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Four Way Oil Slick

Four Way Oil Slick is a study of how we can design for Virtual Reality beyond just a visual experience, and how designed artifacts can communicate what a VR experience is like in the physical world. My project partner and I had one day to complete this exercise. This is a demonstration of how I produce work under a tight deadline.


Objects from the physical world -- a jacuzzi, some sand, and my bedroom -- were scanned using a process called photogrammetry and brought into a VR environment using Unity 3D. When these unrelated objects/spaces were combined the resulting environment felt otherworldly, so I designed installation props and a wearable device to amplify this experience and indicate to people not in the headset what the environment is like. The iridescent "oil slicks" on the ground correspond with the piles of sand in the VR environment, adding a sense of touch to the otherwise predominantly visual experience. The wearable devices on the user's feet make sounds as the user moves; these sounds are amplified using contact microphones.


By bringing the sense of touch into this otherwise predominantly visual medium, and by intensifying this sense of touch using sound, this VR environment becomes an interesting space to explore. As a UX designer, I believe it is crucial to consider more than just visual experiences when designing for the digital world. People today are inundated with visual stimuli, so incorporating other senses into design can create a more memorable, tangible experience.

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