3D rendering Conversion of a 3D model into a 2D image that can be displayed on a screen.

Affordance Physical properties of an object or environment that indicate its functionality.

Agency The ability for a user to control or change something in an experience versus just observing. This ability to choose their own story will have an effect on the full experience.

Agile workflow The process of developing solutions collaboratively, in a cyclical pattern, to ensure an idea works for all areas of the project, from ideation to testing, before moving on to the next phase.

Ambient light Any available light that is already present in a scene; can include both sunlight and any artificial lights.

Ambient occlusion Simulation of shadows both on an object itself and also on the other objects around it created by the addition of an ambient light source.

Ambisonic A method of recording four-channel sound that captures a sphere of sound from a single point to reproduce 360° sound.

Augmented audio The layering of digital sound on top of, but not blocking out, the ambient sounds of an environment.

Augmented reality An interactive computer-generated experience that enhances the physical world with an overlay of digital content.

Axonometric drawing Sketching using paper with axes drawn to ensure consistent uses of each axis.

Binaural A method of recording two-channel sound that mimics the human ears by placing two microphones within a replicated ear chamber positioned in opposite locations to create a 3D sound.

Binocular disparity Interpreting between the different images seen by the left and right eyes which arise as a result of horizontal separation.

Blending mode The method of combining layers in an image-editing application; determines how a specific object or layer will react to any objects or layers underneath it.

Cerebral hemispheres The parts of your brain that hold different cognitive processing. The left side of the brain is where processing and analysis occurs, and the right side of the brain is where creativity and emotions occur.

Color space A specific organization of colors that determines the color profile that is used to support the reproduction of accurate color information on a device. RGB and CMYK are two common examples.

Convergent thinking The pursuit of one single solution to a problem.

Coordinate axes The three number lines, all crossing at a central origin, used to reference the position of every point in a 3D space. The x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis define the three coordinates, x, y, and z, used to identify the position of a point.

Covert attention A less obvious way of perceiving an object within a space, such as seeing it in the peripheral vision. The user doesn’t have to physically move to look at it in order to see it.

Cueing Using stimuli to draw user attention to a specific location where the user can perform a specific task.

Debugging The identification, analysis, and resolution of defects and errors that prevent the intended operation of a program or software.

Diegetic The technique of placing an element to appear inside the virtual environment.

Diffusion Even distribution of light across an object’s surface.

Display type Type found in large headings and titles; typically 16+ points.

Divergent thinking The ability to explore multiple solutions to a problem.

Experience wireframe An immersive representation of the overall flow and structure of an immersive experience design. Includes a combination of storyboards or video and wireframes to help visualize both the experience and also the interface of the experience.

Extrusion A method of expanding a 2D path or spline into 3D space by adding vertices and edges along the z-axis.

Facial recognition Technology used to match a physical human face with a digital face model within a database for identification.

Falloff The visual relationship of shadow and light as illumination decreases while becoming more distant from the light source.

Feathering The smoothing, softening, or blurring of an edge in computer graphics.

Field of view (FOV) The size, big or small, of viewing space for an augmented experience.

Figure-ground A visual relationship in which elements are perceived as either the foreground or background.

Focal length The measure of the optical distance between the unification of light rays on an object to the sensor of a camera.

Gamma correction A process that increases the contrast of an image in a nonlinear way to adjust for the human eye’s perception and the way displays function.

Hierarchy The organizational system for content that involves the emphasizing of some information and and the de-emphasizing of other information.

Illuminance The amount of light that falls onto a surface.

Immersion Having the sense that digital objects belong in our real world.

Imposter syndrome Doubting yourself, specifically your skills and accomplishments, in fear that it will be discovered that you are an imposter or fraud and that you aren’t as talented as once thought.

Inside-out tracking Uses cameras and/or sensors that are within a device to track its position in real-world space.

Interaction point The part of an experience where a user is able to directly or indirectly interact with the interface or select the next action of the experience.

Interface metaphor A commonly understood method or language, based on a cultural connection that informs a user how to interact with the user interface.

Kinesthetic The sense that enables movement of the body in conjunction with the awareness of the position of muscles and joints.

Legibility How easily distinguishable one letter is from another within a typeface.

Lighting estimation A process that uses sensors, cameras, machine learning, and mathematics to provide data dynamically on lighting properties within a scene.

Linear color space Numeric color intensity values that are mathematically proportionate.

Loudness The intensity of a sound, measured in relation to the space that the sound travels.

Luminance The amount of light that comes from, passes through, or reflects off an object.

Material Physical properties added to an object to determine how it will appear in an environment.

