What future users will expect from VR applications

‘Value’ seems to be the matter of importance

When you are designing Virtual Environments (VEs) you may wonder if there is any given design suggestions or rules you could follow. And indeed, there is plenty of help online. You may come across titles like ‘Cyber Sickness and how to prevent it’ or ‘Immersion done right — the ultimate goal of reaching presence’. In my thesis project I identified and clustered such design suggestions, leading to 14 design principles for creating interaction models in VR. Among the researched suggestions are such as the Best Practices provided by Oculus, and the principles given in the magnificent Cardboard Design Lab by Google (it’s worth checking out if you are not already a fan of it!).

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Excerpt from the clustering process of the researched design principles.

…it revealed one seemingly obvious aspect: Providing value for the user.

Extracting what the user wants

*This is a short paragraph about getting to know what future users think and want. Scroll down for the full list of VR Value Principles.

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Photo of two participants completing a task during the workshop.

Providing value — three particular principles for designing VEs

Altogether, and besides the workshop, I identified 14 relevant design principles when designing and developing VR apps from a designer’s perspective. The researched principles can be clustered from a VR system’s perspective, too, resulting in 17 VR design principles (if you want to know more on all the identified principles, visit this dedicated website).

So what does that mean?

During the time I spend with VR research and development I very much got the impression that VR is still a techies-only thing. We VR people very much live in our bubble where it is about improving usability and UX of VR interactions, even though we might should ask what it is good for after all. We envision concepts that may lead to new areas of use, but yet only to show how creative we can get when we want to market a somehow-futuristic vision. There is often very little value in all those things. It seems that people design VR apps because they can, but forget to ask why they do it and for what reason someone should use it. This is not so much about getting people to buy into it, but to show them in which cases VR headsets actually provide benefits.

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Screenshot of the website that lists all obtained VR design principles.

Felix Noller is a Human Factors Researcher, Interaction Designer and Tech Enthusiast, working and exploring at Method Inc in London.

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