Virtual Reality - User Experience

High fidelity graphics or intense game play may be what is essential for gaming consoles like Nintendo, Xbox, and PC games. But when it comes to VR if you can’t create a comfortable user experience, the user will be taking off the headset due to dizziness, disorientation or frustration.

We want the Virtual Reality market to grow. With only 10% of Canadians surveyed in 2016 having tried VR, we still have a large market that has not even tried the technology. We also want first time users to have a great experience thinking “Whoa that was cool”. But new headset users have a significant learning curve to feel comfortable using this technology. Sometimes we have to make things simple and natural within the artificial environment. For example, HTC Vive has a tutorial game within the console to teach you simple things like how to pick up objects and how to interact with your environment.

At SimWave our experiences have very clear instructions for users. We make sure to give them guidance and feedback throughout any experience. Simpler concepts and ideas are a huge success in VR. If you have tried games such as “Richie’s Plank Experience” by Toast (walk the plank experience) or “Monster Awakens” by Fight4Dream (destroy a city as a monster) these games do not focus on story lines. These games are satisfying and entertaining as they focus on instinctual behaviour. The user also receives immediate feedback and response while playing. These games do not need a lot of precision of controls or high fidelity graphics for the user to have fun.

After many tradeshows and having thousands of VR users try our experiences in front of members of our team, we have observed the following:

#1: Comfort and ease of use are essential to a VR experience:

When SimWave develops and designs experiences for VR, we not only focus on game development. SimWave also considers human behaviour, psychology and anatomy to make enjoyable experiences for new users. Otherwise, people get frustrated when movements, sight, and sound are offbeat or peculiar in comparison to what they are familiar with in the real world.

#2: You will need to revise and adapt based on the target market:

When you create a new game experience, we often have to make a lot of changes based on people interacting with the new technology. What one person thought was easy is not always the case for everyone else. Listen to the majority of your target demographic take all the feedback and adjust.

Once more people adopt to using VR the experiences will become a lot more exciting. Not only for developers but designers and VR enthusiasts alike.