The Reality of VR/AR Design: UX Challenges and Considerations

2018 Workshop


Consumers are starting to get their hands on mixed reality technology, which means that our role as designers is changing irrevocably on a larger scale. In consumer-facing VR/AR, we are seeing the rise of immersive computing, supplementing our everyday world of web and mobile computing. In other worlds, our interfaces become 360, beyond the 2D flat screens of web and mobile. As UX professionals accustomed to Adobe CC, Axure, and Sketch, how are we to prototype for VR/AR? What are the UX considerations we must keep in mind when clicks/taps aren’t the primary form of engagement?

This workshop consists of two parts: we’ll first establish baseline knowledge in VR/AR to set attendees up for kicking off the hands-on prototyping and design challenge.

To begin with, attendees will learn about the spectrum of VR/AR, the hardware landscape, and the content ecosystem. From there, we’ll discuss UX guidelines and considerations around input modalities and physical ergonomics, as well as user expectations around the environment versus the interface. I’ll share tools and methodologies for low- > medium- > high-fidelity prototyping, along with my own work examples, so that we can discuss what worked and what didn’t.

In the hands-on design challenge, attendees will put into practice what they learned from the overview. Participants will be given a problem to solve through prototyping a VR/AR solution, using materials provided. The workshop will conclude with a retrospective discussion of what attendees took away regarding the unique capabilities and constraints of immersive technology.

About the speaker(s)

Di Dang recently joined Google’s Design Relations team as a New Technologies Design Advocate. Previously, she led the Emerging Tech group at Seattle-based digital agency POP, advising clients on how emerging tech can benefit their end users. Di also enjoys leading UX through the full product development cycle for solutions that may include, but aren’t limited to, VR/AR, web/mobile, conversational UI, and machine learning. With a degree in Philosophy and Religion, she considers herself an optimistic realist and spends a lot of time thinking about ethically designing emerging technology. You can find her onstage doing improv or on Twitter at @dqpdang.