Immersive Experience Design

Welcome to the new world of Immersive Experience Design (IED)

Imagine creating learning experiences that completely involve the senses (sight and sound), in a spatially realistic environment, where users (employees, trainees, customers) engage in a story, plot or narrative that fully involves them in making decisions that cause things to happen. That’s what we do at AccessVR.

We’re here to help you understand how easy it is to employ these new technologies and benefit from the significant opportunities they represent.

JJ Ruscella - AcessVR

Immersive Experience Design Chart

Immersive learning engages individuals in the center of the learning experience. Lectures become conversations that directly apply to a student’s interests and aptitudes, with options for learning modalities, entertainment mediums, and technologies that engage the individual learner through their senses in a simulated life experience.

To help designers create these experiences inside immersive technologies, Ruscella developed the Immersive Learning Chart (below), which breaks down the elements of immersion. These elements help designers as they make creative decisions and build the creative spaces where immersive learning takes place.

Immersive Experience Design Chart

Immersion Level

A ranking of immersive experience based on the implementation/use of the eight elements of Immersive Learning. The eight elements are listed top to bottom and ranked from minimal immersion to total immersion. The number of stars equates to the level of immersion.

The specific eight elements of immersion are defined below:

Active – User (player) is involved in doing within the experience.

0 Passive The user (player) has no ability to interact with or influence the experience.
1 Interactive The user (player) is given the opportunity to respond to move the experience forward.
2 Physicalized The user (player) has a physical representation that is engaged throughout the experience.
3 Problem Solving The user (player) is given challenges requiring solutions within the experience.
4 Interpersonal The user (player) communicates with or relates to someone or something else within the experience.

Present – the aesthetic distance between the user (player) and the experience.

0 Not Present The user (player) has a disembodied, external voyeur experience.
1 Watcher The user (player) is a part of the experience, but still as an outsider.
2 First-person POV Action within the event is taken by or directed to the user (player).
3 Movement The user (player) can move about within the experience.
4 Human-to-Human Interaction Users (players) explore relationships with other users (players), through avatars, within the experience.

Multiplayer – experience is designed for or involves the participation of only one or several users (players) at once.

0 Single-Player The user (player) is alone in the experience.
1 One on one Two users (players) interacting within the experience.
2 Secondary Perspective Observer’s view of the physicalized experience.
3 Group More than two people are experiencing it at the same time.
4 MMO Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Game is a large online experience in which people play simultaneously in a story-driven world.

Dynamic – the user’s (player’s) ability to influence the outcome.

0 Not Dynamic The user (player) is unable to influence the outcome of the experience.
1 Choice The users (players) can make a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.
2 Multi-Thread The user (player) can choose different paths or sequencing of the experience.
3 Free Will The user (player) is faced with an open world of choices and can determine their experience based on their actions.
4 Convo-Reality Conversational Reality – Users (Players) develop relationships and live through conflict-driven situations.

Gamification – a set of external rules or outcomes intended to induce play or competition.

0 No Gamification Experience exists without the framework of instructions or rules.
1 Instruction The user (player) has a set of guidelines to follow to participate in the experience.
2 Reinforcement The user (player) is given some sort of encouragement to keep going, to feel as though they have succeeded/accomplished something.
The result is what is known as the slot machine effect.
3 External Process The user (player) is given a set of rules to interact with the experience.
4 Reward System The user (player) is given rewards for passing levels or accomplishing goals.

Immersive Technology – technology that attempts to emulate a physical world through the means of a digital or simulated world. It creates a new reality for the user while affecting their physical senses.

0 No Technology Live-action simulation.
1 AR Augmented Reality – technology that superimposes computer-generated images on top of the real world, thus “augmenting” the user’s (player’s) view.
2 360 Video Immersive videos that allow a user (player) to be surrounded by a photo-realistic captured environment or experience, allowing them to look all around them as if they were there in real-time.
3 VR Virtual Reality – an artificial, software-generated environment that blinds and deafens the user (player) to the real world and allows them to suspend belief and accept it as a real environment.
4 XR Extended Reality – a synthesis of immersive technologies that bring the virtual and real worlds together.

Meta Control – the user’s (player’s) control over the game.


No Meta Control

The user (player) has no external ability to influence the design of the experience.
1 Journey Control The user (player) can choose the events in which they participate.
2 Character Control The user (player) can customize their character.
3 World Builder The user (player) can build and edit the levels of the environment that they inhabit.
4 World Master The user (player) can affect the global functionality of the world.

Learn more about Ruscella’s vision for immersive learning in this Heilman & Haver stage and screen podcast.

AccessVR Logo

If you have questions about Immersive Learning or IED, click the button below. We are here to help.