Typography Land  


Brandon Lai




Research Questions


1. How can virtual reality be used to teach/train students and keep them motivated to learn about educational topics?




Committee


Connie Hwang, SJSU Graphic Design Professor
Primary Advisor

Yoon Chung Han, SJSU Graphic Design Assistant Professor
Secondary Advisor

Jimmy Tu, Gap Inc. Web Content Developer
Tertiary Advisor








Abstract


As virtual reality (VR) is becoming a prominent topic in the technology industry for both entertainment and educational purposes, a large portion of the population is interested to see how virtual reality intends to shape learning.

The future of learning means to train students and introduce them to concepts that are better understood through immersive or hands-on experiences. VR brings education one step closer to that future, especially as certain fields in education and training—such as medical fields—introduce high-risk tasks which could be dangerous without proper hands-on experience. For example, imagine how a medical student in training may observe a professional perform surgery to learn how the task is carried out. With VR, that same medical student could instead undergo training by trying their hand at performing surgery in a virtual space, with no real patient at risk.





While VR is not as practical a method for learning as current methods used in schools, it may have a positive effect on the motivation of students, especially the younger generation. Many kids struggle to stay focused in a classroom because they are not engaged in hands-on tasks most of the time.

My objective is to design an interactive experience in which people can experience how learning in VR is shaping the future of education and training. I intend to demonstrate that VR is an effective method of learning that motivates students to learn about topics they would not normally get the chance to in a typical classroom through hands-on experiences.








Medium


The project is developed on Unity and built as an app for mobile devices to use with Google Cardboard VR, a fold-out cardboard viewer in which a smartphone can be inserted. The smartphone must run the app in order to use the Google Cardboard VR platform. Once the smartphone is inserted into the cardboard viewer, the app’s content can be viewed through the lenses of the cardboard viewer.


Because Google Cardboard VR is considered an entry-level virtual reality platform, almost anyone with access to a smartphone can use it. The cardboard headset is relatively inexpensive and compatible with most smartphones today. While the more advanced virtual reality platforms offer better experiences and more robust features, Google Cardboard VR brings immersive experiences to a wide audience in simple and affordable ways.







Branding


The visual design consists of diamond shaped elements, complementary cross-section accents, and 45-degree diagonal lines. This design language derives from the idea of four directions (north, west, east, south) being represented by the four corners of the diamond shape, which is used to symbolize the concept of exploring the different locations in Typography Land.



The icons for each location, as well as the main logo, all use the diamond shape as a way to maintain consistency while communicating the brand. Each location is associated with one color which uses each respective color only in addition to grayscale. These colors were chosen based on the geography of each location. For example, green is used for Serif Forest because green is associated with nature, brown is used for Leading Edge because cliffsides and beaches usually bear a shade of brown, and blue is used for Tracking Valley because valleys are known to have rivers flowing through them.







Visual Approach


To reduce visual complexity, I referred to a selection of Pantone colors and decided to use rather muted colors but still keep them distinct enough from each other to improve clarity. In addition, I chose to use only white for the terrain and objects to ensure there are virtually nothing obstructing the user from experiencing the virtual world the way it is meant to be experienced. This leaves the colors I chose to be limited to only the sky within their assigned location.
After coming up with the visual approach, I thought about the types of interaction to implement for each location. I wanted these interactions to be fairly simple and straightforward so that users can easily be acquainted with the concept, but also complex enough so that the subject is thoroughly detailed.







Typography Land is a virtual land in which users can explore. It contains five distinct locations where users can travel to learn about topics in typography relating to the specific locations.












Conclusion


During the course of this thesis project, I had never felt more outside of my comfort zone. This thesis project allowed me to explore the future of the digital world through a different lens. Because the virtual reality industry is still very young, this project felt highly experimental. But I am glad I took the risk of carrying out this project. I learned many new things along the way like creating a virtual world in Unity, and how the future of virtual reality is still very cloudy.  



Since I had no experience with anything involved in this project, I was slightly uncomfortable at first. But as I kept working on the project, I realized I very much enjoyed it. As virtual reality constantly evolves, I would definitely like to see how far virtual reality can go as to how it is used in education.

  2020 timeiswhatyoumakeofit