HUNT Interface: In collaboration with Lisa Wong, we focused on how to make Hunt Library (at NCSU) more accessible and approachable to new users. The system we developed was an augmented reality app that acts like a scavenger hunt throughout the library and touchscreens that added new services that previously were not available.
The continuation of this project was the HUNT Branding.
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library first opened its doors in 2013; housed on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, it strives to inspire - the architecture and technology work together to “create spaces that encourage collaboration, reflection, creativity and awe.” Today, thousands of people visit Hunt Library each semester. Among them, first time users and tourists alike wander the floors often lost or confused.
Due to Hunt Library’s size and state of the art equipment, it is often overwhelming for first time users to process the experience and space. The discomfort caused by unfamiliarity lessens the overall impression of the library and detracts from the otherwise innovative and collaborative design. Though Hunt Library is irrefutably impressive, it is daunting for first time users, often causing them to use it inefficiently — unable to utilize the library to its full potential.
TASK ANALYSIS VISUALIZATION
About: freshman, has never been to Hunt Library before. Lives on main campus, in FYC (first-year college), enjoys singing in her free time (has been interested in music since middle school).
Personality: very out-going, passionate and confident about her music abilities. very goal-oriented and independent; tends to take the initiative on things.
Needs: a quiet, professional-level space to potentially record music for her YouTube channel.
Work life: currently taking 15 credit hours, but nothing too strenuous, so she does have free time. because she is a student, she does not currently have a job.
Experience: has a Mac laptop, so she has some experience messing around in GarageBand. she has an introductory level knowledge of operating recording equipment. knows how to play the keyboard and often uses it to supplement her singing.
About: graduate student, has never been to Hunt Library before, as he just moved from out-of-state to attend North Carolina State University. has not quite found a solid group of local friends just yet (as he is new to the area), but lives off-campus, aiming for a masters in Computer Science.
Personality: somewhat introverted (keeps to himself), but knows his way around social situations (how to be polite, customer service, etc.), though prefers to avoid crowded areas. a curious problem-solver, he would generally rather figure something out himself as opposed to asking for help.
Needs: a dedicated space to study, do research, or meet up with other students (for work or play).
Work life: taking a few graduate-level courses in addition to interning at a local software development company. still manages to find time to relax every once in a while.
Experience: generally good with technology, owns a Windows laptop, owned a Nintendo64 gaming console as a kid and still plays with his younger siblings.
Scenario A: Jessie Pepper
Jessie Pepper is given a brochure about Hunt Library during her Freshman orientation; from the brochure, she learns about the existence of dedicated music recording rooms, open for use by all students. As a singer/musician that dreams of making it big on YouTube, Jessie feels that these music rooms will offer her the tools and equipment needed to make her recordings more professional.
The first weekend after classes start, Jessie sets aside some free time to hop on a WolfLine bus from main campus (where she lives) to Centennial campus (where Hunt Library is). When she arrives, she enters the library and is immediately overwhelmed—navigation is unclear and she quickly finds herself lost. Though her destination is set (the music rooms), she only finds it after wandering and finally deciding to ask the Ask Us desk for guidance.
Before they lead her to the music rooms, the Ask Us desk asks her about her reservation (or lack thereof). Jessie, unaware that reservations have to be made in advance, replies that she does not indeed have a reservation and asks how one would go about making one. The Ask Us desk gives her the link to the reservation website where she can make her own reservation on a computer or phone. Jessie forgot her cell phone and laptop back at her dorm on main campus, so she cannot easily make a reservation—she resorts to using the provided laptops at the Ask Us desk to make a reservation for an available music room.
The Ask Us desk grabs an information binder and key, brings Jessie to her reserved room, and unlocks the door. The Ask Us desk returns downstairs.
Jessie surveys the room and quickly realizes that it is lacking a keyboard (a key component in her music); because in the brochure, she saw a photo where a student was playing a keyboard, she does know that it should be available (at least in some of the rooms). However, because the reservation system did not give her the relevant information about the equipment offered in each room, she unintentionally signed up for the wrong room.
She goes back down to the Ask Us desk to rectify the mistake.
Scenario B: John Salt
Finding himself free one weekend (as classes have only just begun), John Salt decides to dedicate the day to visiting Hunt Library. He has seen articles and posters advertising the campus’ newest library, and it is apparent that NCSU is particularly proud of this project. Salt drives to Hunt Library and parks in the pay-to-park parking lot before entering the much-anticipated building.
From his first steps inside, Salt immediately feels an inkling of anxiety—a byproduct of the sheer size and imposing space of Hunt Library. However, he follows the path of several other visitors up the stairs and towards the Ask Us desk; though the Ask Us desk presents itself as an inviting and friendly entity, he avoids it in favor of wandering. Without a specific destination or purpose in mind, he does not know where to begin.
