User persona

We interviewed users to further investigate their needs, pain points and behavior patterns.


  • There’s a noticeable quality trade-off. The scanner results are less precise than high-end scanners.
  • Access to hardware is important - users want to try before they buy.
  • Developers are selective about what technology they investigate - there are new frameworks coming out every day.
  • They couldn’t see many applications for the scanner - it primarily appeared useful for game development.


It appears that a difficult first-time experience and a lack of identifiable use keeps the sensor from continued user adoption.

Our assumption is that by improving the usability we can increase user confidence and create a better first-time experience leading to long-term use.

Improving Usability

To test our hypothesis and proposed solution we first improved usability. We restructured the app's information architecture flow then we added helpful real-time feedback during scanning, and also increased the clarity and consistency of the UI elements.

Redesigned on-boarding tutorial

Due to the complexity of the 3D scanning hardware we opted for a low-tech solution using museum board viewfinder, clear acetate and sprayed whipped cream to recreating the illusion of live feedback.


When we tested the new and improved prototype with users, they found it to be a delightful upgrade. They felt the buttons were placed more appropriately, and alerts seemed more helpful.

Generally users saw the improvements we made as positive, and said it made the experience better.

User testing our prototype

However, this doesn’t solve the lack of purpose and users still couldn't see any need to use it beyond the first few times. One user said:

“ 3D apps have gotten a lot better... but I don't know why I would use them beyond taking 3D photos.”


This is the crux of the problem.

We underestimated this underlying lack of need. The apps currently didn’t solve anyone's problem. 

Beyond the interface, beyond the usability, the core problem was in the goal of the app or rather, what goals are we helping our users to achieve? The current Scanner app, even when polished to the best version it can be and demonstrating the scanning functionality perfectly, still wouldn't be enough. For users to want to use the sensor as a tool and product they need it to solve their problem first.

Identifying the sensor’s differentiating factor

We need to utilize what differentiates the  sensor - its position of being a
mobile, real-time depth sensing and location tracking technology.

Suzanne Shuran Wu © 2018

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