San Francisco – The next big leap for virtual and augmented reality headsets is likely to be eye-tracking, where headset-mounted laser beams aimed at eyeballs turn your peepers into a mouse.
If you haven’t already incorporated usability into your product design process, you might wonder why it is necessary. After all, it’s certainly possible to release a working, bug-free product without performing any usability work at all. But incorporating user-centered design principles can lead to a much-improved product in several areas.
Summary: Game testing researches the notion of fun. Compared with mainstream UX studies, it involves many more users and relies more on biometrics and custom software. The most striking findings from the Games User Research Summit were the drastic age and gender differences in motivation research.
A game that rethinks the first-person VR approach
Virtual reality has traditionally been about transporting you to new worlds and making you believe you’re really there. It’s the immersion element, known as “presence” in industry lingo, that makes VR feel like magic. So it was refreshing to see Dragon Front, a new VR game in development for the Oculus Rift, take the approach in an entirely different direction.
Now that Cooper has an office in New York, we find ourselves using video conferencing much more than previously. I attend three recurring video conference meetings every week, plus several ad hoc ones. Just about every meeting involves technical difficulties, delay, confusion, and dissatisfaction for all the parties participating.
Crytek’s new project for the Oculus Rift shows us exactly where VR gaming is going – towards heady and experiential gameplay
Above you, the craggy face of the cliff seems to stretch up endlessly toward the sky, offering perilously few footholds. In the far distance there’s a small village by a beach, bathed in orange sunshine – an exotic idyll. But below you there is … nothing. Nothing but a long deadly drop into the crashing sea far below. Your only option is to keep climbing.
One of the best books I’ve ever read on User Experiences is titled “The Elements of User Experience” written by Jesse James Garrett. In the book, he begins by telling the story of a man who wakes up and wonders why his alarm clock never went off. He goes to make coffee, but struggles with the coffeemaker. On his way to work, he stops for gas, but can’t get his credit card to work and has to stand in a long line to pay. When he is finally on his way, he is detoured due to an accident and arrives far later than he ever anticipated. He ends up irritated, sweaty, and lacking a much needed cup of coffee.
User experience (UX) design focuses on enhancing user satisfaction by improving how we interact with the websites, applications and devices in our lives. In other words, UX makes complex things easy to use.
While the term “UX” is relatively new, the concept of user-friendly design has been around for generations. “Good design is good business,” the second president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson, famously told Wharton students in 1973. “We are convinced,” he said, “that good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential.”
“So, Megan, what do you do?”
What a loaded question, geeze. I do lots of things. I run. I eat. I hang out with my 5 rabbits (yeah, they’re awesome). Everyone asks me this question at every networking event, and I still don’t have a succinct, articulate answer. I usually reply with something along the lines of,
“I do user research and product strategy consulting for early stage startups.”
Hey! This is an excerpt from my book Designing Products People Love, which will be published by O’Reilly in December. Learn more about the book and the 20+ product designers from Facebook, Twitter, Slack, etc. who were interviewed about how they work.
Have you ever experienced a user interface that feels lifeless? Have you created a UI that just seems to be missing…something?