• Nicole Papaioannou Lugara

A Whole New World: Welcome to Your ID Virtual HQ

I have been increasingly interested in virtual reality. Last year, I bought an Oculus Quest to attend the Global HR Summit in AltSpace and test the waters. Immediately, I was hooked-- no so much by the conference (which kinda underwhelmed me and I got motion sickness from the app)-- but by the other immersive experiences.


I went Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice in the aptly named game. I meditated in Tripp. I wandered the globe. I watched videos in virtual theaters. I went to 1OAK Tokyo.


About 2 months ago, after a really difficult time recovering from child birth, I started Supernatural, and it has made me feel like I have the potential to get back to moving fluidly again some day.


Around the same time, I started to feel like I hadn't learned anything new in a while when it came to my instructional design. I missed being a novice and exploring a tool. I missed the creativity and innovation that sparked when I felt free to make mistakes and discover uses without being told what things were for.


And that's how I landed on Spatial. I think they have a interesting business model. It's something like a coworking space in the metaverse. You have rooms that you can customize to suit your needs. You also have tools for collaboration. If you upgrade for the pro, you can opt for live captioning, which appears in text above your head.


What really caught my eye though was the holograph-like nature of the avatars. Usually, when you're working in game environments, you're customizing options to make an avatar that looks like you or creating a character, or you might be picking from premade avatars. In this case, Spatial encourages you to upload a picture and turns it into 3D representation of you (albeit, sans lower half of your body). It's awesome!


It's also accessible via VR headset, iOS app, and web-based app on your computer. Lots of options for users.


I was fascinated, and so, I dove in and decided this would be my "fun" tool, the sandbox where I get to play and reignite my creative juices.


Now 9 out of 10 times, I'll tell you to do your needs analysis before picking a tool, but this was just for play. However, in exploring the tool, I came to understand exactly what I needed it for.


Since I work from my home office, I've never had a space where I felt comfortable working with clients or colleagues. This is what I decided that I wanted from Spatial. I wanted to create an HQ experience. But I wanted it to be more than "come here and talk." I wanted it to be a space where people could interact, both with other people (assuming anyone was in the room) and with the space itself.


While it's still a work in progress, I'd like to introduce you to the new...

Your Instructional Designer Virtual Headquarters


In the future, I plan to host small workshops and events using the space. I also want to create a hall of my work, as a virtual portfolio (though the 3D browser function is kind of mediocre). I'm learning the app, and I can't wait to see where it leads me.


For now, I invite you to check it out, add your name to the visitors wall, maybe even take a selfie.


Let me know what you think!



If you want to learn more about how to conduct needs analysis, decide which technologies to recommend to clients, and make arguments for innovative solutions, check out From Data to Design.


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