Not much is known about how users can be optimally guided through Virtual Reality experiences. During my internship at Philips Design, I prototyped different types of user guides and tested those with users to discover user-centric ways of VR guidance.
Internship at Philips Design User Research, Prototyping, Usability testing
Mar - Jun 2020
Explore & test VR guidance types and develop early design principles to set directions for further research.
I took a step back to get a better understanding of the topic. An example of user guidance that triggered me was a fox character in Google Maps' Augmented Reality mode. The fox was introduced in 2018 but removed the year after because users expected her to be a lot smarter than she really is. This so-called 'anthropomorphic dissonance' and other theories were what I used to frame my study.
The target users are primarily medical specialists. Together with the coronavirus, this was difficult for fast user research. I used observations of people who used Philips' VR demos during pre-corona days, as well as conversations and existing research, to build user profiles. Some elements are:
VR expertise VR guidance should be helpful for both first-time users (who can be quickly overwhelmed) and experienced users.
Personality traits VR guidance should work for both observing users who need active guidance and proactive users.
Depth of information VR guidance should be able to facilitate moments of quick information but also in-depth information.