The Cisco CX Mission Possible VR experience took place at the Cisco CX conference in San Francisco. The experience was intended to showcase the outstanding customer support of the company through a series of VR puzzles that allowed the participant to progress whilst being helped by one of the Cisco experts.
This wasn’t your average VR experience though, on one side you have the participant with a HTC Vive headset on as they stand in front of a bespoke desk containing dials, buttons & a cube they’re able to interact with. Whilst on the other you have a Cisco CX representative who’s guiding them through the level from a 16:9 screen and a headset on the opposite side of the room.
If that wasn’t enough, both people weren’t seeing the same thing so teamwork, skill & knowledge were the key elements to guide users to success in this experience. Furthermore, having two installations side by side allowed for a competitive twist as participants racked up points to come out on top.
In mapping out the overall experience, we had to split it up into user types in which there were three; User (Participant), Support (CX Expert) & Spectator (the audience). From here we can map out all three journeys at once to understand how they will be reacting and working with each other.
The purpose of the participant - at least at the beginning of the project - was to gain interest of passers by (spectators) in the hope that they will line up to register and take part, however this changed due to the location of the booth.
In the flow you can see how the support & users have similar journeys in that they are sharing the experience in different ways. It’s worth noting that the games themselves weren’t defined at this point and were actually better defined once the infrastructure of the flow, hardware & fabricator was already established.
For the VR side there wasn’t much UI to design as a lot of the puzzles mainly involved 3D objects, however, the challenge came in the form of creating a dashboard for the Cisco CX expert to not only interact with, but oversee what the user is doing in an abstract manner.
The reason each section needed to be abstract was so that spectators wouldn’t know what was going on if they were looking at the screen, although it was still important the CX expert could understand what was happening.
The first thing I did was assign blocks to the interface highlighting their purpose & level of importance. In the red / orange areas are elements that were more of a gimmick or non-interactive such as health stats, wave form, tech feed & the avatar face which is a scanned image of the participants face and puts them on the large back screen. The purple block is a secondary interaction where experts can control the in-game camera views, whilst the green areas are the main interactive areas. These areas were actually fairly different in the final build as the only interactive area was the menu button.
Using this as a guide allowed me to frame the subsequent puzzles and roughly map out how they will work so that I can design better when it comes to the UI. You’ll also notice in the final dashboard there are actually two sides that have a lot of non-interactive elements, and in addition there’s a progress bar along the top to show how far through the experience the user is. All this is intended to be communicated via the expert to the participant.
The visual design was heavily inspired by Cisco Spark which utilises bright colours against various light greys which became the foundation of the dashboard in particular. This was important because of the dark lighting at the event can mean super harsh contrasts if the colours are pure white, so light greys were the way to go.
I worked closely with a motion graphics artist to mimic the movement, look & feel for the loading states and used their primary colour palette to create small UI elements to be used on the dashboard tracker as well as in-game notifications.
By taking all of these pieces I was able to create visual interest around the dashboard without creating too much clutter and ensuring that the colours and elements used were designed with purpose.