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The UX of Virtual Reality

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[Talk delivered at the UXPA Boston annual meeting, 2017]. The field of user experience is rapidly expanding to encompass new ways of interacting with people, data, and things. With companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google leading the way, experiences per se are becoming products in their own right, and the cost of high quality virtual reality (VR) technologies and experiences has plummeted. The result? VR is being incorporated into the design process across many industries, and is altering not only the UX field, but the technological, economic, and social landscape of our world. This short talk provides an overview of 3 fundamental design principles for VR. While many principles for designing 2D experiences still apply, new principles are needed when designing immersive 3D experiences. As with 2D interfaces, relatively minor UX blunders merely interrupt “flow” or lead to confusion. For example, a prominent app for Google Cardboard forces users to temporarily remove and rotate the headset in order to navigate between environments, thereby breaking the immersion. But because VR is so much more immersive than other mediums, more serious UX blunders or unethical design decisions can potentially lead to psychological distress, fatigue, nausea, pain, or physical injury. In order to design high-quality, effective, safe and ethical VR experiences, UX practitioners need to account for the subtleties of human sensory systems and perceptual processes. This abbreviated version of a longer talk provides an overview of virtual reality, and then outlines a variety of practical UX design principles and application areas for this emerging technology. Audience members will be directed to helpful resources for getting started with VR and 3D modeling.

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The UX of Virtual Reality

  1. 1. The UX of Virtual Reality UXPA.2017 Jonathan Ericson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Information Design & Corporate Communication (IDCC) Bentley University jericson@bentley.edu
  2. 2. Concepts + Design Principles •Minimize motion sickness and fatigue factors •Design for personal, action, and vista space •Provide appropriate depth cues •Design for multimodal cue integration •Avoid unintended visual illusions •Account for psychological affects of avatars •Provide appropriate navigation cues … … and many more
  3. 3. Based on Van Dam et al. (2000) Reality In Real Life (IRL) Real World (RW) The Matrix Perfect Simulation
  4. 4. Based on Van Dam et al. (2000) 2D Graphics Keyboard + Mouse WIMPReality In Real Life (IRL) Real World (RW) The Matrix Perfect Simulation
  5. 5. Based on Van Dam et al. (2000) 2D Graphics Keyboard + Mouse WIMPReality In Real Life (IRL) Real World (RW) The Matrix Perfect Simulation3D Graphics 3D Interaction Devices Information Overlays AR/MR
  6. 6. Based on Van Dam et al. (2000) 2D Graphics Keyboard + Mouse WIMPReality In Real Life (IRL) Real World (RW) The Matrix Perfect SimulationImmersion Presence VR 2017 3D Graphics 3D Interaction Devices Information Overlays AR/MR
  7. 7. Field of View (FOV) vs. Field of Regard (FOR) Concept
  8. 8. 200º H
  9. 9. 200º H 135º V
  10. 10. 120º Binocular 200º H 135º V
  11. 11. 100º H 110º V HTC Vive FOV
  12. 12. Field of Regard 360º
  13. 13. Field of Regard 360º
  14. 14. Field of Regard 360º
  15. 15. Field of Regard 360º
  16. 16. Place things intentionally within FOV and FOR. Design Principle
  17. 17. Concept Sensory conflict
  18. 18. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001) Optic Flow
  19. 19. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  20. 20. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  21. 21. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  22. 22. Vision “I’m moving!” Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  23. 23. Vision “I’m moving!” Vestibular “Still here!” Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  24. 24. Vision “I’m moving!” Vestibular “Still here!” Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  25. 25. Vision “I’m moving!” Vestibular “Still here!” Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  26. 26. Vision “I’m moving!” Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  27. 27. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  28. 28. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  29. 29. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  30. 30. Lee & Aronson (1974) Warren et al. (2001)
  31. 31. Design Principle Minimize sensory conflict, and give the user control.
  32. 32. Immersion vs. Presence Concept
  33. 33. Immersion Capability of the technology. Extensive Slater, Linakis, Usoh, Kooper (1996) Surrounding Avatar
  34. 34. Immersion Capability of the technology. Extensive Slater, Linakis, Usoh, Kooper (1996) Surrounding Avatar
  35. 35. Immersion Capability of the technology. Extensive Slater, Linakis, Usoh, Kooper (1996) Surrounding etc… Avatar
  36. 36. Presence Feeling like you’re “there.”
  37. 37. Design Principle Avoid breaking immersion.
  38. 38. Trends
  39. 39. http://www.solfar.com/everest-vr/
  40. 40. Game DesignTraditional UX VR
  41. 41. https://github.com/bumptop/BumpTop/wiki
  42. 42. ArchitectureVRTraditional UX
  43. 43. ResourcesFor getting started with VR.
  44. 44. https://vr.google.com/cardboard/ Google Cardboard
  45. 45. http://www.sketchup.com/download Google SketchUp Unity 3D http://unity3d.com
  46. 46. Healthcare Risk-free Training Environments 
 Virtual Physiologic Human
 Rehabilitation, Pain Management Creative Interfaces Integrate Arts + Humanities + Sciences
 Mental and Physical Health
 Innovative Music Creation Interfaces Data Visualization A Whole New Dimension of Data
 Geographic Information Systems
 Urban Planning + Architecture Brain-Computer Interfaces Biofeedback
 Mindfulness & Mental Health
 Interpersonal Interaction Multimodal Interaction Naturalistic Gestural Interaction
 Immersive Audio
 Haptics Environmental Design A Whole New Dimension of Data
 Geographic Information Systems
 Urban Planning + Architecture
  47. 47. jonathanericson.com jericson@bentley.edu @JonEricsonDsign linkedin.com/in/jonathanericson Thanks. Jonathan Ericson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, IDCC Bentley University 175 Forest Street Waltham, MA 02452

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