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Immersive Experience Design II

Instructor Jacquelyn Morie

Led by instructor Jacquelyn Ford Morie, this course present a unique opportunity to meet and hear from experts in the field of immersive media. Click here for more details and to enroll


Mondays Sept 19 – Nov 28

9am to 12pm PT

Live on Zoom

Most sessions will feature an industry level guest speaker. Students will explore the immersive works they have created and ask them questions about those works. Students will also refine their Immersive Experience Design Template for their initial concept with more focus on Production Flow.

Class will include several virtual field trips.

One short essay paper will be required.


Week 1 Sept 19

Introductions and Goals for the Quarter

Review of Experience Design Template Phases for the first class.

How to use LinkedIn and other Networking tools

Week 2  Sept 26

Guest Speaker: Randal Kleiser

Randal Kleiser, esteemed director of films such as Grease and Blue Lagoon, will be joining us to discuss an immersive series he created called Defrost, based on an idea he had years before VR entered its third wave.

Week 3  Oct 3

Taylor Freeman of Axon Park.

Taylor’s company Axon Park, is building metaverse campuses for universities. They also create custom training modules for health practitioners.

They are at the forefront of reimagining education for the future.

Week 4 Oct 10

Guest Speaker: Brian Seth Hurst, who will discuss his

considerations for his historic immersive work: My Brother’s Keeper

Week 5 Oct 17

Social VR platforms and a Virtual Field Trip!!

We will discuss the important considerations for use and advantages of immersive social platforms. During this class, we will all be given a personalized tour of Meta’s Horizons, by a guide who have been deeply involved with the platform. Students will attend the virtual field trip via their Oculus Quest 2 headsets.

Week 6 Oct 24

Case Study: Health-related company/experience. Guest speaker still TBD; Virtual Field Trip

Week 7 Nov 7

Showcase experience: Climate Change behavioral intervention. Gust Speaker Yvla Hansdotter, Date TB Confirmed

Week 8  Nov 14

The Artistic Experience with Guest Speaker Kevin Mack. Oscar winner Kevin Mack takes on a wild and wonderful journey into the best of today’s VR art, including his own!!

Virtual Field Trip Museum of Other Realities

Week 9  Nov 21

Discussion of new directions. One on one meetings with students to refine their concepts.

Week 10  Nov 28

Next steps: Where do you go to market yourself with these new found skills?

Week 11  Dec 5

Final Presentations. We hope to have industry guests in attendance.

Immersive Experience Design I

Instructor Jacquelyn Morie

Thursdays, Sept 22 – Dec 8 

9am to 12pm PT

Live on Zoom

Led by instructor Jacquelyn Ford Morie

For more details and to enroll click here

Virtual Reality and other forms of immersive media (collectively known as XR) have the potential to enhance people’s lives in innovative and engaging ways. How can creators learn to produce effective and meaningful immersive content? Until now there has not been a good place to learn such techniques.

This class provides a solid foundation for understanding what immersive media is, as well as what it can and might be. Covered topics include the origins and distinctive affordances of immersive media, range of media types, concept generation, character integration, and how to craft an experience to fit specific goals.

Students will be provided an Immersive Design Template to fill out as they develop a concept for a personal Immersive Experience. Techniques to achieve a great experience design are covered and included in the lectures and in the design template.

Students leave the class understanding many important techniques critical to develop quality immersive experiences. An Oculus Quest 2 with 256 GB of storage is required for this course.

Students will be assigned several immersive experiences to try as homework followed by a discussion about those in class.

Guest speakers may contribute to the class throughout the semester.

The final project is a well-crafted immersive design concept, delivered as both a written document and a final slide presentation.

Week 1 Sept 22

Introductions and Goals for the Quarter

Lecture, Discussion: Origins and Types of VR

Lecture, Discussion: Current types of Immersive Media; What makes these types of media examples different from traditional media 

Set up your Oculus Quest 2

Week 2  Sept 29

Lecture, Discussion: What is an experience?

This class presents a look at a continuum of different types of XR media – from storytelling to documentary to brand experiences. From a passive experience where you are just an observer, to full agency where your actions and decisions steer the experience, there is a continuum of interaction that can serve different goals. 

Week 3  Oct 6

Lecture, Discussion: An overview of production for immersive experiences, from the 1990s until present day.

