LA Times - Augmented Reality Archives
This project is still in progress. End Date: April 2019
Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles: Connecting and building Augmented Reality maps of our City Through Photo Archives at the L.A. Times and USC Libraries.

USC Ahmanson Scholar for interactive storytelling
Project Purpose
It is well documented that Americans feel less and less attached to their communities, which has resulted in a multitude of problems for the nation’s political, economic, and cultural fabric (“What We Do Together: The State Of Associational Life in America”). But this decline has also hurt the local news industry - in Los Angeles, for instance, Angelenos’ lack of connection to their city has resulted in them purchasing fewer copies of The Los Angeles Times, forcing the newspaper to explore nontraditional ways of exhibiting the city’s relevance.

This collaboratory will address the dual issues of a disjointed Los Angeles and a declining local press by working in partnership with the L.A. Times to repackage their current data and offerings to engage the younger demographic of the LA Times audience through emerging technology.

Team: Max Lu, Naylee Nagda, Mansi Ganatra, Pooja Mahadev, Pragati Gupta, Nam Thai, Nathan Romo and Jesse Ryan
my role
Lead UI & Interaction Designer
Software used : Balsamiq, Sketch, Marvel and Unity UI Canvas
The LA times archive has high quality images that beautifully capture historic moments and traditions. Using these photos as the centerpiece, we are creating stories from the archives that readers today would be interested in e.g. What did kids in the 1930's wear for Halloween

We are then creating digital Augmented Reality (AR) maps that would inform the reader how many miles away the historic photo was taken from them and also embedding AR maps into more recent and real-time news e.g. California's wildfires.
UI Design process
As a UI designer, I created interfaces that would support our current repackaging of the LA Times.
This included:

1) Designing an interface that would showcase the specially curated stories our team produced.

2) Designing an AR interface that would embed into the curated stories from the LA times archive

3) Designing an AR interface for special geospatial stories .e.g. Live tracking a wildfire in California.
User flow
Information Architecture of how the user would move through the LA Times Archived Stories and transition into the AR Experience.
Design Guide
A snapshot of the style guide and specifications for our assets. Intended audience: Front - End Development Team. Full document available on request.
Interactive Prototype
Feel free to play around with the interactive prototype here.
Below are screen recordings of some features:
App loading
Reading a story
Navigating the App
AR Components embedded into the story: coming soon
UI for AUGMENTED Reality storytelling
For the next phase of our project, I am currently designing the AR interface of our project in Unity. This section will be updated with mockups in the next few weeks.