"Never confuse movement with action."

- Ernest Hemingway

"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

  - Albert Einstein

© 2019 by Yea Gyeong Cho.  

 All rights reserved  

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Virtual Reality Play Lab 07

Jump into the Light is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in New York.
In 2018, they extended their VR AR studio Lab service to Soho. Virtual reality is a simulated experience that can either be similar to or completely different from the real world.
To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study.
The information in this case study is included in my research, report and does not necessarily reflect Jump into the Light.

Virtual Reality Cinema & PlayLab

WHAT IS YOUR REALITY?

Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include entertainment (i.e. gaming) and educational purposes (i.e. medical or military training). Other, distinct types of VR style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality.
Jump into the Light offers virtual reality and augmented reality cinema and cutting-edge programs.

Photo Courtesy, ©Jump into the Light, jumpintothelight.com  Photo Model Courtesy : Rachel Cho

THE CHALLENGE

Our goal for the project was to boost sales for personal events and corporation events at the early stage of Jump into the Light.
The original premise was simple; make people curious about the VR/AR experience.
Our ambitions were to create a strong foundation that embraced a rapidly evolving business and more diverse user base.

MY ROLE

I was part of an ambitious project to redesign the corporation event promotion of Jump into the Light with Creative Directing that involves animation, web elements, and print design.
Also, I collaborate with other designers and video editors to make quality footage.
Up until August 2018, I led efforts to evolve the service and address customer pain-points related to the experience and discover a new challenge with the corporation. 

Photo Courtesy, ©Jump into the Light, jumpintothelight.com 

THE TONE

1. Use familiar and understandable words and phrases
2. Keep interface text clear and concise
3. Identify interactive elements appropriately
4. Avoid language that might sound patronizing
5. Use relevant and consistent language and imagery.
6. Refer to dates accurately.
7. Strive for an informal and friendly tone.

KICK OFF

At the outset of the project, we didn't have a clear mission or specific goals for the design systems, so I suggested making some templates guidelines for future production artists, designers, and editors.
Without pre-existing insights, I researched for design systems for Virtual Reality to explore how customers were getting around and how customers easily understand the features?

INSIGHTS FROM THE FIELD 

I did my own VR/AR research and made some reports to prepare for lab scholarship while I was in school,
so it was not difficult for me to learn more about new features and programs.
I tested current camera rental facilities, Greenlight Studio, and cutting-edge VR headsets and controllers from different brands.
Our goal was to make a promotion video so that customers can understand what type of games and entertainment programs we provide.

MEANT FOR ALL

This is not an adult-only project, It also involves kids.
We do a lot of corporation events; however, there are a lot of private events for kids and families.
Virtual reality studio is targeting all age groups.

THE NEON COLOR

Neon represents our subconscious desire to embrace hyperreality.
Neon registers as an out-of-body escape — a color scale that allows us to revel in the unreal, even if it’s just for a few hours in a movie theatre or for a night on a lit-up dance floor.
The form of light was first invented in Paris in 1910 by the chemist Georges Claude. Soon it was popularized worldwide. The signs were all over Hollywood streets and featured in films like Sunset Boulevard. 

BRAND TYPEFACE

The original design, drawn by Max Miedinger, was released by the Haas Type Foundry of Switzerland, then by Germany-based Stempel (the parent company of Haas), and finally by Mergenthaler Linotype. In 1983, Stempel released Neue Helvetica, a re-working of the design. We use this concise and clear font for our basics.

THE DISCOVERY

I was surprised by the design issues we found. Lots of things were set up but I still had a lot to share with my team. We used Google to share our assets.
Our design team was open to discuss any topic, so I could design several projects by myself and learn more about other organizations with other departments' help.

User Persona

YOU CAN BE A SINGER IN THE MUSIC VIDEO

YOU CAN BE A REAL CHARACTER IN A GAME

3D Selfie and Greenlight Studio gave me the inspiration of CG, VFX into real life. I inspired amazing music videos and collaborations with the artists, and dancers with these skills.

Film Copyright Courtesy, ©Jump into the Light, jumpintothelight.com  Motion Graphic Design : Rachel Cho

/ Artist : Theodora Curtis Film: Royal Chase, Truly Brooklyn

ARTIST X VR COLLABORATION

This video is for presentation purposes only.
Due to a non-disclosure agreement of full video, I can only use part of the video to show how motion graphics can help create real studio effects and boost a musician's talents better through greenlight studio. It was fun and amazing experimenting with this new technology. It brought about lots of meaningful contents from media, customers, and local talented artists.
We used some of parts of the work for the future 360 video for Virtual Reality Project.

SOCIAL MEDIA EXPOSURE

ONE STEP CLOSER TO USERS

We used social media platforms, local marketing invitations, and events to collaborate with artists, near stores, local restaurants owners, and corporations.
Jump into the Light loves the SoHo community in New York. We love to engage with users on social media to get feedback and reviews.
We had company TV screen inside and outside for ads. We also filmed lots of artists, dancers, performers, and corporation events for social media.
By digging into the data and getting a glimpse of different company cultures and their systems, we got to know others better and understand what virtual reality truly means for every single client.
Our staff participated in almost all events and offered extra coordination support such as catering.

