Design principles for VR

I’ve been looking into VR for education recently and I am strangely intrigued. I find VR hard going on the senses, so I think its value lies in short bursts of usage. It’s not a long form medium. But there is something about the immersion that intrigues me. I’d like to find out more. The Cardboard Design Lab app gives the following best practices when designing for VR.

The Google Cardboard app.

  1. Reticule: use visual overlays to make targeting objects easier.
  2. UI depth and eye strain: shifting focus between near and far objects may cause eye strain, 3 metres away from the user results in best UI.
  3. Constant velocity: good motion is smooth with a constant velocity. Acceleration and deceleration may cause people to feel sick.
  4. Keep the user grounded: include reference points to that the user can understand their surroundings.
  5. Maintain head tracking: at least one element in the scene should retain head tracking. Smooth low latency head tracking is key for VR.
  6. Guiding with light: users are drawn to the lightest part of the scene. Use light to direct users.
  7. Leveraging scale: use scale to influence how the user perceives their size in a virtual world.
  8. Spatial audio: use audio to direct the attention of the user and to immerse them in the environment.
  9. Gaze cues: use gaze as a cursor to trigger passive interactions to reveal more information
  10. Make it beautiful: the better it looks the better the immersive experience. This includes good interaction design and audio.