Spectrum: A Study in Speculative Design

As a cross-section between a study in speculative design and app development, Spectrum is a project focusing on raising awareness regarding Autism and tackling the many misconceptions surrounding the disability. We designed a walk-through art installation incorporating speculative design technology, such as interactive holograms in a 3D space to create an engaging educational experience. Though we did not have the capabilities to physically build this installation, our task was to create a video prototype of it in addition to a companion app prototype that worked as a smaller representation of the experience.


UX Designer

Storyboarding, Illustrator, Videographer, Visual assets development, Wireframing, Prototyping, UI Analysis, project management

The Problem

How can we think outside the realm of currently existing technology to draft an experience that raises awareness regarding the misconceptions surrounding Autism?

Addressing Misconceptions

Autism only affects children.

✓ Children with autism grow up to become adults with autism. 

People with Autism can't feel or express emotion.

✓ Autism doesn’t make an individual unable to feel the emotions you feel, it just makes the person communicate emotions (and perceive your expressions) in different ways.

Autism is just a brain disorder.

✓ Research has shown that many people with autism also have co-occurring conditions like epilepsy, gastrointestinal disorders, food sensitivities, and many allergies.

Autism is caused by vaccines.

✓ Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. 


The feedback we received during the storyboarding stage was that there needed to be more focus on the installation itself as opposed to the lead-up narration as it elongated the process too much. We incorporated this feedback and shortened the narration to create a more engaging representation of our concept through the extensive use of video editing and effects in the final prototype.

App Prototype

The application prototype was created through the use of xCode and demonstrated as an iPhone application. The app went through many iterations and changes, the biggest one being the color concept and visual layout. The app demonstrated in the video prototype was the initial prototype. The following is the reworked prototype created using Framer X incorporating feedback regarding readability and cleanliness in the layout. As the creative director, I played a large part in conceptualizing the changes in the UI in order to create a more visually appealing app that took different interactive paths by the user into account.