Story in short

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. By merging three leading Finnish universities in 2010, Aalto was founded to work as a societally embedded research university. In a short space of time, the University has since become a forerunner in its key areas. In the field of Arts & Design, Aalto University currently ranks as number 6 in the world.

This is the story behind the creation of a Virtual Campus Experience for this prestigious University.

Aalto University campus is located in Espoo, Finland and is known for its lush green areas, refreshing nature, breathtaking architecture, and multifunctional facilities. The University was looking for a solution, such as a 360° customized virtual campus tour, that would enable users to experience Aalto University’s campus and its atmosphere in an immersive and interactive way, regardless of their geographical location. This would significantly help many prospective students, exchange students, and faculty, who are considering where to study or work, but cannot visit the campus due to time, financial, or pandemic travel constraints. ​

Considering University’s prestigious reputation and strong visual identity, it was of high importance to make sure that the virtual campus tour reflects and enhances the Aalto University brand.

Answering a brief to fulfill Aalto University’s concepts, an Estonian virtual tour producer TUUR won a tender to create a one-of-a-kind virtual campus experience in collaboration with the UX/UI designers from Bitfiner - who had developed a great synergy through previous projects alike.

Fast-forward to several months later, after trips to Finland on tight restrictions, many UX/UI iterations, and user tests, and the tour is now ready to wow audiences, who can experience it via mobile devices, VR headsets, or desktop devices.

Every little detail, from 360° photos and videos, audio, text, intro animation, visual style, graphical elements, and interactions, have all received tremendous attention from all project parties, and have been combined in a unique way to attract new students and professionals.

There is no other choice but to strive to make the best virtual tour anyone has ever made for a university. It has to have top-of the art photography, excellent design that reflects the university’s visual identity, a super-smooth user interface, the most comfortable user experience in any platform, and then also that something special that has not been done before.

We believe that all of these things are present in the new virtual tour, which was created for Aalto University, making it one of the best virtual tours that has ever been created for an educational institute.

Standout features in Aalto University virtual tour include:

  • Custom made intro animation in SVG format with a deeper meaning
  • 3D generated overview map at the beginning of the tour
  • 44 spherical 360° panoramas
  • 3 spherical 360° videos
  • Information hotspots throughout the tour with the possibility to include text, links, videos and photos
  • Mini map at the bottom left corner to show the current building/area
  • Special VR mode: allows to experience the tour using VR headset (for example Oculus Quest)
  • User interface, designed according to Aalto University CVI
  • Separate user interface designed to work with smaller mobile devices
  • Audio guide (actually different audio guides, one for main tour and separate guide for each Thematic tour)
  • Thematic Tours feature: allow us to present smaller guided tours inside one large University tour
  • Code and structure that is optimized for easier future updatability (adding languages, more panoramas, Thematic tours and so on
  • Detailed custom Google Analytics with event tracking.

Aalto University virtual tour is created by:

  • Photography and project lead: Tuur
  • Client-side project lead: Anastasia McAvennie
  • Design: BitFiner
  • Code: Andrey Sudarchikov

Aalto University currently ranks as number 6 in the world.


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