5 steps to great webvr
1. The world
As with traditional web design, there are rules that should be followed in order for the experience to make sense. Even if you’re breaking some of the rules on purpose, consistency and logical navigation are the key. That gets so much more complicated in VR – there’s still a lot experimental research going into what a ‘website’ looks like, how a ‘link’ works and how other visitors might look to you.
Continuing on the UX theme, it’s not just mouse click any more. There’s a variety of controllers, and ways to interact. For the best results it’s good to use simple physics – pressing, pushing, lifting, things that feel natural. And similarly to other projects, it’s always very beneficial to test with a wide variety of people; as it’s new, this should include those who’ve never tried it before.
A tricky problem to solve in WEBVR, and in VR in general, is how people travel between places. One of the more popular solutions involves teleportation and see-through portals. That sounds way more sci-fi than it actually is – and it works well. You can also let people fly between places, but it has to be really subtle – in this case, you’re moving the whole world around the user.
4. responsive design
Not only regarding the performance, but also different device capabilities. Different controllers have different buttons, sometimes it’s only one controller, the user might be sitting or standing, and the device might let them walk around or might not. While original responsive design would adapt to different device resolutions, this time we have to adapt to different user space – some only look around, some sit and some walk around. An environment should be comfortable for all.
5. personal space
And speaking of user testing – make sure your users are in a comfortable place. This hasn’t really been a problem on the web before, but in VR you should be really cautious of users’ surroundings. It’s a new problem to have, but you really have to be sure you don’t poke your users in a face with your digital creations. Other than that, experiment, be creative and don’t be afraid to try new things – we’re in the ‘work in progress’ GIF era of WEBVR.