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Empathetic and Data Driven Simulation of the Human Cell in VR
Inner Space

Inner Space revolutionizes molecular visualization through a groundbreaking visual language, developed by a multidisciplinary team. This project takes the intricate process of insulin release by the Pancreatic Beta Cell and transforms it into an accessible, immersive mixed-reality experience. Users can explore cellular constituents in relation to one another in real-time, enhancing understanding through interactive storytelling and world-building. Inner Space offers an educational journey into cellular biology, blending scientific accuracy with engaging narrative design.

MY ROLE

UX Researcher + Designer

TIMELINE

June. 2023 - Present

SKILLS

Unity, Figma, Illustrator

RESEARCH GOAL

Understanding the Problem

I initially joined the team as a usability researcher. At that time, the Inner Space team had just completed the development of two major interactive features: the Action Menu and the Nexus Tour. The goal of usability research was to identify the players' pain points when using these features and how much they learned about the biological process from the experience.

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USER TESTING

Engaging Users in Research

I expanded our usability research beyond the standard procedure of observation, interviews, and surveys by introducing paper prototypes for the Action Menu Layout Activity and a Biological Knowledge Quiz. This hands-on approach provided insights, as observing and interviewing players interact with these prototypes revealed concrete ways to improve our design for a better learning experience. This direct feedback was key to fine-tuning our features.

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Action Menu Layout Activity

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Biological Knowledge Quiz

FEEDBACK

Analyzing User Pain Points

During our user research, we discovered key issues impacting user satisfaction:

  1. Users struggled with navigation due to confusing control layouts.

  2. Users were overwhelmed by the dense and complex content, making the learning experience tiresome.

  3. Users were not engaging with the environment due to the lack of interesting interactive features.

 

These insights highlighted the urgent need for a more intuitive interface, streamlined information system, and engaging features to transform the user journey into an enjoyable and enriching adventure.

QUICK SOLUTION

Refining User Flow and Interface Design

With a tight deadline before a vital showcase, we prioritized our efforts by assessing the impact and feasibility of potential improvements. Ultimately, we chose to focus on refining the button layout, a decision driven by its potential for user experience enhancement coupled with cost-effectiveness. Following user research insights, we made these changes to the UI:

  1. Rotated the panel by 30° to place the most used button at the top, optimizing navigation.

  2. Reorganized button locations to match user flow more intuitively.

  3. Simplified the data feature access: instead of a three-step process—clicking the data button, selecting a protein, then viewing information—we cut it down to a direct two-step interaction, where clicking a protein immediately displays its information.


These refinements made the user experience smoother and more efficient.

UI Diagram_Before.png

Action Menu - Before

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Action Menu - After

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