User Research for Virtual Reality - Rupert & Yvonne @ Assurity

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What a wonderful session to be part of.  Or were we really there?  Hopefully the notes below will help answer that question.  Big thanks to Rupert, Yvonne and the good team at Assurity for sharing what they've learned.  There was some interesting discussion and questions.  The beer and pizza was also greatly appreciated :)  And a special thanks to the wonderful Dana Fridman for her notes so we were finally able to get a post up within a reasonable timeframe!  Read on...

Assurity VR
It's all about the immersion, if you're not immersed it's failed.
First thing think about the users,
There are so many devices
We can't expect people to know these devices
So we first get them familiar with it
It could be very overwhelming and intimidating
Buttons that you can't actually see
Cognitive load - they are learning something + we're doing user research
We give them time to climatize & feel confident

Health & safety:
When immersed people can't see their real environment.
You need to keep yourself and them safe.
Have someone stand by them, hold the cable, so they don't trip over it.
Some UI build to the application could help people know their environment.

If sound is included, it will also compromise how they interact with you.

Hygiene: wipe it.


People feeling nausea when there is a difference between the behaviour and what they see.

Potential ways to reduce nausea:
Limit exposure time
Make sure the sound is correct
Often when sitting you can avoid it, but it depends on the context.
If the phone is completely overworked, so we changed phones.
Communication - don't come after lunch or if you're seek
But don't prime them for sickness!
Speed, user control, smoother transition to reduce nausea

Reduce interruptions (questions) when someone is in VR.
Maybe the facilitator could have an avatar and headset too.

Non-verbal cues - you can see some body language but not a lot of their facial expressions

Are we talking about the same thing?
The screen capture doesn't represent the whole picture that participates see

VR can influence people even when it doesn't look realistic
When are we crossing the line
When does it become unethical by letting someone living this reality

Costumes - experimented with experiences using VR
Simulation of the costumes area
We found the costumes officer is very important- users found them very important, giving them comfort.
Some found them enjoying.
But the officer had a very important part that the stakeholders didn't realize before.
And based on the feedback they changed the airport layout.

We tested the placement of signage
The problem: passenger flow
+ people blocking the way to signage.

We were constrained:
- No interaction
- No sounds
- All people look the same
- Teleportation

Key benefits:
- Low cost if you need to create this environment
- Easy to move things around
- We can try different setups
- You can bring it to people
- Would you get the same feeling in a big physical warehouse?

Then we tested the application itself.
People got really immersed even when the graphics weren't that great.
The sound helped
As a facilitator, it was hard to facilitate over the sounds (emergency sound "you need to get out of the building")

You need to make sure you're doing the right thing when exposing people to experiences

We used cardboard as it's accessible & easy to travel with.

When it's gamified people just click everything
This can be an issue.

You're welcome to ask any questions or continue the conversation with


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UX MeetupBen BriggsComment