Mental model A map formulated internally to help a person understand the environment they are in and the relationships between space and any objects, including themselves.

Mesh Collection of points, edges, and faces that make up an object.

Meta UI A temporary or situational 2D window that appears on top of a virtual environment.

Microinteraction The small and subtle details of an interaction with a product or experience.

Mixed reality An interactive, computer-generated experience that blends the physical world and a digital environment using advanced spatial computing and gesture recognition or controller input.

Natural language processing The use of artificial intelligence to translate human language to be understood by a computer.

Non-diegetic The technique of overlaying an element on top of a virtual environment, making it clear it is not part of the environment itself.

Occlusion When one object blocks another object from view to maintain a user’s feeling of immersion.

Ocular dominance The favoring of one eye over the other for the receipt of visual input.

Optical see-through An additive technique to overlay digital content onto a see-through lens allowing a real view of the physical world.

Orientation The angular position and direction of a 3D object.

Outside-in tracking Uses external cameras or sensors to track positioning and detect motion.

Overt attention An obvious reaction from a user in which they physically move by turning their head or eyes to look at a stimuli.

Parallax Visual depth cue in which objects that are closer appear of be moving much faster than those that are far away, even if they are traveling at the same speed.

Perspective distortion A warping of the appearance of an object or image often caused by viewing it from an extreme angle or how it is placed into a 3D scene.

Photogrammetry The process of capturing, measuring, and interpreting three-dimensional photographs in order to re-create a digital replica of a real-world object or scene.

Pitch The perceived highness or lowness of a sound based on the frequency of vibration.

Point of view (POV) How a scene or event is observed or experienced.

Pose The position and orientation of the camera of a 3D scene.

Presence The feeling that you are actually in an environment.

Primitives Three-dimensional geometric shapes that can be added, subtracted, and combined to make more complex shapes.

Projection mapping Transforming any physical object or surface into a display surface through the use of video projection.

Proprioception The perception and awareness from within of the position and movement of the body.

Prosthetic knowledge The act of learning information as it is needed.

Rapid prototyping A technique that involves creating a 3D model using any number of materials to test out an overall idea quickly.

Readability The spacing and arrangement of characters and words in order to make the content flow together to aid reading it.

Rotation The motion taken around a specific axis: x, y, or z.

Screen space The 2D space defined by the screen or viewable area. This is reliant on the screen size, position, and resolution of the device.

Scrum An agile-based approach focusing on specific developmental needs through timed rounds exploring the complete process to provide clarity on what changes are needed.

Shade The increased darkness of a color by the addition of black.

Six degrees of freedom Directions that an object or user is able to move about freely within three-dimensional space, sometimes written as 6DoF. The six degrees are heave, surge, sway, pitch, yaw, and roll.

Social signifiers A visual cue that carries meaning based on a social or cultural agreement.

Somatosensory perception The cohesive awareness of what is going on inside you and all around you through sensory stimuli.

Sound localization The ability of a listener to identify the origin of a sound based on distance and direction.

Spatial UI A temporary or situational 3D element that appears on top of a virtual environment.

Spline A 3D curve made up of at least two points. With these you can create the skeleton structure of a form using any combination of curved and straight shapes.

Text type Type found in paragraphs and meant for longer reading; typically 8 to 12 points and sometimes called body text.

Texture A flat 2D image that is wrapped on an object using a material.

Tint The increased lightness of color by the addition of white.

Tracking The process that monitors the position and orientation of the device or its sensors as well as the objects and space around it.

Usability testing The practice of testing the ease of use of an experience with a group of users.

User flow A diagram that shows the path taken by a user from the entry point of an interaction all the way through achieving their goal. Also called a UX flow or flowchart.

User persona A representation of a real user that is intended to represent a key audience to provide reference within the specific context of an experience.

User stories The narrative of goals, needs, and motivations written from the user’s perspective to evoke empathy.

Variable font A single compressed font that holds multiple variations including weight, width, and slant all in one efficient file.

Vergence-accommodation conflict When your brain receives misaligned signals about the distance of a virtual 3D space or object which alters the eyes’ ability to focus on it.

Vertex Point where two or more line segments meet to create, in essence, a corner.

Vibrancy The energy of a color caused by increasing or decreasing the saturation of the least saturated tones.

Video pass-through A technique that combines a physical and digital environment through the use of a camera and the pixels on its screen.

Virtual reality A fully immersive interactive computer-generated experience within a simulated digital environment.

Voice user interface The use of human speech recognition in order to communicate with a computer interface.

World space The 3D x, y, and z coordinates of any object, defined by the environment.

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