Virtual Reality (VR) is now a common term, often used, interpreted and analyzed by an individual in his/her own way. I do not intend to define VR (there are many accurate resource available, i am assuming you are well verse with VR), but recent years have seen significant advancements in technology front of VR. However, there are very few guidelines that supports Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers or practitioners to refer, adapt and start designing VR interactions and interfaces.
As we have recently started working in VR research and application (see Pragati – our initiative to train rural health workers in resource constraint environment), we attempted to define our own process in order to identify research gaps, areas that need attention and streamline application deliverable.
I am sharing the first version of our process which certainly requires refinement as we go along, however gives a very good start for novice and intermediate HCI practitioners to refine the solutions. The process is derived from variety of resources, e.g. from vareity of books including major influences of Developing Virtual Reality Applications, VR book: Human Centered Design for Virtual Reality and a large number of research papers and articles which we have read and analyzed to present the process/method for HCI in VR applications.
The proposed process in defined in 3 major stages.
- Defining input methods
- Defining user interactions
- Defining UI elements
These 3 stages are iterative in nature and demands re-visiting each state at various stages of the project. Moreover, i have not included details of conducting user research, HCI guidelines, UI interface design etc. – assuming that you are well aware of HCI principles in general.
The following images showcases the details of each stage.
There are many terms which are new and defined especially for VR interfaces which may be difficult for you to understand if you are complete novice to VR. Either you can search to learn in detail or send me an email (@keyurbsorathia @ gmail.com) for more details.
As mentioned before, this process is not an ultimate goal of HCI in VR as it refines with time, more experience and project as any process/method would.
I hope you enjoy this, adopt to your practice and give your feedback about your experiences. We hope to refine this further, experiment with it and share a refined version in few months.