We developed an end-to-end co-creative methodology for designing interactive and immersive multisensory virtual reality experiences with a particular focus on people with disability. Our method draws on what is called “design thinking” to provide a backbone to our approach. This embraces three stages, an empathic first stage, followed by an ideation phase, during which the thematic context is elaborated, and then an iterative exploration phase during which the initial concept is refined and the implementation is achieved. Furthermore, the “cognitive design” methodology developed by one of us led us to an approach incorporating all sensory modalities, not just the audio and visual modalities (that is, it includes odor, tactile, taste and proprioceptive stimuli), in order to deliver an experience that fully enhances the user’s sense of embodiment, and also led us to place the user’s experience at the heart of the installation. Users participate in the design process through co-design protocols. We showcase the application of this methodology in a detailed way for the construction of an interactive and immersive VR installation for people with disabilities.
Part of the book: Virtual Reality and Its Application in Education