FlashoVR: Virtual Fire Investigation Training Simulation

Award-winning project "that exemplifies the power of human-centred design to create a better world"

Client: Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC)

JIBC is a post-secondary institution that specializes in public-safety training, including fire investigation. Our first meeting with JIBC consisted of around 30 people consisting of subject matter experts from the North Vancouver Fire Department & JIBC.

Our project brief originally tasked us with a Virtual Reality fire investigation simulation project, hence the team name “FlashoVR”.

Problem Statement & Target Users

Please watch the following video for details about the problem & target users we were tackling!

Team Blog

Our team was also tasked to keep a record of our team process through a FlashoVR blog website that CDM had set up for us!

Check out our punny jokes, hurdles we overcame, and more! 

Please see Week 5 & 10 if you want to read the blog posts specifically written by me!

Background Research

Since real on-site fire investigation procedures involve important safety protocols, it was crucial for our team to really understand the step-by-step procedures in detail. We collaborated with the North Vancouver Fire Department, and subject matter experts from JIBC to ensure procedural & burn pattern correctness.

Design Sprints

The Design Sprint method was an ABSOLUTE necessity for our 7-person team, since we needed a way to drive alignment with the largest team that CDM has ever had, in the most time-efficient way possible. 

As the co-product manager & product designer, I facilitated 4-day design sprints in the beginning of our design process, when we were brainstorming our product concept & details about certain interactions that would facilitate the best learning outcome for JIBC students.

Iterations & User Testing

My main contribution to the project consisted of driving data-driven iterations through multiple rounds of user/usability testing.

We did mini-user tests with other teams EVERY WEEK, which would probably take forever to explain every details & iterations about.

So to provide a snapshot of how I set up user testing plans for the client & team, I’ll focus on explaining our final 2 rounds of usability testing (essentially “alpha-beta” testing). 


Since we had such a unique opportunity to test on our exact target users (i.e. JIBC Students), I thought it would be interesting to plan a quasi-experimental design for the user test to ensure an effective learning outcome with our product. Which meant that we needed a different test plan for our target users, and a standard usability testing for other designers & fire investigation subject matter experts to get feedback on.

Since the usability testing invite got forwarded to over 300 people 🤯,  I needed some help from my teammates to take on some of the many willing participants. I set up the following Miro board for the team to keep consistent with the exact step-by-step on how to run the sessions for each participant group.

Affinity Mapping

My FAVOURITE activity during the iterative process of UX Research is synthesizing qualitative data into actionable next-steps! So satisfying to see tangible RESULTS.

FlashoVR is NeVR oVR... eVR

After our project wrap-up, we started having separation anxiety with the FlashoVR family… so we decided to create an excuse to keep working together by submitting our project to several Design & Research conferences! 

And guess what?! For UBC Designing for People‘s 2021 Showcase, our hard work & dedication was acknowledged by the award committee with the IMPACT AWARD (500$)!

…I may have shed a tear or two when I heard that we helped “create a better world”. This has always been a personal life mission of mine: to dedicate my passions and skills towards making a positive difference in the world! I hope to continue “to have a positive impact on society” and improve the quality of life for people & our planet through digital product design & research!

Some of us are still currently working with JIBC for additional projects & tasks, because we just love working with each other THAT much 🤗 

This team & project will foreVR have a special place in my heart 🧡

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Initial Product Concept Design