MARA stands for Martian Augmented Reality Assistant. For my senior thesis, I chose to focus on designing for 30-40 years out in the future, when ordinary humans are traveling to Mars. As more humans travel the cosmos, we aren't going to be able to train them to the same extent as astronauts now. I chose to look at Augmented Reality as a means to help fill that training and information gap.


Mission Prep

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Prior to performing tasks on a mission, Astronauts go through a multi-day prep process. Astronauts go over various procedures and navigational routes multiple times before performing a mission. In order for everyday people to travel to space, this process needs to be refined and simplified, requiring little to no mission prep


User Research with Hololens and Mock Spacesuit



“It’s having trouble tracking; it gives me three different views in one, like I’m triple cross-eyed or something....”



“I think the AR experience on the phone is much better than that on the Hololens.”


“I can’t wait for this to be over if I’m being completely honest.”

Research Comparison


Design Criteria

1. Design a User Interface and User Experience projected 30-40 years in the future for Martian tasks

2. Storyboard scenarios with which to constrain the Augmented Reality Experience - look to science fiction for inspiration.


AR Testing


AR Voice Command Activity

The AR Voice Command Acitivity tested the input method that users preferred where I moved elements based on their commands. 

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AR Overlay Acivity

The AR Overlay Activity was used to simulate a medical emergency. Clear Overlays were designed based on the sketches. Each person used their phone as the AR screen, and held the Overlay infront of the phone. As users completed each task, I swapped out the overlay to simulate an AR experience. 

AR on the Screen


UI Design

Thumbnail Sketches

Final UI Concept


UI Animation Testing


User Experience Design

Journey Mapping


User Experience Film