nasa - virtual reality

Redesigning virtual reality user interfaces for astronaut training


Creative Technology

User Research

3D Modeling - Blender

Summer 2018

The summer of 2018 was spent interning in the Habitability Design Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The primary project addressed the existing user interface used to interact with deep space habitations in virtual reality. The result is an entirely redesigned UI and accompanying graphic standards manual to allow for continued development and applications, including living space evaluation by subject matter experts, design testing, and, potentially, astronaut training.

Virtual reality provides a new and unique design space for interfaces. Fully physical,

fully digital, and yet fully a combination of the two. This interface worked within the programmable capabilities of the HTC Vive VR System and within the framework of Unreal Engine Processing.

the previous user interface was limited to a floating screen that housed unfriendly hand tools


The interface was broken down into three primary workflows:

1. Controller tools for interacting with the environment

2. Filter wheel to edit the environment

3. Evaluation panel to rate the environment

All work was documented and compiled into a design manual that outlines best practices and contains reference material for continued development and instrumentation. While prototypes were tested in virtual reality, this interface will continue to increase in functionality in the future as it is deployed across multiple NASA platforms.

This project was supported by a number

of individuals at NASA, including Canaan Martin, Mark Cramer, Brett Montoya, Taylor Philips-Hungerford, Molly Harwood, Robert Howard, and Francisco Jung