We chose the book we read, and these books gradually changed us. In this project, I wanted to show a user’s emotional change and mental growth during the reading time via the shape changing animation of an abstract object. The audiences can review their reading experiences and find out how these books have shaped their personalities and changed their lives.

After lots of explorations, I found virtual reality (VR) to be the best form of this project because it creates a completely immersive environment that lets users focus on their subtle emotional changes. After uploading book shopping records, the audience can watch the animation of their reading journey.

Tool: Cinema 4D, Illustrator, After Effects     Category: 3D Design/ VR Experience/ Interaction Design     Team: Natalie Ye, Rui Li
My Role: User Research/ Ideation/ Shape Research/ Interaction Design/ User Test

I noticed that people are so busy with life that they have no time for introspection. Therefore, I came up with an idea to create something like a mirror that reflects how grow throughout these years with the influence of the books we have read, in order to provoke awareness for retrospection.

I interviewed users from a wide range of ages to gain insights from them. I noticed that people read similar books within a certain time period, which inspired me to use changing shapes to display a user’s emotional change and mental growth during the reading time.


When it comes to interaction paradigm, I chose to use Kindle records of a user to upload book information. After uploading book shopping records, the audience can watch the animation of their reading journey through Gear VR.
Then I found virtual reality(VR) the best form of this project because it creates a completely immersive environment to let the audience focus on their subtle emotional changes.  Holding the timeline ball and turn it, the next shape will appear.

Turn the control wire for next book
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Final Visual Outcome
For example, this user, Mitchell, read a lot of books on heroism such as The Old Man and the Sea and Atlas Shrugged at the age of 20, based on his book purchasing records. So, a sharp diamond symbolizes his passion for the fighting spirit.
When Mitchell entered the working force at 25, The Catcher in the Wheat Field and The Great Gatsby were his favorite books. A horned ball reflects his hesitation and bewilderment.
Takeaways

During testing, a user told me, “The scene reminds me of my good old days. I thought it would fade away forever.” I suddenly realized that users not only expect a friendly-user experience, but also an emotion connection – similar to how they may expect a banking application to be trustworthy and a car to be like a partner.

In retrospection, I found emotion is a realm need further exploration. Could emotion be aroused on purpose? Do the books we read change our perceptions? Or is it our life experiences that have shaped us to gain a deeper understanding about the real meaning of the words we have read? Could emotion be controlled? How does each shape represent each state of mind? Would users from different cultural backgrounds with different emotion to be aroused? These considerations taught me to prioritize emotional factors in future user testing.

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