Principles of User Research for VR and AR

I teamed up with Jump Into the Light VR cinema and playlab to lead a workshop on Principles of User Research for VR and AR on May 15, 2018.  You can catch up on key insights and reflections from the workshop on Medium.

Here’s an excerpt:

But does the VR industry really just want to clone what has already been done in TV, movies, and video games? In our experience, that is not the case.

A carefully designed qualitative user research project intentionally brings in non-users and people who the design and development teams don’t think would want to use the experience. Understanding non-users and people who don’t look like your expected users lets you understand why people haven’t used your product (or similar ones) in the past. Such insight can drive innovative developments that make technologies more accessible and welcoming to new audiences. For example, we believe well-designed VR experiences have the potential to be vastly more accessible to disabled and elderly people and more welcoming to indigenous, femme, queer, and people of color communities than traditional console video games.

In a new industry with the potential to create whole new paradigms for technology use like VR and AR, understanding the unusual user is more crucial than ever.