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Ask DN: What are you doing to prepare for designing VR experiences?

over 4 years ago from , Designer

Have any of you been adding 3D software to your workflows, or working with VR prototypes, or thinking about how to create experiences for virtual reality?

What will this mean for the UX/UI industry? How do you plan to adapt? Do you plan to design for VR at all?

10 comments

  • Weston Vierregger, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    So, this happened and I'm excited.

    I've been looking at the interplay between Unity and Cinema4D, but there are so many problems to resolve for VR. Has anyone else come across a better system for creating usable 3D interfaces?

    Are there any companies out there who are currently working on 3D interface prototyping tools?

    The tech is still very young and doesn't reach far beyond the world of gaming yet... but I'm incredibly enthusiastic about design in this space and the future of VR as a creative medium.

    3 points
  • Alex PaxtonAlex Paxton, over 4 years ago

    Might be jumping the gun a bit, the tech is extremely new. Regardless of how interested designers are in VR, we aren't the ones holding the purse strings (usually). Sad to say, unless you work in games you probably won't be getting hired to design VR experiences any time soon.

    That being said I can see some really interesting applications in the ecommerce space. Think virtual showrooms or virtual malls

    2 points
    • Weston VierreggerWeston Vierregger, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      I agree, I think gaming will dominate the VR/AR conversation while the industry sorts out the best practices of the technology... but eventually flat panel devices (TVs, smartphones, computer monitors) will be simply too primitive and annoying for daily use. They'll be fossils. Is this in 5 years? 10? 20 years maybe? Who knows... but I believe it's true nonetheless.

      One of the biggest things for us to wait out, I suppose, is the input method. This is going to vary wildly over the next year or so, from HMD to HMD and experience to experience, so seeing what happens with controllers/input technology will be equally important to follow...

      But there are already insanely good, exciting interactions possible with what's out there now. Check out this demo with Leap Motion hand scanning and the Oculus. That blew me away. Imagine designing like that!

      2 points
      • Alex PaxtonAlex Paxton, over 4 years ago

        Ah that video is amazing. I love the idea of having one hand as a menu and one as the stylus. Kinda reminds me of the traditional painter who uses a palette and a brush, except the palette has infinite potential arrangements.

        I'm imagining common uses of smartphones but with that UI, for example taking a picture of your food. Maybe you frame the photo with both hands, take the picture, then you can edit the image with controls that appear out of one hand, perhaps different filters, etc.

        That assumes VR would be used to take food pictures in the real world though... In the same way skeuomorphism helped people understand technology through real world metaphors, VR will probably have to be similar to the real world at first, before it starts to diverge

        1 point
  • Sam GoldSam Gold, over 4 years ago

    I've worked a bit with Unity and designed assets in Maya, for VR experiences. The lab I worked at is doing really amazing work in this field: http://projects.ict.usc.edu/mxr/

    They've got some awesome downloads too that you can tinker with to adapt your own 3D worlds and view them right from mobile. Including 3D printable viewers!

    I think augmented reality has the chance to take hold before pure VR, and I wonder what will come of that. Do you have any thoughts on this distinction?

    1 point
    • Weston Vierregger, over 4 years ago

      I think the difference between AR/VR will come down to portability. I can see AR taking over the pocket-sized or tablet-sized screen domain, while VR is more of an "at-home" or "at-work" (or "at-school"?) experience.

      Think of the difference between your smartphone and your computer/laptop. We'll rely, I think, on VR for "heavyweight" experiences, enterprise computing, professional design, and immersive presence-based applications (this could be huge for education, imagine a real-life Magic Schoolbus scenario). AR, on the other hand, seems best suited for the "lightweight" uses afforded to smartphones... casual gaming, socializing, killing time, enhancing our life on-the-go.

      I get excited just thinking about all the possibilities!

      0 points
  • Lewis FludeLewis Flude, over 4 years ago

    Layered websites would be cool. Imagine if you could set a global px distance between z-index layers or customise per element.

    1 point
  • Eric Chu, over 4 years ago

    I've been really interested and enthusiastic about VR. I'm convinced it'll change the way we perceive the world.

    I have no idea how to get involved with my current skill set – I've never worked with 3D, motion graphics, or animation. Curious how to make the next step.

    0 points
  • Bushra MahmodBushra Mahmod, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I recently stumbled across this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3b8hZ5NV2E which explores the role of design in VR.

    I'm extremely excited for the potential.

    I have a fair bit of experience in C4D, For anyone looking to get into it, I highly recommend watching the Lynda courses.

    0 points
  • barry saundersbarry saunders, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Until they deal with the puke problem, probably not. It's been an issue for over 20 years and is apparently still really bad.

    0 points