Finally deciding to follow the general flow of traffic, he briefly circles around each floor—never lingering for fear of being disruptive. He notices a number of notable things: cool, colorful furniture, state-of-the-art machines and tools (3D printers, plus a number of other things he didn’t recognize), etc.
After spending an hour quickly “touring” the space, Salt begins the trek back to the entrance/exit. On his way out, he passes by a small, enclosed room titled the “Game Lab.” Peeking in, he sees a group of animated students playing Mario Kart; as a fellow Mario Kart fan himself (in his Nintendo64 days, he would always be first place), he becomes excited seeing others share in the joy of gaming. Though he would love to be able to play with them, Salt is hesitant about intruding and also is not confident that he is even allowed to use the facilities (does he need a reservation in advance, or is he even eligible to use the room, he wonders?). Choosing to leave rather than facing the prospect of confrontation (eg. asking the students inside if he could/was allowed to play), Salt exits the library and drives back to his apartment.
That night, his family gives him a call to catch up with him; talking to his younger sister, Salt attempts to describe his awe-inspiring visit to Hunt Library. Yet, he is only able to give shallow descriptions of what he encountered (colors seen, artwork, technology, etc.) and his sister quickly grows bored. Salt realizes that though he did visit Hunt Library, he hasn’t actually become “familiar” with it, except for a very materialistic and first-impressions level of knowledge.
ApplicationThe application is targeted towards students within the first one to two weeks of the new school year. During this interim, it is understood that many of the underclassmen have never been to Hunt Library before. However, this app strives to present the concept of a self guided tour in a playful and fun manner. Utilizing the technology of augmented reality, users are tasked with “collecting” info-blocks scattered throughout the library. Armed with a real time mini map and status bar, users have all of the tools they need to begin the HUNT.
1. Application’s opening animation, transitions to next screen automatically
2. Beginner’s tutorial - small blurb about setting (Hunt Library). press down arrow to proceed or skip arrow to skip
3. Beginner’s tutorial - explains basic premise of application
4. Beginner’s tutorial - introduces status bar, pulse animation to direct attention to icon
5. Beginner’s tutorial - introduces mini-map function, pulse animation to direct attention to icon
6. Beginner’s tutorial - notifies user that tutorial is always available for extra aid, pulse animation to direct attention to icon
7. Beginner’s tutorial - end, segways into beginning of the “hunt”
8. Normal, basic starting screen (background image subject to change according to present user’s setting)
9. Notification guides lead you to nearby info-blocks (points in the general direction)
10. iPearl Immersion Theater; an example of what a screen with an info-block found looks like. status bar goes up
11. Quiet Reading Room; another example of what a screen with an info-block found looks like. status bar goes up
12. Music rooms; yet another example of what a screen with an info-block found looks like, status bar goes up
13. Demonstrates how info-blocks can be “collapsed” so as to not be obtrusive (clicking the “+” re-opens it)
14. The mini-map function in use, tracks in real-time
15. End screen, hunt completed
Shows a user leisurely completing the beginner’s guide.
Quiet Reading Room, shows an example of where an info-block may be found and how the user interacts with the application.
Music rooms; a more distanced shot that visualizes the scale between the application on the phone, the user, and the surrounding spaces.
Touch ScreenAs opposed to the targeted audience of the application, the touch screens are more aimed towards unfamiliar—rather than “first-time”—users. These screens offer users the option of exploring common or specialized spaces through a list format or interactive map. With an underlying reservation system built into the interface, the process of finding and claiming a space becomes more streamlined and efficient. Yet, because of the way the information is organized, the touch screens are effective to those who may be unfamiliar to the spaces offered—allowing for serendipitous discoveries—or consistent users with a predetermined purpose and task in mind. Overall, the proposed touch screens attempt to relay information concerning the space to interested individuals who may not necessarily wish for the involvement of outside parties. Big screens: 21" x 12" and small screens: 14" x 8"
1. Home page - Hunt Library overview
2. Explore spaces - main page
3. Explore spaces - page scroll
4. Explore spaces - individual space - music room
5. Explore spaces - individual space - music room - reservation system
6. Interactive map - main page
7. Interactive map - level four selected
8. Interactive map - level four - music room
9. Interactive map - level four - music room - reservation system
10. Interactive map - level four - music room - reservation system - log in
11. Interactive map - level four - music room - reservation system - finalize
12. Interactive map - level four - music room - reservation system - confirmed
13. Manage my reservations - login
14. Manage my reservations - list of reservations
15. What’s available now - list of spaces
16. What’s available now - select spaces
17. What’s available now - reservation system
The small screens are located at specific areas around the library; this screen is located on the second floor next to a row of group study rooms for easy reservation access.
The large screens are only located at the entrance to the library.
This screen is located on the fourth floor next to the music recording rooms for easy access to information about the equipment in the music room and reservation access.
Initial sketches and taskflow for application
Low fidelity wire frames for application
Low fidelity wire frames for touch screens