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ISMAR 2014 - Sep 10-12 - Munich, Germany

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Designing Location-Based Experiences


Session TitleRoomStartEnd
Designing Location-Based ExperiencesHS2Tuesday 09 Sep, 2014 02:00 PM06:00 PM
Mark Melnykowycz, idezo, Zurich


The development of locationbased applications from the perspective of story structure and product design will be presented. We present the challenges with developing locationbased mobile products from a storytelling perspective and tools for integrating user experience into the development process to drive story structure of new products. Included is a casestudy focused on the Ghost of Venice mixedreality film project, which is centered on an augmented reality mobile application.

Learning objectives of this tutorial are:


  • Understand how communication patterns have evolved with new technologies to their present state and how this influences the way stories are told.
  • Understand the design intent behind different AR/MR locationbased games from the story and user experience design perspectives.
  • Gain an understanding for how to approach AR/MR projects, which may include distributed storylines over different media.
  • Understand the complexity of creating AR/MR locationbased applications and how to address them in app or story development.
  • Gain insight into how to work between writers and the app development (design and coding) team to efficiently translate story concepts into mobile apps.


A workshop module is included at the end of the tutorial session, and at this point participants will be engaged to design a locationbased game experience. This will show in a project based learning environment, what the participants learned from the tutorial.


14:00 - 15:00 1. Story structure and communication patterns
Evolution of communications technology and consuption patterns
Linear and nonlinear story structures
Story progression in different media (books, movies, games, etc)

15:00 - 16:00 2. Design of AR/MR mobile apps
Fundamental differences between AR/MR technologies
User experience design tools
Discussion of current location-based AR/MR apps

16:00 - 16:15 Break

16:15 - 17:15 3. Ghosts of Venice Case Study
Value of ghost stories for location app design
Process of translating written stories to location stories
Production of integrating story with user interaction needs

17:15 - 18:00 4. Workshop
Pick a story and mobile app goal
Break down the design process for this specific case study

Form of Presentation

The main form of the tutorial will be a lecture style with project slides. Additionally, there will be a Junaio channel setup , which will allow participants to easily access additionally information while the tutorial is occurring. The ideal size will be 2030 participants, which will allow interaction between the speaker and the participants during the presentation. This tutorial has not been presented before, but the idea for it has grown from the experiences Mark has had in organising the Transmedia Zurich meetup group. He has spoken there on topics such as story structure and world building, while other speakers have focused on mobile game design, communication patterns, and locationbased games from Gbanga and Rundercover (new Swiss startup). As an extension of the Transmedia Zurich meetups Mark has been designing the transmedia toolkit (, which will be an opensource materials package focused on connecting storytelling and technology together in the best way to reach and engage with an audience.

Intended Audience

The main target audience includes people interested in how emerging technologies can be used most effectively in developing AR/MR experiences. The tutorial will look at the intersection between story structure, user experience development, and display (or consumption) technologies, and would therefore be useful for developers, designers, product managers, as well as researchers who are interested in how AR/MR technologies can be integrated into product development and predict how they can be used in the future.

Instructor Background

Mark Melnykowycz (, +41 78 693 0831) works in the development of flexible sensors for wearable computing applications and he is a cofounder of Lost In Reality (, a locationbased storytelling app (currently in development). He joined the Ghosts of Venice project to lead the app development and user experience design. Additionally, through his company idezo in Zurich, he is involved with prototyping interactive apps and exhibits for museum exhibitions. He is a coorganizer of the Transmedia Zurich ( group, which is focused on discussing topics of technology and storytelling.

Tutorial website with detailed information can be found here

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