UX Master Classes

How to Innovate with XR

Webinar with Michael Nebeling, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
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There is a lot of enthusiasm around extended reality (XR) technologies, encompassing virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, and for good reasons. The ways in which these technologies collectively allow us to see and interact with a digitally-enhanced physical world around us are truly stunning. Theoretically, we could now wear modern XR headsets all day long and benefit from their virtual assistance in everyday activities at home, work, and, to some extent, even on the go. Yet, nobody does that. Why is that? Why are we still so far away from the promise that XR would one day replace the smartphone? Should this even be the goal?

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In many ways, the answer is yes. Head-worn displays bring many advantages and absolutely hold the potential to revolutionize and significantly improve the way we perceive and interact with digital information around us. At the same time, we need to be extremely careful with how we design and develop for this future of user experiences that seamlessly blend the physical and virtual worlds around us. As designers, we hold a tremendous responsibility.

In this Master Class webinar, Michael Nebeling, professor and XR faculty innovator-in-residence at the University of Michigan, will show you how you can innovate in and with XR—taking into account the unique affordances and opportunities within the XR medium and using XR to carry the benefits over to the real world. Michael will share his vision for future XR tools and applications that help shape designers’ mindsets and positively impact the user experience.

You’ll learn:

  • What the key challenges and barriers are to the more widespread adoption of XR.
  • Why innovation in XR is often misguided by trying to find the “killer app”.
  • How to instead approach XR design in a creative and systematic way.
  • What frameworks and tools are needed to rapidly advance XR design and innovation.
  • Which groups of users are the most likely to first benefit from the advantages with XR.
  • How to scale XR innovation to cater to the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders.
  • What it takes to create inclusive and safe XR experiences.
  • Why you need to keep pushing to continuously innovate and disrupt design with XR.

Join this Master Class webinar to learn how to think outside the box and design for a future where XR technologies are interwoven with everyday life. Learn how to approach the design of future XR interfaces despite current technical limitations and many open issues, and how to ask the right questions and help shape design towards truly innovative and impactful XR experiences.


Michael Nebeling
Michael Nebeling, Associate Professor, University of Michigan

Michael has been critically studying novel interactive technologies since well before the iPhone. He is now a professor at the University of Michigan, where he leads the Information Interaction Lab, a human-computer interaction research group focused on virtual, augmented, and mixed reality applications (XR).

With previous support from Microsoft, Meta, Epic Games, Mozilla, Lenovo, and Disney, the goal of his research has been to obtain a better understanding of key issues in XR and provide holistic design frameworks and tools for creating usable, effective, and safe XR experiences.

At U-M, he is XR Faculty Innovator-in-Residence with the U-M wide XR Initiative. He teaches XR design both in the residential program at U-M and as part of his XR MOOC series, a three-course AR/VR specialization launched on Coursera in December 2020.

Michael joined U-M in 2016 after completing a postdoc in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. Previously, he was on a one-year sabbatical at Meta Reality Labs Research in Redmond where he contributed to the design and development of future, everyday augmented reality interfaces.

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