The technology of virtual reality is really starting to explode in the tech industry. Systems that can be categorized under virtual reality can range from expensive high-end platforms to smartphone-run systems.
UX and Virtual Reality
Beau Cronin explains a hierarchical pyramid when looking at the needs of virtual reality in relation to user experience.
As you can see on the pyramid the foundational components that a UX design company needs to keep in mind are the comfort and interpretability of the virtual reality system. It is once designers master those that they can start to tackle the issues of usefulness and the delight of a design. Ultimately, in order to really provide a good user experience a user experience design services needs to master the entire pyramid.
Components of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality takes UX to a whole new level with having to focus on the comfort of the user. For example, a mobile app development agency does not need to focus on the comfort of the user, since the overall experience of a flat interface app doesn’t necessarily affect an overall level of comfort.
Virtual reality on the other hand, can greatly influence the overall comfort of the user. Some examples of discomforts users can experience are nausea and headaches. That is the last experience a user wants to willingly undergo, so it is critical to test and fix a system that may may generate those experiences.
Like the need to focus on comfort, the interface is also drastically different that what UX companies are used to handing. This is also a bigger change than the shift from desktop to mobile because of the high level of differences virtual reality offers. For example, since the resolution on VR headsets is comparably lower than a PC monitor, text and buttons need to be larger and more distinguishable.
Since VR systems are highly based on the movement of the user, a great emphasis on testing those different movements is extremely critical in order to achieve optimal user experience. Additionally, keeping in mind the different environments a user may potentially be in is diverse and important.
Since virtual reality is such a new and emerging technology, UX design agencies need to be very careful and thorough in the research and user testing phases. It is those virtual reality systems that incorporate UX in the design and development that will arise to be the leaders of the virtual technology industry.
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