FOUR SEASONS

Imagining the concierge service of the future for Four Seasons, Tokyo using virtual reality and the HTC Vive.

Project Overview

Problem


Luxury travelers often find it difficult to research and navigate a new city, particularly when traveling abroad.

How can we enable the more natural creation of an intuitive travel itinerary in order to assist these travelers?

Tasks


  • Identify key pain points for Western travelers in Japan and develop a strategy to meet those user needs.
  • Develop a programmatic, branded concept to be implemented on site.
  • Create a working prototype to demonstrate the execution to key stakeholders.

Solution


Create a room-scale, interactive VR experience that creates a sense of immersive presence for travelers, allowing them to become familiar with their new surroundings from the comfort of the hotel. This virtual concierge service will be offered as a luxury amenity that naturally complements the Four Seasons brand.

Overview

Creating the digital concierge of the future

Fig 1: User Persona Detailing the Western Luxury Business Traveler

Fig 2: User Journey Detailing the Product Engagement

Strategy

Through research, I developed a target consistent with the Four Season’s brand: the Western Luxury Business Traveler (WLBT). Using a design persona and user journey, I was able to pin-point the needs of this traveler and begin to design for him.

Sherpa Concept

With the WLBT in mind, I created an immersive VR concierge named Sherpa. Sherpa uses proximity, scale, and direction to allow the user to feel fully immersed in the itinerary creation tool. When the user leaves the lobby, he or she will have a realistic connection to the buildings and points of interest that were seen in the VR representation of the city.

Sherpa HTC Vive Demo

Here is a demo of the final medium fidelity prototype. It emphasizes the spatial and proximity relationship that allows the WLBT to gain a sense of place, in addition to the information gathering systems that interactively allow for itinerary creation.

UX, UI, and Interaction Design

Iteratively Designing for the VR Space

Fig 1: Initial Sketches

Fig 2: Basic IxD Prototype in Sketch and Principle

Fig 3: 3D Modeling in Cinema 4D and Prototyping in Unity

Fig 4: User Testing

Given the relatively new nature of immersive media and room-scale VR, designing for the UX, UI, and IxD involved a significant amount of iteration, testing, and trial and error. I began with 2D sketches, illustrating 3D UX considerations such as implied physical/spatial awareness, directional perception, proximity relationships, and visual recognition and memory imprint. From there, I wrote notes on ideas relating to the UX, UI, and IxD of information sorting in the 3D space.

With my intial sketches in place, I created a series of simple interaction prototypes using Sketch and Principle as a means rapidly and inexpensively determining key considerations before moving into the 3D prototype. I then began creating 3D assets in Cinema 4D using the learnings from my simple 2D sketches and prototypes. Once these assets were created, I was able to begin iteratively prototyping in Unity using Newton VR, Steam VR, and the HTC Vive. User Testing allowed me to further refine the prototype, refining interactions and the overall user experience.

The Team

A list of team members and their roles

Dan Cotting

Experience Designer


www.dancotting.com