Concept Ski App + Device (3DS Max/Animate/AfterEffects)

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Assignment two required students to work in a self-selected group of between three to four people and come up with a design for an interactive product that would be suitable for delivery on a wearable head-mounted device. According to Lester (2007, p. 7) students who are computer science majors generally do not like working in teams. Computer science is often perceived as an anti-social discipline. Yet, collaboration and teamwork are the core foundations that the workplace requires, particularly when designing and developing large scale projects. Once the groups had been decided each group would pick a ski resort from a country of their choice. The app must be able to deliver on a set of pre-defined requirement such as a map showing the ski location, weather updates, ability to deliver in various languages, data tracking, social network features, ability to accommodate users with disabilities and a game that keeps users entertained whilst waiting around on a ski lift.

Icon Design

Icon design is one of the core foundations when creating mobile applications and ensuring that the user can easily decipher the purpose of each element through a set of icons is essential.  When designing the Icon set for the skiing app Avalanche and initial prototype test was conducted to help gauge user response.

Once the initial feedback was gathered the team decided that option four would work best (Icons in image 1 bottom right). These style icons were chosen because users found them to be clear and concise while also easy to understand their purpose. ensuring Avalanche remained slick and elegant the team decided to use a gradient fill. Icons with a gradient fill have become a dominant theme in 2019 because it allows designers the ability to use this trend to change their designs in many different ways (Icon Design in 2019: The Key Trends, 2019).

App Design

Team avalanche did through planning and research into designing a mobile app keeping the end user at the forefront of the process. Arora (2018) talked about her design process which was to create a user-flow diagram for each screen, create/draw wireframes, choose design patterns and colour palettes, create mock-ups and create an animated app prototype. By following these steps, the images below the planning of stages.

App Game: Under the Snow

The game was developed using Adobe Animate (Flash) to create an endless runner style game that is playable from within the app. The game can provide the user with an entertaining diversion on any potential downtime on their trip whether travelling to and from the ski resort or within. The gameplay itself focuses on a character skiing which matches the theme of the app and shares the same target audience. The player has to guide their skier safely down the mountain, avoiding trees and obstacles while also collecting flags to increase their time. The final stats of runs completed like the total time and obstacles hit are converted to a score. This score will save to the user's profile, and they can keep playing to improve their score and also compete with friends and other players on their mountain range. Including competitive components makes the game more exciting and gives the user a reason to come back and play multiple runs.

Advertising Video

After rigorous planning, the team that the video will consist of three parts. The first part which presents the device along with a few technical specifications was made using a 3D model of the object created in Autodesk 3DS Max, which was then painted and rendered using the same software. Based on the work of Nonomura, Hochin and Nomiya (2016), the team decided that in order to have an effective yet simple presentation of the object, a white background would be used as the base colour and grey as the accent colour. These combinations of colours were used to help distinguish a good contrast; making the sentences readable on the white background as well as keep in line with the colour theme of the 3D design.

For the HUD design, multiple assets from the application were used along with the font in order to have consistency. The idea behind the HUD design was to make it efficient and straightforward, meaning not to oversaturate the field of view of the consumer with information which they might not need. Therefore, the user of the goggles would be able to filter out any elements which they might not need by either using the device/app or by using voice-command (as it can be seen in the video).

3D Printed Product

The 3D printed product is a replica of the same model used in the advertising video. The printed version of the product has suffered significant changes in its design by the end of the embellishing process. The original design, as it can be seen in the presentation video had four anchor points on each of the devices angles in order to attach the strap. Due to damage that the printed model suffered in the finishing process at two of those anchor points, it was decided to remove all four of them altogether. After the smoothing process was complete, the last step was to paint it. For the prototype, the team only used two colours: Grey matte (to be used as a substitute for the carbon fibre material) and Black gloss to be as a substitute for the screen of the device.


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