Xue Zhao, Lei Nie

my role
LEAD: strategy, UX research, concept development, video production, graphic design, prototyping
WORK HARD ON: interaction design, persona, journey map
FACILITATE: project management, 

Aug 2018 - Apr 2019 / 8 months

HoloLens, Unity, Autodesk Maya, MS Visual Studio Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition.
We got the brief to research the city experience, find some problems and use the design process to come up with solutions or strategies. We love food, we believe food brings people together, and it’s an essential experience for anyone in the city. So we pick food as the research subject.
Research Timeline
To contextualize the topic, we did a timeline of important events related to food, in the past 100 years, and what we see possible for the future 100 years. 
We manage to find 81 facts around commerce, innovations and media.What we found are: Innovations like the cold chain and the Tetra Pak drives change in the industry, and this determines what’s available to people in the city. Information wise, Mass media and social media changes people’s perspective on food, 
Three opportunities to create a better food experience:
People want to enjoy food by cooking themselves but limited in culinary skills.
People want to enjoy other food from other cultures at home.
People want to reduce waste related to food.
Ideation + concept development
more concept-specific research
So we looked deeper into the three problems, with some additional research utilizing ethnographic research, interviews, journey maps, system maps precedents research, etc. After many discussions and ideation workshops. We came up with three concepts for each opportunity.
Three concepts
chef bud
An AI companion that lives on smartphones and smartwatches to help people create meal plans, shopping lists, compare products at the grocery store and providing instruction and tips when cooking at home.
A brain-computer interface that connects to all the senses, including vision, hearing, taste, smell and temperature, immerse the user in another reality when eating mundane food at home. Eventually, experience other cultures through food.
zero-waste packaging system.
Bring the milk bottle back! Design a new system to package food so that the containers can be reused, and this system economically viable for stakeholders such as consumers, grocery stores, companies, and so on.
Validate tech: to prototype, use VR or AR
To test whether we use virtual reality or augmented reality to prototype the experience, we shot a 360 video at a restaurant, edit and viewed it with a VR headset. We find it’s very immersive and got the right fidelity. However, the user can not interact with the food when disconnected from reality.
We borrowed a HoloLens and tested the experience and functionality. We found it is an excellent way to experience some virtual world while still connected to the reality the body is in, so we decided to use a mixed reality device, the HoloLens, to prototype this very conceptual idea.
Virtual Reality Mockup
Mixed Reality Mockup
Prototyping + exhibition design 
aka making that MVP for the year end show
Research food experience
To replicate the food experience, we break it down to taste, smell, visual, sound, surrounding, temperature. And looking for ways to prototype. 
Considering the time frame and technical capability, we decided to replicate the visual and sound aspects of food experience. With the mixing with physical experiences such as real food, cutlery and furniture arrangement, to proof the concept of replicating food experience for another culture.
Establish pipeline
Start with making a minimal scene in Maya, build in Unity, deploy to HoloLens, validating this workflow. Keep updating the experience in an agile process. 
Learning & researching
Learn to develop HoloLens, learning Unity, keep research food cultures, exhibition designs etc.
Produce assets
Brand guide, models, sound, concept video, walkthrough video etc.
Chongqing Xiaomian Topping
Chongqing Xiaomian Topping
Chongqing Xiaomian
Chongqing Xiaomian
Ichiran Ramen
Ichiran Ramen
Solo Dining Booth
Solo Dining Booth
Japanese and Chinese style
Japanese and Chinese style
Experience Design for the show floor
Designing for the physical space and the journey for the visitors trying the prototype in the year end show. Dealing with logistics for the year end show, including finding a suitable spot in the space, creating posters, getting props etc.
Design virtual scene
Modelling in Maya, build in Unity
Poster / elevator pitch

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