I enjoy learning new design skills through side projects and experiments.

SimpleVR

A virtual reality authoring tool

An immersive storytelling tool that enables users to craft narratives using 360° panoramas, adding text, images, and audio to create interconnected panoramic rooms.

Skills: three.js, React, html, css
Team: Ali Momeni throughout the last iteration. Many collaborators through out the project timeline.
Demo: SimpleVR.irl.studio
Brief: Develop a browser-based virtual reality authoring tool designed for non-technical youth to create immersive stories.
Duration: Fall 2017 - 2020 

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Storytellers can enhance their stories by guiding the reader in a room through a narrative or add a soundtrack to create a more uniform story through sound as well as gaze-activated sounds.

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With SimpleVR, I have had the chance to improve my front-end development skills, understand designing for virtual reality systems for limited hardware, and most important meet with so many talented youngsters as well as education technology enthusiasts such as teachers, which are interested in using SimpleVR in their classrooms.

How to get started to SimpleVR (fka SocialVR Lab)? by Aparna Wilder
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Snapshots from our 360 camera experiments and several EdTech events that we attended.

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Poli

A platformer inspired by Tangram shape puzzle

Skills: Unity, C#
Source Code: View on Github
Brief: Develop a 2D platformer that has three levels and three enemies. 
Duration: 2 Weeks (Fall 2017)

Poli is a platformer game, similar to Super Mario Bros, which users play a figure called "Poli".  The goal is to find Poli's mother in levels with varying game dynamics: land, sea, air. All characters and the environment are made of primitive geometric shapes inspired by Chinese shape puzzle, Tangram. 

With Poli, I learned how to develop 2D assets for character animation, Unity scripting, and what to consider when designing platformer games.

Speed-up gameplay shots from Poli

Sorry, only on desktop for now.

EM: Emirates Chatbot

IBM Watson Special Prize at Emirates AI/ML Hackathon

Skills: prototyping conversational interfaces, UX
Brief: Predict Emirates loyalty members' home airport through logs or social media.
Duration: 2 Days (Fall 2017)

As five designers, we approached hackathon's machine learning problem with a more user-friendly and reliable way of collecting data, an end-to-end travel chatbot. In this project, I designed the dialog flow with a peer. Then I created a Hi-Fi screen for the in-flight entertainment system and prototyped the conversational interface, using Twilio and FB Messenger.

Our slide-deck was followed by a live demo of a Twilio SMS bot that I prototyped.
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Future Voices

Collectively Imagining the Future

Skills: Projection Mapping, Millumin, OpenCV, Workshop Facilitation
Brief: Create an impact in Pittsburgh through technology.
Duration: 4 months (Dec 2016 - Mar 2017)

As four designers, we did a semester-long exploration of how technology might facilitate community-driven design futuring around shared spaces. The project began as a whimsical urban projection event in a vacant lot in Pittsburgh, and the incredible response by children pushed us to study how we might scale down the technology and bring it into classrooms.

Our first experiment: An Interactive Urban Projection
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FV Events: An interactive urban projection, a futuring-driven projection mapping, a virtual reality futuring exercise
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Leisure for All

Visualizing the accessibility of Pittsburgh's restaurants

Skills: data visualization, After Effects, UX, prototyping
Brief: Dive in the process of designing visual, aural and temporal representations of data that communicates information in a way that is useful and desirable.
Duration: 1 month (Fall 2016)

As two designers, to answer our research question "Leisure should be for everyone but is it equal for all?", we have mapped important parameters that can guide specially-abled residents to enjoy a meal out with their friends in Pittsburgh. To show the look and feel of the full visualization, we have mapped an example neighborhood from Yelp's Open Dataset.

I gained two important skills with this project. Firstly, I studied how to analyze and find emerging patterns in a dataset. Secondly, I learned how to communicate many data points in one interface.

A walkthrough of our final design
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What is Web Mashup?

An explainer video for the concept

Skills: After Effects, communication design
Documentation: View on Medium
Brief: Design motion to effectively make a complex abstract concept concrete by utilizing visual, temporal, and aural channels.
Duration: 1 month (Fall 2016)

To explain "What is web mashup?", I approached the topic by visualizing the process of a developer, who creates a website for making apartment search process easier and more useful.

This was my first motion design project in After Effects. Since my video was a very visual-heavy for such purpose, my biggest takeaway from this project was that minimal visuals work better to explain an abstract concept.