Designing for VR

There has been a lot of interest for VR lately. Oculus is set to release a final product in 2016 and Google just announced tools for building and designing VR experiences at Google I/O.

Virtual Reality seems to be very difficult to get right, and that’s probably why it hasn’t reached mass market yet. Hopefully, some people are working on it. I’ve gathered a few resources you’ll need if you want to build virtual reality experiences.

Design for VR 101

Matt Sundstrom made a really good job at explaining the major aspects you need to think about when designing for VR. His article How to Design for Virtual Reality has all you need to create apps that don’t make people sick immediately and provide a good user experience instead.

Designing for virtual reality session at Google I/O 2015

This video is great to understand why humans can have difficulties with badly designed VR applications. I especially like the segment where Alex Faaborg (from Mozilla fame) explains the impacts of scale, movement, light can have on the experience, and how we can use them with purpose. Google is pushing hard the Cardboard, and I’m curious to see what they will do with it.

John Carmack monologue at UT Dallas

In this almost 2-hour long typical monologue, John Carmack manages to provide some great insight on what can work now and where we are heading, and still captivate the audience. Surprisingly, he mostly talks about content and not about pure tech. It’s interesting to see what trade-offs we can make and still provide a great VR experience (like “parallax beats stereoscopy”). That’s especially true on mobile where hardware is much less powerful.

If you have more interesting resources for designing for virtual reality, let me know in the comments!

 

Connecting mobile HTML5 to hardware

Initially, this article was supposed to be “How to add an external flash to a Firefox OS phone” but my project did not work out. The idea was to add an external light to the camera of the Geeksphone Keon, as it doesn’t have any built in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t complete the project, here is why.

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Building Full Hacker News

I recently created Full Hacker News, a website that displays the full content of all Hacker News articles, in one single page. I created it because I needed a simple and easy way to read interesting content during my daily commute. I live in Paris, and there’s no Internet connection in the metro. With Full Hacker News, I can simply load the page before going under ground and read it while offline. I wanted something very simple and here are some design decisions I made in the process.

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