Q: Yujie, I am glad you are here today for the interview. As a Visual designer, can you tell us why are you interested in the combination of fine arts and AR technology?
A: I earned my master’s degree in Fine Arts – Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design. The reason why I want to focus on the combination of visual design and technology is because I do not want to limit myself with traditional graphic design and hope to gain a better grasp of design skills. On the other hand, AR technology can be a powerful visual tool for storytelling. It is not only educating and inspiring people but also changing how people experience the world around them.
Q: As you mentioned, AR technology is a powerful visual tool. It can educate and inspire people. Can you explain a little more for our audience about how AR technology works for improving the customer experience?
A: AR provides an excellent chance for real-time interaction, augmenting real-world sensory experience by adding imaginary/virtual elements in the real world. The input elements could be audio, visual, or other sensory sources, but visual elements are currently the most mainstream ones. People are able to engage and experience what’s going on around them on a more comprehensive level. This is an opportunity for people to discover the new meanings of reality by crossing multiple sensor modalities. In this way, AR technology can enhance people’s experiences as they interact with the world.
Q: We are curious about your career in the creative technology industry. What is your key role, as a visual designer, in a project team?
A: As a designer, I still focus on the visual design side. Technology, for me, is like a tool or a means to create, design and communicate with my audience. For instance, I was tapped to deal with the exhibits UIUX design, 3D visuals and motion designs for a famous exhibition at the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami. The exhibition is named the Power of Science exhibition. It was designed to use AR technology in interactive games to educate its visitors on the science behind natural disasters. The visitors can immerse themselves in the simulated environment and truly experience the impact of the disasters. With my visual design knowledge and motion design skills in the interaction fields, I was able to create impactful interactive experiences for the visitors.
Q: Can you tell us the most impressive story when you were working for this project?
A: When I was designing the visual content for the exhibition, I needed to choose every element showing in the game carefully, and the process requires attentiveness and patience. To bring the best experiences to our visitors, I worked with many scientists and subject experts. I would like to create an immersive interactive AR experience that will educate the visitors on the hazardous impact of hurricanes by not intimidating the audience. The overall strategy for me is to think like the audience. I always think about the engagement and feelings from their views. This is the secret of successfully telling a story with visual elements.
Q: We talked a lot about the combination of visual design and AR technology. Let’s move forward to the human level. Based on your past experience, can you tell us the relationship between human life and technology?
A: Technology will become and is becoming a life-changing power for humanity, for sure. There are a lot of valuable outcomes from technology development. However, technology is a complicated concept. There are also concerns raised by emergent technology on human life. It is never too late to start learning about the potential issues of technology and seek solutions. For example, we enjoy the convenience that technology provides us, but we rarely think about the hidden side of reality behind these products. To solve this problem, technology itself can be a great solution. In fact, AR technology provides opportunities for us to unveil the hidden side of reality.
Q: That’s interesting. Can you explain more details about how AR technology can help people to discover the hidden side of reality?
A: When I studied at Parsons, my team and I took part in the MIT Reality Virtually Hackathon. Our purpose was to look at the negative influences high-tech products created and boost public awareness about them. We came up with an AR app that lets people scan their electronic devices and find the product’s hidden stories, for example, the energy put into the manufacturing process, people who worked behind, the efforts of logistics devoted, etc. We were using technology to reveal the impact of technology, which was ironic but an interesting idea. This AR app uses animated 3D visuals to help change people’s perspectives with the product and technology they encounter daily and allows people to learn about the relationship between their lives and the technology in a more comprehensive picture.
You can learn more about Jiang by visiting https://www.simplyujie.com/.