Griffin Theatre Company is an Australian theatre dedicated to bringing new Australian stories to the theatre stage. To showcase the 2017 season for Griffin Theatre, we created an interactive installation that theatre-goers could interact with to hear from the playwrights themselves.

Creating a PoC

Our phones allow us access to all the world’s information at our fingertips. But our phones don’t allow us to connect directly with the physical world around us. By pairing directly with the physical world, our phones could do some pretty magical things. No apps. No beacons. No Bluetooth. Just a Wi-Fi connection. XY-Fi opens up new territory for brand marketers by enabling real-world experiences through the mobile web. XY-Fi is about getting people to be present in their physical environment, by engaging with what is around them rather than what is inside their phone.

Our team came up with a set of principles to help guide the experience design. XY-Fi is about getting people to be present in their physical environment, by engaging with what is around them rather than what is inside their phone.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.02.32 pm

Our development team put together a series of working PoCs exploring a range of different interactions. They demonstrated how XY-Fi could be used in a museum space, allowing users to uncover stories about an artwork or artist through sound-bites. In the retail space, XY-Fi allows customers to explore and save items they see in window displays, and offers retailers a way to engage with passers-by. The team also explored how XY-Fi can delight audiences by allowing them to participate in interactive videos and colouring-in physical displays.

How do I use it?

XY-Fi allows users to manipulate physical or screen-based objects via their phone, by:

  1. Connect to a specified Wi-Fi network
  2. Enter a special URL into the browser
  3. Point your phone at the screen
  4. Press and play!

XY-Fi explainer

Video concepts

Inspired by the previous PoCs using XY-Fi, the team decided to create interactive portraits using a double-sided projection, visible from both inside and outside of the theatre foyer. I worked closely with another designer to begin conceptualising what the experience for Griffin theatre should be. We explored a range of visual possibilities for the experience, with the goal of achieving an eerie, yet cinematic look and feel.

We filmed ourselves speaking off mock scripts, which were then put together in an animated prototype to refine the interaction and demonstrate the different states of the portrait, from resting, to hover, to selection.

Experimenting with a blur effect for the resting state of the video
Experimenting with movement for the resting state of the video


We developed a brief for Grumpy Sailor to produce the videos according to our art direction and specifications for the digital experience. This involved filming the resting state (actor looks silently at the camera) and selection states (actor begins speaking about their play).

The team at Grumpy Sailor shooting the playwrights for the interactive portraits.

Designing the interface

From previous prototypes, we elected to go with a slingshot interaction. As the user pulls down the button, their finger is put into a stress position. From this position, the user is inclined to release the button to make a selection. The colour change from grey to yellow indicating the correct interaction and aiding learnability. I was responsible for the visual design of the interface and the onboarding instructions.

The experience was launched on the opening night of the 2017 season at Griffin Theatre. Whilst waiting in the foyer, theatre go-ers interacted with the interactive portraits, listenening to the playwrights speak about the plays within the upcoming season.

Credits: Tea Uglow, Simon Blanckensee, Emila Yang, Jude Osborn, Tim Paul, Grumpy Sailor
Artboard 5


Lisbon, Portugal

© Jennifer Nunez 2023