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A VIRTUAL-PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGN

Client & Collaborations: 
RITMO
University of Oslo
Stephan Gardener
Pedro Bravo
Rayam Pinto

Year: 
2021

Type: 
Responsive website
Experience map

Deliverables: 
User interface design
Responsive Web design
Concept development
User experience design
User research
Web development

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Due to the COVID pandemic, the RPPW 2021 conference was run as a hybrid with both physical and online remote participation. We had to design a means to coordinate several physical locations and remote participation from different time zones.

My main responsibilities were leading the project from start to finish and user experience research and design.

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The Process:

1- Client requirements 

Our client wanted to host the RPPW 2021 in a hybrid format for the first time. Our task was to propose technical solutions and concepts for organising the conference. The key pain points were: 1) timezone and 2) different locations streaming and 3) the program had many presenters and seemed difficult to fit into 4 days. 

 

2 - Market research and insights

We conducted market research to gain an understanding of how other hybrid conferences were designed. We also discovered some existing commercial products focused on this issue. 

3 - Technical setup testing and documentation

We tested with audiovisual technologies in different locations, because the conference contained multiple contexts that happened in different locations, such as in Berlin, Stockholm and two locations in Oslo. Since we were based in Oslo, so we decided on our solutions based on the technical setup testing in the two locations based in Oslo. 

4 - Proposing to the clients

In terms of solving the complex program and timezone differences, we looked at the communication with the conference participants. This involved conveying clearly where and when presentations took place and how to attend them.  So, we proposed a website solution that served as the main communication channel. It had links that could direct participants to the right rooms and the presentation they wanted to attend. The proposal was successful. 

5 - UX/UI design, web development, and user testing (eye-tracking)

Upon getting permission to build a website, our team began work. The initial design was presented to 5 users from age 35 +, the typical age range of the attendees. We used the tool called PupilLab for eye-tracking user testing.  Eye-tracking was used to understand how more senior academics, such as professors interpreted the design, wording, and layout. Based on the data, we have improved the user flow from version 1 to version 2 (see examples below).

6 - Present our proposal for the final output

The proposal was successful and all the features were implemented at the conference. 

7 - The conference

During the 4-day conference, we helped with operating the live-streaming as well as guiding participants if there was anything they needed. 

8 - Participant feedback (see video below for one of the many survey questions)

The overall feedback was positive.

9 - Presented technical setup for designing a hybrid conference at the Nordic SMC conference

A user testing session with a eye-tracker

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Sample data 

Sample data 

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The plan

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User flow (version 1)

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User flow (version 2)

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Website Architecture

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UI Component and Mockup

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Participants' feedback

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