Carl White, Carl White
Virtual Reality is a new and exciting medium that brings new challenges to developers on many different levels including UI/UX. The exciting aspect to it all is for the current VR pioneers to discover and forge the best practices for years to come. User interface people, we are entering a brand new area, the area of 3D and stereoscopy. Adding to this great challenge, new emerging technologies such as hand tracking and eye tracking devices are being integrated to our VR headset packages. Those elements combined give the interface designers a whole new empty user canvas to paint on.
For most people after trying VR for the first time, a “wow” effect followed by a string of creative thoughts on what kind of applications could be created in VR usually happens. This leads to the current phenomenon where VR is thought of as a tool beyond gaming. People from all horizons are imagining how to integrate their expertise into this new and futuristic medium. In a way we are potentially re-living the opportunities of the early days of smart phone apps, or even the early days of internet.
During a food/tech hackathon in Berlin, we made an AB product design testing in VR. The name of that project was called VRify as in verifying in Virtual Reality the design of a product before materializing it into reality. This way the brand manufacturer could gain time by running multiple AB testing with remote participants.
We used a distraction-free well lit virtual room to display virtual food packages. The result was very inspiring as it felt like being alone and intimate with a catchy food package object. A hand tracking device was added to give the user the ability to handle the virtual food package, bring it closer or further, turn it around and inspecting details. Once the product had been looked at, the tester could choose his like or dislike by pressing the adequate in-VR buttons.
Aside from having the concept of AB testing in Virtual Reality proven to working well, we learnt a few valuable UI/UX tricks. For example, prior to building the project we discussed where and how would the buttons be added to make the “users’s button pressing” experience instinctive and non- intrusive. Would it be a 2d floating screen appearing in front of the user or would it be room- integrated buttons (such as light switches)? Those are some of the VR UX/UI concepts that will be talked about during the presentation in addition to a more general exposition on where VR is at today and where it is likely to be in the near future.
Carl White is specialised in fast video production tailored for startups and social medias. He is currently focusing on Virtual Reality film making and VR app development. Carl got involved with the VR communities in California since it’s new rise by looking for ways to bring video in VR storytelling. Today he is an active contributor to the building up of the VR community mainly in Berlin by co-organizing multiple meet-ups including VR Berlin and VR Developer Berlin (also see: Independent Short Film Making Berlin meet-up).