Photo Courtesy, ©Business Insider Research, Daily active users, businessinsider.com 

SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT

Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each individual social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing. We worked closely with our usability testing team to reach out to local communities and lots of potential users to establish Virtual Reality Play Lab in New York.
"The open-discussion revealed an opportunity to perfect the team experience for everyone, everywhere."

Always Be My Bottom line, Stephen Anderson's UX Hierarchy of Needs

ITERATING AND FIXING

We tried to engage our users through social media marketing. I made a poster to help people to understand our featured games and types of party. We created lots of web content, including photo editing and web banners and motion graphic videos for social media.
We iterated every step until we achieved the most out of it.
When we encountered roadblocks, we would go back and fix the problem until we saw the results.

USER RESEARCH FOR MULTIPLE ANGLES

I mapped out three calendars; one for federal holidays and Virtual Reality, another for gaming industry conferences & Expo, and the last for New York local events and festivals.
I also came up with business goals; the kinds of events we would attend in order to focus on our market, ensure users retention, and improve brand perception, and more.

NARROW DOWN THE EVENT

I realized New York has tons of events taking place every day.
I narrowed down pretty big events first. However, I still needed to talk to a lot of people about the types of events that we could celebrate with Virtual Reality and make good impressions.

FOCUSING ON BUSINESS GOALS WITH EMPATHY

Although our brief was to develop better functionality than our users' competitors, we stressed that engaging in a feature parity war was neither strategic nor had the best interests of the Virtual reality studio users at heart.
To differentiate ourselves in an already mature and competitive market, we needed to define a desirable role for the social media campaign and how it would meet the needs of the scheme's users.
I was thrilled by the opportunity to create something more meaningful for Jump Into The Light.
"Rachel shows high levels of creativity, technical skills, and frequently works under very tight deadlines. Her data-driven design solution, and customer psychology, social media marketing are mind-blowing"
Jump into the light Co-Founder, Michal Skalski

THE RULE OF THREE

Good things come in three and so did the company's creativity. I reframed the problem.
I came up with three distinct adjectives to describe company. It could come from my tagline, hashtag, my mission statement, core values, technology, or anywhere in the world.

GOOD DESIGN IS

GOOD BUSINESS

Good design brings out good business.
This is one of my favorite design quotes from Thomas J Watson, IBM Core Philosophy.
Virtual Reality Playlab is very close to people's lives and every single event.
While I was conducting usability testing and doing research for events through SWOT analysis, I realized our promotion cycle is exactly the same as an important event around the world.
I tried to design and promote every single element adopting a user-centered point of view.

Photo Courtesy, ©Jump into the Light, jumpintothelight.com / Web Promotion : Rachel Cho / Photographed by Taylor Cleveland 

"I always heard about good appraisals from her colleague. She knows how to appreciate her coworkers and being a team."
Jump into the light Co-Founder,  Former Google VR Developer, Sky Rolnick

BUILDING TRUST

STARTING ON THE 

SAME PAGE

Sharing our plans and strategies with team members, different departments and superiors helped to build a strong relationship within the company.
Sky, Former Google VR team and co-founder, offered Unity classes for free. He would share some skills and useful websites for game building with people who were interested in the Unity program.
I made a game with one of the engineers in Jump into the light and understood the structure of the 3D world much better. This also gave me an understanding of the user's frustration in entertainment and game software.
Ample opportunities for input at all stages of the project developed trust and created a comfortable environment to share ideas, forming a mentorship which would serve much value beyond this phase. 
Meeting with different event organizers helped us to understand their business interests and the new promotion opportunities available to us.
Together we identified risks, aligned our expectations, and constructed a shared possibility of future events and sharing of VR/AR programs?
Following this, I realized there are lots of possibilities in the virtual reality industry that can bring positive effects to people's daily life.

WHAT DOES 'VIRTUAL REALITY' MEAN TO YOU?

The discovery phase was a quick, high-intensity effort that allowed us to define social media campaign purpose and the true meaning of design asset, audit the existing design work, review the competitor landscape, understand our client's vision and goals, and begin research into user needs, behaviors, and pain-points.
I also kicked off a technical discovery phase to understand feasibility and constraints.
My research revealed that the concept of 'Virtual Reality ' represented something different than cutting-edge technology. For users, VR is another connection for a social gathering with their friends and family even co-workers. They can define themselves into a true relationship with people with happy moments.
User's motivations for playing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and participating in the scheme differs from reality, it hints at different requirements.

Photo Courtesy, ©Jump into the Light, jumpintothelight.com / Photographed by Taylor Cleveland 

THE APPROACH

Our goal for the private event was to create an unforgettable impression with Virtual Reality.
To differentiate ourselves in a new and 3D gaming market, we needed to define a desirable role for the deliverable design and animations, and application and how it would meet the needs of the scheme's users.
We were thrilled by the opportunity to create something more meaningful.