Guest Lecture: Michal Potts from the World Building Class

Week 4 Oct 13

Lectures, Discussion: Considerations for XR (immersive) Design: 3 topics

Topic 1: A first look at design considerations and steering the Experience

Topic 2: Avatars and POV within the experience: What does an Avatar bring to the experience?

Topic 3:Types of viewpoints

Week 5 Oct 20

Lecture, Discussion: Starting to design your own immersive experience. The Immersive Design Template will be introduced.

Additional lecture. Discussion topics: A deeper dive into other characters within your experiences. What does it take to make a virtual human vs an NPC. How can AI characters be utilized to enhance the experience?

Week 6 Oct 27

Lecture, Discussion: More techniques to create a fuller experience

What other tools and techniques are available to get participants to have the experience you want without them feeling coerced or that the experience didn’t really need them. Techniques for more agency.

Week 7 Nov 3

Lecture, Discussion: A variety of current case studies. Guest lecture TBD

Week 8  Nov 10

Lecture, Discussion: What does the world give you?

How does the look and feel of the world affect the participant experience?

A look at existing “metaverses” 

Virtual field trips to various shared immersive worlds

Week 9  Nov 17

Work on final experience design concpets

Lecture, Discussion: Possible Guest Speaker TBD

Week 10  Nov 24

One on one meetings with students to go over your design concepts.

Week 11  Dec 1

Presentations of your immersive design concepts to your classmates

Week 11  Dec 8

Final Class Presentations to industry guests in attendance.

Course Spotlight: The Moving Image

How Not to be Seen, Hito Steyerl

The Moving Image

How can the moving image be used as an effective medium within the contemporary arts landscape? This course will explore how video and experimental film have been used to create powerful works of art which have the capacity to offer challenging questions and evoke strong emotions. In the course we will discover that just like photography, painting, or sculpture, the moving image has its own set of parameters that artists can utilize for expression and communication. Students will conceptualize and complete at least two new time-based artworks. Screening materials will be provided in advance of class and reading materials will be supplementary to enhance understanding. Discussion and instruction will take place over Zoom.

Dead Forest, Charlie Nijensohn

Format: 11 weeks over Zoom, screenings and readings are provided each week in advance.  Students will complete at least two moving image artworks.  Final Cut Pro X will be taught.  Technicals will cover video production, audio production, editing, temporal manipulation, color correction, masking, and compositing.

Supplemental readings by Vito Acconci, Walter Benjamin, Robert Bresson, Guy Debord, Sergei Eisenstein, Laura Mulvey, Craig Owens, P. Adams Sitney, Hito Steyerl, and Andrei Tarkovsky

Week 1 – Course Introduction

Week 2 – Core Operations, Metaphor, Metonym, Allegory, Symbol, the Sublime and the Beautiful 

Week 3 – Formal Play and Reflections on the Medium

Week 4 – Image – Sound – Time Relations

Week 5 – Theatrical and Anti-Theatrical

Week 6 – Critique, Mining an Archive

Week 7 – Performance

Week 8 – Cinematic Regurgitation and Constructions

Week 9 – (Re)enactments and Theory into Video

Week 10 – Works-in-progress Critique

Week 11 – Final Critique II and Screenings

Led by Justin Serulneck: a research-based artist who uses photography, video, and data to manifest and map relations in the world.

Measures of Distance, Mona Hatoum

UCLAxOpen Free Course: The You in UX

Join us Tuesday, February 22th at 12pm for The You in UX, a free short course about careers in UX Design.

What is user experience design, and is it for you? This seminar will explore the career paths open to user experience designers. Hear from recent graduates about their industry experience, the current marketplace, and how the UCLA Extension User Experience Certificate can help you begin a strategic career in user experience design.

Speakers include Musangi Muthui (technologist, creative imagineer and business strategist) Andy Dang (product designer), and Zachary Taylor, (User Experience Certificate grad).

Enroll now!

Interview with UX Graduate Nicholas Reedy

Congratulations to Nicholas on his recent graduation! Hear about his background and see some of his class projects below.

How did you get interested in user experience design and why did you choose this program? 

It’s a funny story, because I always attribute my budding interest in User Experience Design to my time spent as a Preschool Teacher. As crazy as it sounds, I always felt like running a preschool classroom was sort of the ultimate UX experience – having to design your classroom to fit the varying needs of your students, empathizing with your “users” to create developmentally appropriate curriculum – it all fits in with the principles of UX.

