The next design frontier is immersive, spatial and multimodal


Thursday, 26 Sep. 13:30–14:00


The next design frontier is immersive, spatial and multimodal

/ Rob Scott


Lightning Talk

We’ve reached “Peak GUI”. At least according to Colin Burns, former BBC Chief Design Officer. UX Professionals specialising in web and app design are in the business of recombining existing design patterns again and again, tinkering with the boundaries in search of minor optimisation. The value of user research is becoming well understood by product owners and developers alike. In a world of component libraries and design systems, the UX professional risks becoming redundant.

A glut of new technology platforms has arrived, and they might just be our only hope to stay relevant as flat multi-touch screens lose their interaction dominance. xR (including Virtual and Augmented Reality) systems take user gestures into the third dimension, exponentially increasing complexity and expounding the need to understand context more than ever.

We’re still in the practice of thinking of this domain from the technology up. If we’re going to bring our user-centred power to bear on this tech, we need to abstract the design domain and free ourselves from the constraints of the stack.

In this short talk I’ll introduce three core elements of this new design frontier, isolated as part of a small team working to explore and understand how 2D designers can begin to upskill in an increasingly 3D digital world. By sharing them, I hope to inspire more UX professionals to take their first steps into an exciting new dimension of practice.


Rob Scott

Rob Scott is a User Experience Architect for BBC Design + Engineering, currently working on UX&D’s Spatial Immersive Design team exploring how 2D digital designers transition to thinking and working spatially. Before this, he worked within BBC Education on products like BBC Food and BBC Bitesize, and spent time working on the‘Global Experience Language’. Prior to the BBC, he spent 7 years with a niche provider of meaningful travel experiences, constructing the IA for CRMs, flight booking and event management systems. He also co-organizes the VR Manchester Meetup and will talk about the difference between ‘presence’ and ‘immersion’ for hours if you let him.