Radical VR.

CLIENT     RADICAL VR

DATE     07/2017

SERVICES     BRANDING, UI, EDITORIAL, WEBSITE, PHOTOGRAPHY

Radical VR is a Canadian company working in the emerging field of virtual reality. Their focus is on the education market, which means their clients are primarily museusm, schools and other public institutions.

UI/UX

While at Radical, I designed UI/UX for Radical VR’s museum VR experiences. We worked to understand and overcome unique challenges involved with 1st gen VR tech, via extensive research and user testing. Totally new UI/UX + narrative environment. We used research to better understand our audiences, their needs, and their familitarity with VR tech.

Radical VR's desktop website

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Research

A few notes about the unique challenges of design UX for 1st-gen VR systems ...

Designing for early VR systems? Here are some things you should know:

  • Most users have zero familiarity with either VR technology in general, or your product specifically. They don't care one bit about resolutions, refresh rates and system specs. They want the thing to work, and work easily.
  • Many users are also unfamiliar with the controllers you're using. A standard XBOX controller is fine for people under, say, 30 years old. But you can't assume familiarity with a specialized piece of tech. And the Oculus nunchuck-style controllers are possibly even less intuitive.
  • Nauseau. It's a problem. It's so prevalent, in fact, that it might seem inherent in the technology. Not true. (...well, partially true for 1st gen systems). But you can make the issue better or worse. Tight corridors are bad, open spaces are good. Asking users to rapidly swivel around is bad. Moving too quickly through the world is bad.

...and how proper testing saved us from costly usability issues

  • Users would often get nauseous and need to eject from the VR experience. Obviously bad, right? But we had gotten so used to using our VR headsets, and had built up a tolerance, so that we didn't notice this problem until we stated showing Colosseum Lives publically. Uh oh - what now? Our solution was to remove head-bob (thanks Unreal Engine!), avoid confined spaces and implement a few other best-practices.
  • Users didn't know how to actually USE the kiosk. Like, physically interact with it. Do you sit? Do you stand? Should you put on the headset right away? We thought this was obvious, until we actually tried it in the wild. Solution? We re-designed the physical booths to remove ambuiguity and added visual instructions - literally Step 1, 2, 3.
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Branding

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During my time at Radical, I worked with the team to design a brand that would stand out. The VR market was becoming increasingly crowded at the time, and a potential client might only catch a brief glimpse of the Radical booth on a crowded show floor. Online was an even more crowded ecosystem.

I created the web presence (main website + 2 smaller projects sites), designed marketing materials , pitch documents and trade-show signage, and created the look for the Radical VR kiosks which were placed in museums and public places. I also had the pleasure of designing in-game UI for the VR experiences. Working on the first generation on consumer VR was a unique challenge, given the restrictions of the technology and lack of best practices at that time.

"We have witnessed thousands of children and adults enjoy traveling back in time to walk through the Colosseum and watch the gladiators fight utilizing a new era of learning in higher education.”

- Jeff Poss, VP of Exhibits
Houston Museum of Natural Science

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An early build of Colosseum Lives being demoed. I designed the signage and kiosks which were deployed at tradeshows and inside museum.

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Editorial & Print

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“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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©2022 Dan Lebl