Faster design of spatial data interfaces for enterprise use cases


BadVR is revolutionizing the way data is visualized by optimizing the way their remote teams leverage ShapesXR as a VR prototyping tool throughout the design process to create a truly immersive experience that’s faster and at a fraction of the cost.

About ShapesXR

ShapesXR is a 3D creation and prototyping tool for remote teams. Designers, creatives, project managers, leaders, andclients can co-create and communicate in real-time within a virtual environment without a complicated setup, expensivehardware, or years of 3D experience (e.g. Blender, Solidworks, Unity etc.). ShapesXR is the perfect tool for the early stageof the design process where alignment and communication is key and where making the right decisions is more criticalthan ever. Keeping the visuals at low-fidelity allows the project team to focus on the functions and experience before thelook and feel is finalized. This also leaves more room and flexibility for iterations to evaluate different solutions and ideasin a safe, affordable, and low risk environment.

About BadVR

BadVR is an LA-based start-up that uses immersivetechnology to empower organizations with the ability to -quite literally - step inside their data. BadVR makes thediscovery of valuable insights, faster, easier, and moreuniversally accessible to all. The goal of this project wasto create a collaborative tool that utilizes VR to enableusers to collaboratively visualize and manipulatecomplex weather data: AtmosVR.

AtmosVR is an immersive weather visualization appcreated for industry professionals – such as weatherintelligence and meteorological practitioners – whoingest, analyze,synthesize, and communicate insightsfrom complex geospatial, weather, and weather-adjacentdatasets.

The challenge

Data is often inherently spatial and temporal, yetcurrently the dominant visualization method relies on flatinterfaces. Weather data is a typical example that’s oftenseen from a top-down map perspective.

Translating user requirements for the visualization andmanipulation of data spatially into an intuitive,user-friendly experience is very challenging with current2D design tools. This was made even more difficult bythe fact that the whole BadVR product team wasdelocalized and working across different time zones.

Design challenges involved the creation of an interfacethat had simple, yet powerful, controls. From direct datamanipulation to playback controls and annotation, thereare many necessary features that must harmoniouslycoexist and support one another, in single and multi-useruse cases.

“Immersive interface design is still in it’s early stages and - until now - there weren’t many tools geared for the early stages of the AR/VR design process. ShapesXR provides a perfect solution, and has been very valuable to our team. We look forward to using ShapesXR for our future projects!” - Suzanne Border CEO, BadVR

The process

ShapesXR was used during the initial ideation sessions for spatial brainstorming based upon early 2D sketches thatwere imported as images (1). Beginning in a more ‘low-fi’ atmosphere, the BadVR team focused on blocking UIelements and experimenting with UX possibilities to support user goals.From there, concepts became more refined and were brought up at a higher fidelity, where crucial UX questions werediscovered and addressed early on in the process (2). This was achieved by an individual designer who workautonomously without the use of any game engine, and then during multi-user collaborative design sessions with adeveloper and the product owner. The import of external 3D models was utilized to enhance the fidelity of the UI elementsbeing worked on.

At this stage, the goal was to explore and create the entire user flows for the final product. The stages featureswithin ShapesXR allowed to build 3D frames and build a storyboard of the whole experience. In addition to that, theteam used bodystorming techniques to simulate the various behaviors and logic of the interface by manipulatingthe elements in the space freely. During the last step of the design process, the finalized interface was assembled inits various states, documented, then built out in Unity using BadVR’s internal SDK elements (3).

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Value provided by ShapesXR

ShapesXR enabled us to directly prototype our immersive application in an actual immersive environment, usingimmersive tools. It facilitated strong communication between team members during design thinking sessions anddelivered a new level of immediacy during review sessions, which helped speed up feedback loops and more quicklyadvance the design process.

The outcome of this project was an easy translation of ShapesXR-generated UI elements into native Unityenvironments, increased communication and collaboration during our design processes, and overall – a muchfaster, higher quality design workflow, with better overall outputs, requiring less iterations on design and fewererrors discovered during user testing.

Design process 2X MORE EFFICIENT

ShapesXR enabled a more streamlined communication and ideation process cutting the time needed to create each design concept from 4 to 2 hours while reducing the number of iterations needed from 6 to 3

From design to Unity 3X FASTER

Having a more streamlined design process, the team could start implementing validated ideas in Unity in just one week instead of the three weeks previously dedicated to design sprints.

BETTER products FASTER to market

Facilitating communication within the team and less development resources involved during the early design, leads to a more streamlined process and the ability to meet tight deadlines for clients.

Live stream event

A live discussion with BadVR about their design process for AtmosXR, a revolutionary weather visualization app.