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Yujie Jiang is a designer with a wide range of skills across graphics, interaction, and motion design. She is experienced at experimenting with different design tools to tell interesting stories for media ranging from interactive kiosks, digital games, media walls, short films, and websites, all with modern and tailored aesthetics. 

In this article, Yujie explains the creative process she used to design the UI, UX and visuals for the Wild Weather AR game at the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Wild Weather AR experience

Wild Weather is part of the museum’s latest permanent exhibit, Power of Science, in which Squint created a mix of interactive and educational media experiences. Our team worked alongside the Frost Science internal design team, lead exhibition designers Thinc Design and fabrication and hardware specialists kubik maltbie

Wild Weather at the Frost Museum

As an augmented reality experience, Wild Weather, allows the visitor to be placed in a hurricane. Inspired by TV meteorologists, as soon as the visitor walks into the camera view they will see themselves transposed into the middle of a Miami hurricane, which gradually builds in intensity until waves hit and sharks go flying.

How do you create AR interactive exhibits? 

My process start by asking myself some simple questions: what, where and how? This forms the basis upon which I can start doing research and digging into the details. For the wild weather experience, I looked at the impact of hurricanes – things like flipping cars, rolling dumpsters and caved in roofs. Movies were also a great source to seek narrative inspiration.

After this initial research is done, I start to think about how to engage with the audience and tell the story of this experience. It’s important to work with the museum, subject experts and scientists to see how far the story can be built beyond the research.

Then I start mood boarding and exploring the visual language. For this experience, the key was to make sure that the chosen style conveys an immersive hurricane experience without intimidating or traumatising the visitors. For example, I included a flying cow as a surprising element and to add some fun to the experience.  

After this, it’s time to compose the environment by deciding game element positions, players’ positions, lighting, texture, and UI text placement. Client feedback and testing is key to the design and iteration stage, as it will ensure the final experience is responsive to both the client needs and the audience.  

Find the story

A successful experience must come with a good story. It’s important to be experimental and not to limit yourself by design tools. Keep thinking about how to best communicate the story to the audience, as this is the key point to come back to throughout the design process.

Written by

Matt Quinn

Commercial Director

Matt works between our New York and London studios where he leads on Squint/Opera’s overall commercial strategy and looks for new opportunities for Squint in the US. Prior to his move to NYC, Matt spent a decade running his own design studio in London working on major projects within real estate, architecture and culture. …