest in the simulated interview because of discrimination, the team finally decided to let the guest be an evaluator watching the whole process, which makes more sense. After that, the team made a flow chart of the whole experience based on the story provided by the clients. Both these documents successfully guided the team during their design and development process.

UI design: The team first found some UI references and made a mood board. After communicating with the clients, they had a UI design principle. For the color choices, the team decided to use blue as a primary color to create a sense of futurism, and use yellow as a secondary color to create a higher contrast. The background color is dark grey to simulate AR panels. With the design guidelines, UI design becomes easier. We also followed the standard design process in the industry – starting with the information architecture, then the wireframe, then HiFi UI. In this process, the team reported to the clients after each of the checkpoints. Finally, the UI looks good and can perfectly fit into the theme, and the client was satisfied.

Models: since we don’t have a 3D artist, we didn’t spend too much time on creating 3D models. The team just built some simple models from scratch and purchased more complicated models from online stores. In doing so, the team could focus more on the core experience, as well as make good use of the physical world, the reality “R” in AR.

Development: the team first focused on some tiny goals to build an MVP (Minimal Viable Product). For example, we put one of the UI into AR first to see whether it works in a real environment. Once we found a suitable size and opacity, we added more UI into the experience. What’s more, we focused on the core logic before the half presentation, and added more cool features after it. Before halves, we built an experience that could show the complete story and the presentation went well thanks to our demo. After we got some feedback from our faculties and clients based on the half presentation, we tweaked some design to make the experience clearer, as well as adding some “cool” features,  such as hand scanning, an animated robot when the young lady is answering questions, and calibration effects.

3. What could have been better (or what went wrong)

Working remotely: after we had to collaborate remotely due to the COVID-19, we moved slower, since it took us more time to reach out to others. Next time in such a situation, maybe setting up some rules (e.g. always keep slack open during core hours, or schedule a daily short meeting) would help.

4. Lessons learned and conclusion

Overall, I learned a lot for the first time being a producer and work for a semester-long project. As a producer, we have to write formal emails to communicate with the clients and faculties, as well as scheduling meetings. I also learned how to communicate with engineers and artists to asset technical/art difficulties and help them make plans. Those experiences could make me a better generalist, or a better T-type talent who specializes in one area and also possesses multidisciplinary knowledge. Communication is the first thing one should learn for being a producer, and I did learn a lot from communicating with different people and stakeholders who all have different experiences, value propositions, and opinions. For instance, in the quarter walkarounds, some of the faculties suggested we choose VR for better performance, however, our clients insisted on AR because of the need to fit into the futuristic theme. Eventually, we still stick with AR considering the time restrictions. There are numerous cases similar to this, so so it’s an ART to prioritize things and make a balance between them. Although I’m still not a quite good producer, this project went well thanks to my teammates, and I will continue to learn how to be a good producer. Hopefully, I can be a good producer one day in the future.



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