Photo Courtesy, ©Breck.com Roadmap to defining and understanding an audience.

UNDERSTANDING AN AUDIENCE

Breck.com has a clear guideline for understanding user empathy and business goal.  This situation was exactly for the next step that I was going to take.
I did my personal research for the communities and add value to their organization that I could reach out to for further brand awareness so we could live together in our community.

IT WASN'T EASY AT ALL

I could only get back to answer half of my outreach communication list in New York.
There were lots of roadblocks. It's either their website was outdated, or the organization wasn't interested in VR events or not aware of the technology. I encountered lots of outdated computers that could not work with virtual reality systems.
It was another situation that I had to think about for a long-term after reaching out.
“In hindsight, we should've found a better way to communicate revisions and let the prototype, be a prototype.”

CUSTOMIZED 

BAR AND BAT MITZVAH EVENT

Virtual Reality (VR) may be strange to some people.
We tried to promote our VR/AR Studio and know more about local people and what type of events they really want.
I put together a social media campaign which was released in NewYork Jewish Parenting Guide for family activities.
We made lots of promotion and business cards, gift cards, and banners for international customers.
Also, we're always open to new ideas from people.

Photo Courtesy, ©NIKE New York, www.nike.com / Jump into The Light, jumpintothelight.com  

USER TESTIMONIAL

This experience was nothing short of incredible! Preparing for the event, the Jump into the Light team went above and beyond in organizing a 5-star experience inclusive of food and drinks. Each virtual reality experience was unique and there was something every one of our attendees could enjoy!

A highlight of our NYC visit!

Emily McAlindin , Nike New York

THE INTERACTION FRAMEWORK

I decided to use Microsoft excel chart for the basics and then move on to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Sometimes, I also use sketches for the pixel-perfect mockup and Checked for the mobile interactivity using sketch mirror and InVision.
Virtual Reality promotion video and sound were made Adobe Aftereffect and Premiere.
The transitions between the different software were done to strike and a balance between reinforcing contents and creating an engaging and compelling interface. 

ULTIMATE USER SATISFACTION

A UX designer should always aim to strike a balance between user empathy, business goals, and user satisfaction.
Make users become aware of your brand and understand your type of business and what kinds of benefits they could possibly derive from your organization. The decision is totally up to them, but a true understanding of a user's pain points and trying to be their shoe is a key to achieving success.

BRING OUT SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL VALUE

Our social media campaign, outreach communication, and local marketing were pretty successful. Although we had a lot of obstacles getting responses and bringing users out to our Virtual Reality Play Lab, all in all, we had amazing results.
Lots of kids came every day for the VR/AR Experience and corporations were looking for their fashion and technology event, team building, launching event, etc.

USER SAFETY

Virtual reality (VR) can cause people to feel sick or dizzy while playing. This comes from the sensation of seeing things moving forward, even if your body is standing still. While it's an outstanding platform, even the PlayStation VR (PSVR) can cause nausea from disorientation.
Some of the effects VR can create in users are:
  • stiff muscles;

  • loss of consciousness;

  • a cry or groan;

  • jerking of the arms or legs;

  • loss of bladder or bowel control;

  • limited or even halted breathing;

  • blue lips; and

  • arched back;

VR EXPERIENCE BRINGS OUT NEW LIFESTYLE

The UX study, basic branding, user interviews, feedback from social media and a lo-fi prototype were released within the incredibly short time-span of three months.
Thanks to my working experience in product development management, I was able to collect all the research, data, and information from an international user base. With that, we were able to validate the UX flows every release cycle and get feedback from coworkers, artists, and users. Built to validate an idea, user persona, the prototype eventually helped the entrepreneur behind this project pitch his idea for a successful seed round. 

HAPPY CUSTOMER CONNECTS HAPPY BUSINESS

Our social media marketing and engaging with visual elements with users helped to boost positive feedbacks and gave us lots of features on leading platforms like VR Observer, FOX News, Trip Advisor Fun things to do in New York #70, Yelp Game in New York Rank, and Things to do in New York. ​
Our research revealed that the concept of "virtual reality events with your friends, and family, and coworkers represented a different environment to users of the scheme. User's motivations for friendliness and participating in the scheme differed, digging into their curiosity.  

FROM 3000 TO 134000 ORGANIC FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM

I led the visual elements following the guideline of the creative director and promoted all the social media engagement campaign and multiple corporation team building events.
Built on an efficient idea, user persona, and testimonial from users, the prototype eventually helped the entrepreneur behind this project pitch his idea for a successful seed round. 
I used marketing strategies for every user's campaign, printed materials and communicated the user's end-to-end experience across various touch-points with the scheme. This allowed me to represent user pain-points and see where we needed to focus our attention to achieve utmost results.
Mapping out the users' satisfaction was the key to setting client expectations about the aspiration and emotional state we were aiming to design for.

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