Contextual Inquiry & Heuristic evaluation for PayPal app

ComicAR is an augmented reality toolkit for designing comics in AR.  This toolkit is built for Argon, the mobile augmented reality browser.

ComicAR is a suite for location based contextual mobile augmented reality comics. (I really managed to stuff all the buzzwords in there, didn’t I? but let me explain). The project was born out of previous work being done at Georgia tech on augmented reality and our mobile augmented reality browser argon. AR in the world of digital media is considered as a new medium. I wanted to help create the first mobile AR graphic novel which takes advantage of AR as a new medium my using real world locations as its background. During the process we discovered that there was not an easy way to AR comics or AR experiences in a scalable fashion. So I decided to create the toolkit for AR comics and help local artist design the first AR comics.

Phase I – Interviews & focus group: I started by interviewing 7 artists with basic to intermediate understanding of web technology. I later moderated a focus group to determine the elements of comic books as used in web publishing.We performed tasks like card sorting and cognitive walkthroughs to determine optimal information architecture.

Phase II – Design: Using the insights generated earlier, I came up with paper mockups and storyboards for both the online tool as well as the resulting AR comic strip. Followed HCD process to improve the prototypes.

Phase III – Usability testing: From the insights generated and literature review it became clear that we have to ensure users concentrated more on design than the data entry part for improved creativity.   The best way to evaluate that was to use eye tracking to determine attention of the user. Life a as a grad student is difficult, I could neither afford an expensive eye-tracking setup nor get continual access to the community Tobii tracker. So I created a cheap (ghetto) setup for eye tracking with kinect, open source ITU gaze tracker and a few hard cover books. Later, I performed remote usability testing using Picnet MET and user zoom.

Phase IV – Graduation and after: Compiled and documented the process and results to graduate with highest honors. .  This was followed by organizing artist workshop to help them use the tools. It was recently spotted in the wild during ISMAR 2012.