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Augmented Reality Laundry Instruction App

Project Type

Augmented reality app development


Lead Principle Investigator

Project Description

After conducting a mixed methods study of young adults with ID and autism’s needs, one theme that emerged was that students required additional support when learning complex, non-prescriptive tasks that required adaptive processes that were operationalized (e.g., the many steps required to do laundry at home). These needs were particularly acute for skills that occur in environments where instructors have limited access (e.g., instructors accessing students’ homes).

We developed the augmented reality laundry instruction app to meet the students’ needs for scaffolded individual instruction when instructors would not be available to teach. The app uses 8th Wall to place a digital three-dimensional representation of an instructor who provides scaffolded real-time in-person instruction to students in the students’ homes.

As seen in the portfolio video of the beta version of the app, a 3D Nicole and virtual washing machine appear inside the real-life washing machine. The virtual Nicole walks the user through the primary steps of doing laundry in an easy to use, navigable interface. This video is the beta version of the app that has not included the alterations made to address identified pain points related to 1) closed caption text overlay; 2) QR code module loading; 3) device placement.

From a UXR Perspective

For this in progress iterative end to end design project, one of the more important steps in the process is authentic and equitable creation of personas and user stories because of the unique needs and perceptions of the target end user. Adults and adolescents who have intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism excel at learning tasks that are operationalized (i.e., concrete, repeatable steps to complete a specific task); however, they tend to struggle with tasks that have multiple similar but distinct elements that are not interchangeable.

To develop the personas and associated user stories, I conducted an in-depth collaborative mixed-methods study of target users’ lived experiences and needs. After conducting this project my design team and I were able to begin app development. We approached our design work as a collaborative process that included a sample of end users to ensure we were appropriately meeting their needs and expectations.

The iterative improvements we made after each round of design prior to beta testing included gathering the perspectives of end users, educators, facilitators, and outside designers.

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