Magic Mirrors

To create a system for Disney Land which helps visitors, park employees, or park in some way(no affiliation with DisneyLand, or any other Disney Product/Feature/Activity. Used for educational purposes only)

Duration: 2 weeks

Methods: Persona, Design Sketch, Experience Prototype, Scenarios, Usability Evaluation

Tools: Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP


DESIGN & METHODOLOGY: Our team had no contraints to start with. We could pick up any user group, any problem faced within a theme park, anything we deemed suitable for the design. We thought about several areas we could design for. We researched about effecient waste management system, defining shortest routes for park staff for lesser fuel usage, defining sustainable initiatives for the upkeep of the Disney characters uniforms, easier parking for visitors, recording tour of visitors and presenting to them as a memoir. However, none of these appealed much to us. We decided to design for the visitors becuase we empathized most with with them. As a team, we reflected upon our previous experiences in theme parks around the world. We also started looking for various complaints, or issues that concern visitors of theme parks. We found out that waiting in long lines dampened the otherwise great experience of visitors in theme parks.

Our vision was a design for visitors so that they do not have to face the negative experience of waiting in a long line. We were also of the view that by eliminating wait or the negative experience of waiting, revenues for theme parks could be increased. The first solution that hit us was to somehow reduce the lines to eliminate the wait. We spend some time thinking about various ways that people could effeciently move around the park without having to wait in a line. The obvious solution was to have visitors decide the rides and activities they want to indluge in before they come to the park and design an algorithm to manage crowd at the park's end. However, visitors generally decide on the fly what they want to do at a theme park. To decide before hand, what they want to do would be taking out something from the whole experience. People come to theme parks to enjoy and have fun, they can't be expected to make a schedule or time table of the day they want to have fun. Besides, a visitor might want to spend more time or no time in a section of the park after experiencing it. A major part of theme park's audience is made up of kids. We cannot expect them to decide a schedule and stick to it even after providing them with a virtual tour. Many factors influence creation of an experience.

We researched about how Disney tries to manage lines at its park. We learned that they have employed a system called FastPass which helps people to manage their time better for certain rides. Hence, we found out that Disney is already doing things to reduce the wait in line. This piece od research helped us view our vision in a different light. We decided that since we could not reduce the line, or wait in line, we could help alleviate the negative experience of waiting in a line. Our design motto was, "Keep the magic alive". We strove for a deisgn that could help visitors have a good time while waiting ina line for their turn for a ride. We wanted to capture attention and entertain visitors so that they forget they are waiting in a line. Since, most of the people visit a theme park ina group, we wanted them to have fun while being able to interact with their group. We drew up our constraints, the interface that we provide people should provide ease of use and have no learning curve, the interface should support group use, the interface should not require more than few minutes of interaction as lines move after ever period of specified time.

We came up with design of Magic Mirrors. These mirrors are LCD Screens but framed and designed to look like mirrors. These would be put up in the area where people are waiting for their turn on the ride. The mirroes would reflect the faces of onlookers with some sort of accessory related to the theme of the ride. For example, a ride based on the theme of Peter Pan would reflect back the face of onlooker with a pirate hat or tinker bell wings or as Captain Hook etc. This would keep the visitor occupied and help build in a better experience. The design accomodated for people of different heights, kids, adults and groups of people.

EVALUATION: To evaluate, we simulated our design with Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP with a Dell Inspiron 6000. This webcam can show a personís image as an animated 3D Avatar on screen. This avatar has the ability to imitate facial expressions and head movements. The webcam can also apply 2D accessories on a personís face on screen. Our test aimed to examine the experience of the Space Mountain ride with our design concept. We presented the setup to our test participants and let them interact with the output on the screen and then we showed them a video of SpaceRide to ascertain if the several accessories made them feel more immeresed with the ride.

We planned and evaluated our design with an individual and a group because we wanted to ascertain individual reaction while people are in a group and otherwise. We also planned to evaluate design both with males and females individually and in groups and mixed groups as well. However, due to shortage of candidates and time, we could test our design with a group of females and an individual male.

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