UX / UI / Strategy / Research / Virtual Reality:
Project: InVisionVR Prototyping Tool
Check out the clickable prototype here! The goal is to add a navigation arrow to your scenes, and a Goblin King at the end of the mountain pass... let us know what you think, please!
We designed a simple prototyping tool that allows designers to quickly and easily articulate their vision for virtual reality environments to their developers and stakeholders. We chose to build a VR prototyping tool that works in conjunction with the current InVision platform.
For a two-week design challenge, Regina Kim and I dove headfirst into the world of Virtual Reality (VR) design.
We were curious to know whether VR designers follow the same workflow as traditional 2d designers: we sketch, wireframe, create mockups, we prototype, and then we hand off the final design to the developers to complete the coding.
We quickly discovered that the virtual reality waters are, unlike well-established fields like graphic design, muddy. Most of the software for designing in virtual reality was inconceivably complicated with tomes of instructions and diagrams and links to outside plugins. It turns out that in the still-new world of VR design, there are no easy-to-use prototyping tools, and therefore that magical step between “design” and “build” is usually skipped.
Despite our lack of experience in the VR space, our interest in emerging technologies had us excited for the challenge ahead. Through extensive research (and lots of fro-yo) we established a working understanding of the VR design field and process.
The big question for the experts:
"Would you use a rapid prototyping tool that would allow you to articulate your ideas to your developers?"
The big answer from the experts:
Currently, designers occasionally create “mockups” of their projects but the steps are cumbersome and often required almost as much work as if they were to go straight to a finished project. So we did some… a lot… of researching and brainstorming and sketching and walking and eating frozen yogurt, and then more research.
We dug through contacts and found a handful of practicing experts in the field. Hours of interviews later we didn’t seem to understand the design process or industry any more clearly, but rather that what we were looking for didn’t actually exist.
Process work and ideation.
Wireframing the desktop view, showing assets library and navigation bar.
The rabbit holes that Regina and I found ourselves exploring were supremely exciting. It was also a very humbling experience. We often found ourselves in way over our heads, but it was still totally awesome.
Another unexpected perk whilst learning how much we didn’t know is that we actually ended up discovering an entire community of people who ALSO didn't know anything. So at least we weren't alone.
The first iteration of our prototype of a prototyping tool, (yes, it got a little bit meta), was overall a success, though very limited in functionality due in large part to our lack of coding skills (see below). However, with more resources in the future, we hope to continue developing our rapid prototyping tool that bridges the gap between designers and programmers in the VR space.
We are more excited than ever to continue our work in the VR/ AR / MR field after this experiment and are openly soliciting advice, conversations, and opportunities from the community!
Additional work by Regina Kim can be found at www.uxreginakim.com or she can be reached via email here
I'd like to give a special shout out to Ben Cross and Sophie Rahier for their formative work on VR design and willingness to support complete strangers. Please go check out their blogs when you get a chance!
#uxdesign #ux #vr #virtualreality #breakfastclub #sketch #invision #prototype #design #dtla #losangelesdesign
Next steps that we are REALLY excited about:
-Alternative view / navigation options