VC5: Methods for Innovation / Fall 2018

Assignment Overview

Augmenting Reality

Due: 14 November 2018
Beginning of class
Submit via Canvas
HER-V 410 | Fall 2018
Instructor: Aaron Ganci + Steve Williams


Envision and communicate a new AR experience through an intentional set of design research methods.


Augmented reality (AR) is "an enhanced version of the physical, real-world reality of which elements are superimposed by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or haptics" [source]. You have likely encountered an AR experience in the last few years as mobile computing has exponentially improved. Apple and Google have both been encouraging their development communities to consider how to leverage their new technology.

However, there are several problems with AR as it stands today. Chiefly, the mode of delivery for AR experiences is limited. Mobile phones (and tablets) are the only mobile computers powerful enough to handle the intense computing demands. But, it's awkward to hold your phone out to view these experiences for very long. Because the mode is limited, the types of settings that AR can be used is also limited. Our imaginations for what we can do with it are stymied because the constraints are still too overwhelming. That's where designers come in. By removing some constraints, working with people, and speculating on a future state, we can drive the industry rather than follow it. That's what we'll practice doing in this project.

Project Constraints and Process

For this project, you will use a Pair Design approach. You and your partner will receive the exact same grade. For all intents and purposes, you both own the work completely. You can read more about Pair Design here and here.

Now, for the design constraints. Imagine a world in which a major eyeglass or sunglass company (Ray-Ban, Warby Parker, Oakley, Ralph Lauren, Titmus, etc.) has developed the technology to integrate AR functionality into a pair of 'normal' looking glasses. The choice of company should be intentional to align with the functionality and experience you are designing. Now that AR can be integrated seamlessly into everyday life, there are no more constraints around mode of delivery. AR experiences can be provided at any time for any reason.

Your task is to:

  1. Develop a research plan that will uncover potential opportunities for innovative AR experiences
  2. Establish criteria for your solution
  3. Define scenarios that illustrate how AR can be integrated into a persons life in beneficial ways
  4. Evaluate your concepts with real people (practice evaluative methods)
  5. Tell a clear and engaging story about your solution that illustrates how it meets your established criteria

Learning Objectives

  • Test and evaluate design solutions
  • Develop at research plan
  • Embrace risk
  • Rely on people in your design process
  • Communicate effectively

Learning Outcomes

After completing these projects, you will be able to:

  • use appropriate vocabulary to discuss the potential of AR
  • speculate on future solutions through understanding present need
  • leverage evaluative methods to validate design concepts
  • construct a narrative to describe a speculative solution


In the end, you will deliver two things on Canvas:

  1. An overview of your development process. Development in this context means that we can see purposeful forward movement in your design as a result of new knowledge/insight. This is a little different than a process document because we need to see 1. Original state of the thing 2. Method for understanding 3. Insights from analysis 4. The new state of the thing with rationale of implementation of insights.
  2. your narrative in whatever format you deem appropriate (a moving thing (video, animation), a static thing (poster(s)), a sequential thing (storyboard, 'book', etc)

Grading criteria

This project is worth 50% of your overall course grade. You can receive up to 100 points. The assessment criteria are broken down into categories:

Soft Skills (Total 20 pts)

10 pts

Being present during class sessions

10 pts

Reflection and self-assessment

Technical Skills (Total 80 pts)

60 pts

Quality of design development (elements in consideration: range and appropriateness of methods used, number of rounds of development, clear connection between insight and implementation, level of advancement of the design with each iteration)

10 pts

Novelty (elements in consideration: the solution addresses unmet need, the solution is novel compared to the existing landscape, novelty is clearly communicated

10 pts

Thorough explanation of solution (elements in consideration: appropriate mode of narrative communication, clear communication of how criteria are met/formalized, the ways criteria are met are thoughtful and of high quality)


Category % of overall
Exercise: Design, Research, and Innovation 5%
Process and Methods 15%
Augmenting Reality 50%
Capstone Exploration 30%

Late work

Every assignment in this course will be due at the beginning of the class of its defined due date. Work that is not handed in via the method requested by the instructor (Canvas, email, etc) by the predetermined time will be considered late. The consequences of late submission fall on sliding scale, increasing in severity over time. Grade reductions will be assigned on a case-by-case basis (depending on your specific situation) but the following scale will be used by default:

Due date/time – same day, end of class -10%
Same day, end of class – same day, end of day (11:59pm) -15%
Next day (midnight – 11:59pm) -20%
Any subsequent day -50%
Grading scale
A+ 100-98
A 97-93
A- 92-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-83
B- 82-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-73
C- 72-70
D+ 69-67
D 66-63
D- 62-60
F 59-0