The Mars Experience is a universally accessible museum exhibit giving visitors the experience of life on Mars. Throughout this experience, visitors are set to be some of the first settlers on Mars. Our team created disability prototypes to better understand how to make the exhibit universally accessible. Visitors would experience 2 major aspects of being the first settlers on Mars, and one additional experience to round out the exhibit. The Town Lab enabled users to plan out and build a town for future settlers while experiencing the harsh weather and atmosphere of Mars. The Mars Rover experience enabled visitors to explore remote and unknown parts of Mars through a video-enabled remote control rover. To round out the exhibit, museum-goers were able to take a picture of themselves on Mars and send it out as a digital postcard to family and friends.
We started our process by visiting a museum in an attempt to gain insight into what makes a good museum experience. We combined these insights with those gathered from our disability experience prototyping to design our exhibit. We then brainstormed to get many different ideas. With the help of our professors and ai’s, we whittled these down until we arrived at our Mars concept. We then used bodystorming to further explore the problem space. We selected our favorite ideas and delved into them deeper to see if we could find a way to prototype their experience. Once we had these prototypes built, we ran through multiple iterations of user tests. After each test, we gathered user feedback to redesign our prototypes for the next iteration. Our final concept is made up of three major sections: the martian town lab, the mars rover experience, and a mars photo booth.
Martian Town Lab
The Martian Town lab was created to be a collaborative experience in which visitors would coordinate and build out a Martian town for the new settlers that would be arriving soon. Visitors would coordinate to build out the town while experiencing the Martian atmosphere through dust storms, images, and sounds.
The Mars Rover experience was designed to give visitors an understanding of what it might be like to drive a rover around the Martian surface. The rover could be viewed through a video interface, coupled with sound design, that promoted the experience of long-distance rover exploration.
Mars Photo Booth
As we learned from our research, take-home items are very valuable to museum-goers. By providing a photographic Mars scene, visitors could leave their mark on Mars, and take the experience home with them through prints or digital postcards.