I had to make a career pivot once COVID hit. Digital preschool just wasn’t achievable, and that’s when I really started looking into the UX field. I have a BA in psychology, so I wanted to find something that could utilize that skill set. I had heard great things about UCLA’s extension program being an LA native myself, so I thought I’d do a bit of investigating and I’m thrilled I did.

Can you tell us about a project you completed that you’re proud of, or that you found especially challenging?

One project had me on a team where we had to figure out a new solution for “the car buying experience.” What was tricky about that one was it was a process that was already etched in stone; so many people had their preconceived notions of what the process would look like. There was very little empathy between channels as well, as car buyers and dealers felt that their way of handling the situation was superior to the other. This made gathering our initial research rather difficult, because there was not much constructive feedback to collect when it came to improving the process. Fortunately I was a part of an amazing team and we were able to develop a holistic approach to reinventing this somewhat antiquated experience, which focused on improving the fractured relationship between the two parties.

What are your professional aspirations?

I’m geared more towards the user research side of UX, things like running interviews, creating usability tests, things of that nature. I would love to take these skills into the video game industry and help design systems that make games enjoyable. I can’t even begin to tell you how many games I’ve had to put down because of an awful user experience. Functionality testing, measuring user enjoyment, building out UIs – these are all things that I want to help test and develop through various research methods. Looking even further into the future I’d love to take these skills into the VR world too, as it seems there is a ton of untapped potential in that field.

What advice would you give someone interested in learning more about User Experience Design?

If you’re passionate about it, go for it. Don’t think it’s ever too late to explore a new avenue, especially if you already find yourself in a completely different line of work. And don’t think you need to be a “UX Unicorn” to get somewhere with it. Focus on what part of User Experience Design calls to you and dive in, continuing to better yourself in that field every opportunity you get. There are so many resources out there that will make you a fantastic UXer (including your peers), so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to utilize them.

UCLAxOpen Free Course: Choosing and Using a Digital Camera

Join us Tuesday, December 7 at 12pm for Choosing and Using a Digital Camera, a free short course taught by photography instructor Dr. Craig Havens.

This course covers digital camera features including camera bodies, sensors and lenses, as well as brands, quality and price comparisons. Get recommendations for a variety of different needs. The 90-minute course ends with a Q&A session.

Craig Havens (US/DE) is a visual artist working in the lens-based media of photography, video, installation and projection. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. His practice is concerned with expanding the function of photographic and moving images beyond the role of documentary monuments through the use of counter monumental strategies derived from post-war German public sculptural practice. 

Interview with UX Graduate Clement Lee

Congratulations to Clement on his recent graduation! Hear about his background and see some of his class projects below.

How did you get interested in user experience design and why did you choose this program?  

Ever since I started my interest in design in general at 16, I was very intrigued by the wide variety of visual mediums a designer can use to tell a story. While developing my graphic design in college, I wanted to push my boundaries beyond pushing pixels. I want to understand more about technology, business, psychology. It is from there I started to explore user experience design. After I graduated college, I decided to continue my design pursuit at UCLA Extension. I chose this institution because it provides a year-long program that nurtures students to understand the broader scale beyond user experience. The program allowed us to explore different aspects of the design spectrum, such as marketing, customer experience, service design, and user psychology. On top of that, all the instructors are diligent professionals passionate about teaching new designers.

Can you tell us about a project you completed that you’re proud of, or that you found especially challenging?

In our third quarter of the program, our team’s assignment was to create an end-to-end service design for a car dealership in the digital age during pandemic and post-pandemic. I wasn’t familiar with the dealership industry, nor was I familiar with service design. As our team proceeds with the project, each part of the research, design, and iterations are meticulous. The long hours of work are required to condense into a 5-minute presentation. Despite the challenges, this is the quarter that I truly understood the full scale of user experience design. Our team collaborated so seamlessly it made the challenging assignments very fun to tackle. In the end, the project was a big success, and I couldn’t be more proud of our hard work.

What are your professional aspirations?

I hope to become a designer that can use my skills for a good cause and reach out to a large audience who need access to basic needs. Industries such as healthcare, technology, athletics, and philanthropy can impact large communities, and I would be honored to be part of an influential team.

What advice would you give someone interested in learning more about User Experience Design?

Always have a growth mindset. You will learn new things in each project, which means you will have to fill yourself in other people’s shoes a lot. So it’s essential to become adaptable and prepare for whatever case comes your way. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask a lot of questions! That way, you will grow not only as a designer but as a person.

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