Data Visualization on Mars

Platform: Oculus Quest

Role: Designer, Developer

Engine: Unity, C#, Oculus SDK, MRTK

This project was the result of a week long prototyping challenge with the prompt: Data Visualization on Mars. Below is an example of the result.

Finished prototype example

The problem: What is the best way for a user to visualize data on Mars?

At first I was not sure how to approach this, but I had a few key ideas to start:

  • VR Experience (Quest 2) + Hand Tracking (MRTK)

  • Diegetic UI for World Anchors + Ease of Use

  • Presentation of Data: “Tell a story with your data”

  • Compelling, Familiar, but unique to VR

The solution: Out of these core tenants, I landed on this idea: a VR experience that transports users to a relevant location while allowing them to create custom data panels for presentation.


Data Visualization on Mars, on Mars.

From there, I started with the big picture - what is the broad user experience and what will that experience look and feel like

Then, I jumped into Unity and began prototyping. Below are some example of the prototype

Planet selection example gif

Finished prototype example

Going further: With being in a relevant environment to what you're viewing, the possibilities start to feel endless. For instance, the data used in this prototype was weather and climate data from the NASA Insight missions. It would be very impactful if a user could see first hand where and how this weather was affecting mars, and what impacts it has on the surface and atmosphere.