VR UX Rule #1 - Know your focus from the start

Recently I've bought a simple Google-cardboard-like device to start testing what can VR industry offer us today.

Not so much, to be honest, and the main reason is - today it's just an art pour art thing. If you don't have a headset, you can get an idea what's WebVR here.

When I've put the headset on and entered a first "VR" website, I understood that now it's a good time to start speaking on the WebVR user experience. The first WebVR experiments reminded me of those beautiful times, when people started appreciating HTML and making their first web pages (globally using the parameter "background-color" and making the fonts more and more comic).
Here's an example, demonstration of the technology right away :) Lots of purple color and funny fonts, and actually - why not?

However today I'd like to talk not about the colors, but about the focus.

Let's imagine, that right away from the start you see this screen (source):

Seems like it's OK in case of real life or 2d web. However, right after you see it, your instincts will make your head centering the image - you'll turn your head to the right!
This is a thing you cannot understand until you don't have a headset on, however the more you want to move your head - the more you want to take the headset off.

In order to work correctly you should start with the correct focus from the first frames:

The second example is with a 360-degree image and a text.

Here's a beautiful 360-degree image, so it's hard to tell, where to put the camera for a starting frame (source).

It's a bad idea to put the camera to the finest looking point of the mountain

For the user it will be much more comfortable to start with the text, so he or she can compare the picture to the associations, not make the guesses.

So, the rules:

  1. Think about the focus from the very first frame
  2. Don't make the user turn his or her head for getting the main content. The first sight should be made from natural head position.
  3. If the content is all around (all 360 degrees) - create an intuitive starting point, adding text description is a good idea.

Your comments, questions, likes and shares will help me grow. Thanks a lot!

Tags: VR-UX