ProtoSpace is an augmented reality application that allows NASA spacecraft engineers to view their CAD models as interactive holograms. Using the Microsoft Hololens technology, ProtoSpace enables engineers to collaboratively visualize solutions for unbuilt spacecraft, in an embodied and true to scale fashion.
One of the projects that I worked on for this application was the development of a holographic toolbar containing tools for direct manipulation of the holographic CAD model. The challenge for this project was to figure out the most common use cases for the application so that the interface could be designed accordingly.
Time: 3 months
Team: ProtoSpace is an application developed within the Ops Lab at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
User recruitment, user sessions, use case analysis, and a UI guide.
The user research strategy to determine the most common use cases for ProtoSpace was to observe a diverse range of mission engineers collaboratively interacting with their holographic models to achieve a task of their choosing. Sessions fell into two categories; recruitment sessions in which the product was demonstrated to new users and supported sessions with existing users who were using the tool for a mission related task.
By developing new relationships with potential users and sustaining ongoing observation of existing ones it was found that the majority of users fell into two use cases; users who wanted to use ProtoSpace to support a collaborative discussion about the model with their colleagues, and users who wanted to use ProtoSpace as a presentation tool.
Based on the distinction of these two use cases, I was able to make suggestions for how to improve user experience.
Discussion Use Case Findings
Presentation Use Case Findings
To further communicate some of the suggested design elements to the development team, I created a UI guide.