Immersive design

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Immersive design (Experimental Design) describes design work which ranges in levels of interaction and leads users to be fully absorbed in an experience. This form of design involves the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) that creates the illusion that the user is physically interacting with a realistic digital atmosphere.[1][2]

3D simulation that animated the speed and direction of four million stars in the Milky Way "Exploring the Universe in Virtual Reality" (2019) simulation by Goddard engineer Tom Grubb; image by NASA


Alex McDowell coined the phrase 'immersive design' in 2007 in order to frame a discussion around a design discipline that addresses story-based media within the context of digital and virtual technologies.[3][4] Together McDowell and museum director Chris Scoates co-directed  5D | The Future of Immersive Design conference in Long Beach 2008, laying some groundwork for immersive design to be a distinct design philosophy. 5D has become a forum and community representing a broad range of cross-media designers with its intent based in education, cross-pollination and the development of an expanding knowledge base.[5]

In recent years, immersive design has been promoted as a design philosophy where it has been appropriated for the purposes of describing design for narrative media and the process of Worldbuilding.[citation needed][6]

With immersive design being applied to a variety of topics and discussions, there is great benefit to how immersive design can benefit the future of technology. Topics and discussions include, mental health and personal medicine, gaming, journalism, and education.[7][8][9][10] Although immersive design is still maturing, it has served a great benefit to these fields, providing a unique learning experience for those involved.


In order for an experience to be considered 'immersive', it needs to incorporate multiple characteristics that help generate the altered illusionary experience.[11][12]

  • Audio
  • Sight
  • Touch
  • Multimedia
  • Multi-format
  • Projection Mapping
  • LED

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anurag (2018-05-31). "Immersive Design: How Can Tech Augment User Experience?". NewGenApps. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  2. ^ "What is an Immersive Experience And How Do You Create One?". CleverTap. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  3. ^ "Alex McDowell Talks 5D Conference and Immersive Design". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  4. ^ McDowell, Alex (2011). Immersive Design. Ceed Publishing. ISBN 978-613-4-95682-6.
  5. ^ "5D Conference | Buzzing in Tech". 5D Conference. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  6. ^ Barker, Heather. "Wicked tactics - UX/XD: World-building in post-virtual space" (PDF). ARCC 2015: Future of Architectural Research.
  7. ^ Kitson, Alexandra; Prpa, Mirjana; Riecke, Bernhard E. (2018). "Immersive Interactive Technologies for Positive Change: A Scoping Review and Design Considerations". Frontiers in Psychology. 9: 1354. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01354. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 6085587. PMID 30123161.
  8. ^ Sundar, S. Shyam; Kang, Jin; Oprean, Danielle (2017-11-01). "Being There in the Midst of the Story: How Immersive Journalism Affects Our Perceptions and Cognitions". Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 20 (11): 672–682. doi:10.1089/cyber.2017.0271. ISSN 2152-2715. PMID 29125787.
  9. ^ Klippel, Alexander; Zhao, Jiayan; Jackson, Kathy Lou; La Femina, Peter; Stubbs, Chris; Wetzel, Ryan; Blair, Jordan; Wallgrün, Jan Oliver; Oprean, Danielle (2019-12-01). "Transforming Earth Science Education Through Immersive Experiences: Delivering on a Long Held Promise". Journal of Educational Computing Research. 57 (7): 1745–1771. doi:10.1177/0735633119854025. ISSN 0735-6331. S2CID 198334917.
  10. ^ lachenal, jessica (2017-03-02). "The Experience Designer's Toolbox: Games and Immersive Design". Medium. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  11. ^ Sachidanand, Rishab (2019-11-20). "Elements of a true immersive experience: comparing altered reality technologies". Medium. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  12. ^ Espost, Carla Inez (2018-05-22). "Storyge — The Immersive Experience Design Workflow". Medium. Retrieved 2020-11-11.