VR or Virtual Reality is a new technology that provides a much more immersive experience to the user than traditional viewing methods and technologies. Virtual Reality has countless applications from research and education to gaming and entertainment. It is also being used as a new artistic medium. This is why all the big tech companies like Google and Apple have been investing billions into the research and development of this technology.
VR has been around for a while but it is still a relatively new technology such as fox news radio online. There is not much to it right now and a lot of development is being done in the field. Many traditional 2D designers have now started shifting towards 3D immersive technologies such as VR and AR or Augmented reality. These are the future of design and therefore it is important to know what they are and how they work.
Basic design concepts of VR
There is still a lot to be discovered about the field of Virtual Reality but here are a few key points related to VR design:
- Use and get to know the technology first
You cannot start designing on VR unless you understand the technology. There are many options such as Oculus Rift or Google cardboard which make VR headsets to provide you with an insight on how the technology works. By using these goggles, you can develop an understanding and they can act as testing devices for your future designs as well.
- Gestures for Interaction
Other than being three dimensional, interactivity through gestures and movement is the main thing that sets it apart from traditional virtual technologies. Since VR cannot have buttons or gadgets such as a mouse, keypad or a touchscreen, all the commands need to be provided through gestures.
Gestures can be divided into two types to simplify things a little. The gestures we use in real life such as nodding, walking, looking side to side are called semantic. The other type is responsive gestures which are more related to the way we interact with our environment and the individual objects in it.
The goal is to create the most immersive experience possible. For that, the gestures should already be known to the user and wired to their nature. They should not be learned. So only those gestures should be incorporated that already exist.
- Use clear signals
This is important to let users know various things. Firstly, there should be visual cues to give users an idea of what is interactive and what is not, so they do not waste time. This can be done by using color schemes or patterns that guide behavior or attract attention. Secondly, when an action has been done, there should be some sort of confirmation in the form of audio or video to let them know. It can act as haptic feedback on cellphones.
- Be wary of distance and size
Since VR works in a three-dimensional world, the concepts of size and distance need to be taken into consideration as well. The distance between the user and a certain object will greatly impact its design features. Background and foreground designs will change as well depending on the distance. You also need to be aware of the Field of vision which is about 200 degrees.
- Canvas size can be confusing
Since VR works in 3D and covers 360 degrees, it is very challenging to determine the size of the canvas as well as the resolution of the frame. The 360-degree view is generally flattened out and then worked on so you have to deal with a much larger space than usual.
- Get creative
Creativity is at the heart of every new technology, especially when it is related to design. Virtual reality is new territory with high expectations from everyone anticipating it. To exceed those expectations, creativity and new approaches are necessary. To make the countless projected applications of VR and AR a reality, you need to get your creative juices flowing and make them happen.
Virtual reality is a concept that many people are aware of now but there is still not much understanding of how it works or what it is capable of. There are some designers shifting their focus to VR but it still requires a lot of development. If you want to get into VR design, the above article should provide some basics on how to do that.