Note: My internship took place in 2020. Lucidweb shut down in 2021 due to the Covid situation.
These last two weeks at Lucidweb were rich in learning. When Eliana (my mentor) came home from holiday, my busy schedule returned. Lots of meetings were on my agenda and I felt like a real working woman. I have a lot to talk about, so buckle up!
Create demo experiences
This task was rather small but very interesting to do. I was asked to create full-on demos on Lucidweb Pro so Leen could showcase how the platform performed to clients. I already knew how the platform worked due to my weekly test and report for the dev team, but this time, I had to create experiences with multiple scenes and with real context. It was quite satisfying to have a finished product.
For example, I was to create a virtual visit with the assets from Toneelhuis, a former client. I used 360° images and tried to understand the map so I could create an experience where you can travel around. Another example was the use of a video in a hospital, from another former client, CHU Nantes, and creating hotspots for educational purposes.
XR4ALL Webinar Visual
Last week, the marcom team (marketing + communication) asked me to create a banner for a webinar event and to change it to different formats. I had already worked on another XR4ALL visual so I was aware of their visual identity and it was easy for me to complete this task. The webinar was about the Central and Eastern European entrepreneurial and investment landscape in XR. Three guest speakers will be there to discuss and share their knowledge. However because they didn’t confirm the name of the guests and the time of the event yet, I was given little information to display on the banner.
The banner was used on different displays such as a Zoom invitation to register, a Mailchimp newsletter, a LinkedIn event, and a Facebook post. Therefore I adapted the layout so it would be the right format and the theme color to match former posts (like the newsletter).
It was the first time I worked with Camilo. He’s from the accounting team. He asked me to create a template for his invoice so it wouldn’t be just a black-and-white piece of paper with numbers. He is working with Xero, an accounting tool. I didn’t know how templates worked on that software but I watched a tutorial and learned a lot. On the original template from Xero, all the information was displayed in code name so it could fit any company’s invoice. At first, it was hard for me to visualize the template with these code names because there were a lot of characters and jumbled the layout that was in tables.
It was a new approach to design for me and I always enjoy learning new techniques. I ended up doing something practical and simple rather than sophisticated because it was my first time doing it. I reorganised the information so the columns make more sense being together.
Updates on presentations
My next assignment was to modify some presentations that I made in the past few weeks after some feedback given by Leen. Here, I will mainly talk about the investors' deck because it was the one that took me the longest to work on and the one I learned the most.
Leen has shown the deck to current investors and advisors and has asked me to update it bit by bit. Sometimes, it was to add a title or a piece of information, and some other times, it was to add a slide or a graph and to create a nice visual display.
It was a good exercise to find visual solutions. The task was important because the deck would be used to find new investors, it had to be efficient and informative. I was working with Lucidweb’s guidelines and had to add small details to indicate it was a VR company.
The “pièce de résistance” of the week : the UX of the controllers
First, I presented the information I gathered to Eliana and Kiet (from the dev team) for the first time. There were some good ideas to keep, but the main feedback was that I should merge the two players (video and image) into one and have a mix. I also had to think about the interaction on each device. How can the buttons be modular ? At that meeting, I learned new vocabulary such as “to gaze”: being able to see 360 by moving your device, “a photo dome”: 360° image player, and “a GUI”: a graphic user interface.
I also learned that I was mixing up formats. For example, a cardboard’s format is not a headset’s format. A cardboard is your phone displaying in virtual reality and you can’t use tactile buttons. A marker is used on the screen with a hover state timer to select. However, a headset has a controller available and the user experience is completely different. Therefore, I had to work on understanding and apprehending so I could create adapted UX for these devices.
The next morning, Kiet came to the office and gave me an Oculus Go so I could work it out. I realized it was quite different from a simple cardboard display. I was fascinated. It was not my first time using a headset but it was my first time using the browser in it. It was different from what I was used to. I had to learn how to use a new navigation, a new display, and a new user experience, it was very interesting, to say the least. It was even more intriguing to work on UX with multiple formats that I usually don’t use (e.g. desktop for VR, mobile for VR (aka cardboard), headset, headset in VR). I understood there was a whole new world to discover in terms of usability and user experience.
Going back on my research, I started making sketches. It was easier to have the current player, my last wireframes, and all the comments that I have to work on in front of me and on paper.
After that, I transcibe all my sketches into Adobe XD. I learned there was a limitation of prototyping on the software: they don’t have artboards for VR and we can’t create our own curved artboard. But I have to admit that it was quite nice to be able to use content from Illustrator and import easily into XD. I could even change the content after the import, like the stroke width, the color,…
After my second attempt, I reviewed it with Eliana and Kiet. According to them, the result was very good, I was making progress but I should focus more on features that we already have. For example, I should not add buttons and functionalities that would take time to develop but remodel what we already have. I should also focus on mobile vertical, mobile horizontal, and cardboard because we don’t have UX for it at the moment, we only have it on desktop. Lastly, I should make a user journey with both 360° video and a photo dome and create a prototype.
After this feedback, I tried to create a prototype but it was quite hard. Adobe XD is a very useful software for importing content from Illustrator but it’s not very efficient when creating a prototype. I also had to master the use of components. It was different from Invision, but even on that software, I didn’t use it very often. Either I was doing animation, either component but not both at the same time. It was tricky and took me a long time. However, I believe it was a very good exercise for me. I had to learn it one day or another, and I am glad to see the result.
Involvement and inclusion
Every week, I am used to testing Lucidweb Pro so the dev team has feedback to work on. Because I’m working on the UX of the controllers now, I attend their daily meetings in the morning and they ask me to review with them all the small UX bugs on the platform that can be changed so they stop accumulating.
Even though the review took only a meeting to go over, I thought I would still mention it because it meant they valued my opinion on the matter, which I think is not common in internships. Overall, I feel very included in Lucidweb’s team, and since the beginning, they always made me feel equal. Of course, I am here to learn and to make mistakes, but they never forget to make sure I ask questions if I need to. When I was doing my research on 360° videos and 360° image players which I reviewed with Eliana, she would always ask me what I think could work best, or how they worked. Furthermore, when I look back on my progress on the UX of the controllers, I learned a lot. I never felt like I was doing anything wrong. If I was making mistakes, it was only to improve later on. I also think I’m lucky I never felt pressured. I think a lot about the end of my internship in two weeks, but I know I already have learned so much.
From now on, I will be working at the office. I have gotten a badge and can come whenever I want. I believe the office environment is very good for me, to focus on work and for my health. When I was working from home, I didn’t have a proper desk and my back was hurting. Furthermore, I have a great view since the office is on the 16th floor. It helps soothe my eyes to have an extended view after hours in front of a screen. Somedays, the receptionist comes with her two dogs and it’s so nice to pet them. I am also becoming a tea drinker, it helps me take small breaks to stretch my legs. As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to working in the office and I enjoy it quite well.
These last two weeks, the work pace has gotten faster and it has been very enriching. I am very excited to work on wireframes and to handle user experience. I would also say these were the best weeks of my internship so far, and it keeps getting better every day.