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!

Oculus Connect 2: Navigating New Worlds: Designing UI and UX in VR

This presentation was filmed during the last Oculus Developer conference. Two designers who worked on the Oculus home screen UI describe their experience, the challenges they faced and provide some interesting advice and tips. It’s interesting to see that Oculus considers that “raycasting” to be default pointing model for most users. If you don’t know what raycasting is, just imagine that you have a laser between your eyes that you can use to point at things you want to interact with.