Before starting this project our team felt that we needed to experience virtual reality and how people would interact when using it. We were invited down to Moxie’s FX lab to use and experience current virtual reality equipment on the market that we will be designing a retail experience for. We were introduced to the very basic entry level Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear and finally Oculus VR. This was a great initial step for us to get started with the project. None of the team members had ever used VR before and it was a great introduction to the equipment and possibilities that virtual reality holds.
After experiencing virtual reality at the MOXIE FX Lab, I researched retail markets that I thought could best utilize this technology to its full potential, while giving the user an memorable experience of the brand or product. I believe the markets with the greatest potential in utilizing virtual reality that would impact a user is within Retail Stores, Consumer Product Experience, and Brand Advertising. Another key benefit for virtual reality is that you can set up mobile kiosks or a both for product demonstrations and use it anywhere.
Without ever using or experiencing Virtual Reality our team went down to use some of the latest VR equipment on the market today. This was a great first step and gave me a better idea of what is possible with this type of technology.
Ideas, Ideas and more Ideas.... One main concept I came up with was to split apart the phone and have the user go inside the phone to explore it's different capabilities and functionalities. Each part of the phone would become a different experience for that part of the phone for the user to interact with.
I created the site map, and a initial user flow was created from our client feedback and user research. The site map was very straight forward, we were given the clients approval to move forward with the initial concept presented.
One of the biggest challenges of this project was to come up with a way to prototype a virtual reality experience in a two dimensional space. Many concepts were explored. I finally came up with an idea of drawing each experience the user would go through on large paper and attaching them to tables created an immersive environment for the user to test the prototype in. This was extremely effect and we got valuable feedback from this exercise.
After all the testing was finished and the final tweaks were made to the prototype, I got started on designing the high fidelity comps for the presentation. I created all the comps in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and exported them out as PNG's so they could be used in the interactive presentation. It was a ton of work but in the end, the client was overwhelmed at what we had produced in just 3.5 weeks.
"It's about moving beyond the rectangle. How do you document [virtual reality] from a UX viewpoint? This is brilliant ... I would've taken Danny three months."