Nourish

Nourish is a motivational AR experience built for the Snapchat mobile platform. The project was made over a 4 week period starting in October 2020 when our team was accepted into the AR residency. The purpose of the project was to create a lens that would help people to initiate or maintain healthy habits.

At the end of this residency I became an Official Lens Creator with Snap.

promotional image of nourish lens

My Role

As the creative lead and one of the designers, I worked in collaboration with another designer to create assets, train the machine learning model, and program interactions in the Snapchat lens.

Process

Research > Concept & Approach

Design > Assets & Interactions

Design > Prototyping > User Testing

Delivery > Polish & Publish

Goal

To create and deliver a polished interactive AR experience

Challenge

During the pandemic lockdowns we were all feeling isolated, unmotivated and lonely. We wanted to offer an AR experience that can be motivational and uplifting during these hard times.

The project faced numerous challenges throughout the design & production process including time, resources, and a limited knowledge of how to use the required software to assemble and create interactions within the experience. In addition, as neither of us on the team were character animators. We had to find a technical solution of how we were going make the custom movements that we wanted the Nourish characters to make.

An additional constraint that we faced was the final size of the lens could be no larger than 4MB. As a result, we had to limit how many 3D characters we were going to create.

Solution

Nourish is a motivational lens that encourages you to stay healthy both mentally and physically.

The way that the lens works is the user is able to scan three separate objects in their environment - pillow, bowl, and running shoes. Once the camera recognizes them, the characters appear and form a motivational word and then dance before disappearing. The words we chose were "Rise", "Run", and "Sense".

Process

We thought of different ways to motivate people, but the lens didn't really take shape until we landed on this idea that these characters are always with you and you just need to scan specific items that exist in your personal space to bring them out.

In order for the lens to know your environment we needed to use ML model so the lens could identify specific items that we chose for the design.

Wireframes & User Flow

We created various wireframes so that we could visualize the flow of the lens as we wanted the experience to be as intuitive as possible as we knew that we only had a few seconds to capture the user's attention.

wireframes of nourish

We created a prototype to illustrate the flow of the lens as part of our design process.

Character Creation - From Sketches To Rigging

We started sketching our characters and think about the motivational words that they would form for each chosen subject.

brainstorm of characters

The initial words we thought of were Achieve, Dream and Commit but realized we would need to create over 10 different characters and decided to create the words out of the title "Nourish": Rise, Sense, Run.

Not being character animators we turned to a company called Flipside XR who have a tool called Flipside Studio where you can do motion capture of characters in VR. They provided us with a beta feature that would allow us to export the motion capture data and apply it to our 3D characters inside Blender.

Conclusion

Over the course of this project I applied many problem solving skills to create the design and user experience of the lens. We aimed to create something that move beyond face filters, which is typically how most mobile users use Snapchat. We wanted to create a meaningful experience that could help people during times when they aren't feeling motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make them feel they are never alone on this journey.