Project background

This UI is for a new VR headset that is aimed at providing an accessible and affordable virtual reality experience to everyone. Despite the affordable price point, I want the UI and the dashboard to exude luxury, modernity, and elegance.My design process will start with thorough UX research to understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of my target audience. I will use chatGPT to gather insights from virtual assistants and chatbots on the user experience of existing VR headsets and dashboard UIs. Next, I will use Figma to create wireframes and prototypes of the dashboard UI, with a focus on using bezels and shapesXR to create a sleek and high-end look. I will also ensure that the dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly, with clear and easy-to-use navigation. To ensure accessibility, I will prioritize high-contrast colors, large text sizes, and easy-to-read fonts. I will also incorporate voice and gesture controls to make the dashboard accessible for users with disabilities or mobility issues.

My role

My role in this project is multifaceted, as I am responsible for several areas of expertise. As the researcher, I am tasked with understanding the needs and preferences of my target audience, which will inform the design decisions I make throughout the project.

As the UX/UI designer, I am responsible for creating a dashboard UI that is both intuitive and visually appealing. I must utilize my research findings to create a design that is easy to navigate, with clear calls to action and a user-friendly interface.

Additionally, as the 3D designer, I am responsible for creating a three-dimensional virtual environment that users can interact with, which will provide a sense of presence and immersion in the VR headset. This requires a keen eye for detail and a strong understanding of spatial relationships and three-dimensional design principles.

Furthermore, as the VR/AR designer, I will utilize my expertise in virtual and augmented reality technologies to create an immersive experience that feels authentic and engaging to users.

Lastly, as the prototyper and graphic designer, I will create high-fidelity prototypes that bring the design to life and showcase the visual elements of the dashboard UI. This requires a strong attention to detail and a keen eye for design aesthetics.

Overall, I am responsible for the end-to-end design of this project, utilizing my expertise in research, UX/UI, 3D design, VR/AR, prototyping, and graphic design to create a seamless and immersive experience for the users.

The problem

As the designer of this project, one of the main challenges I face is ensuring that the dashboard UI is accessible and user-friendly for all users, including those with disabilities or mobility issues. While VR/AR technologies offer unique and exciting possibilities for creating immersive experiences, they can also present challenges in terms of accessibility and usability. Therefore, I need to make sure that the dashboard UI is designed with accessibility in mind and that it is easy to navigate for all users.

Additionally, given that the VR headset is intended to be affordable, there may be limitations in terms of hardware capabilities or processing power, which could impact the performance of the dashboard UI. This presents a challenge in terms of designing a high-end and visually stunning UI that also performs well on a lower-end VR headset. To overcome this challenge, I need to focus on designing a UI that is optimized for performance and does not require significant processing power.

Furthermore, balancing the desire for a high-end and luxurious look and feel with the need to create an intuitive and user-friendly UI is another challenge. I need to ensure that the dashboard UI is visually appealing while also being easy to navigate and use. This will require careful consideration of the design elements and a focus on creating a balance between aesthetics and usability.

The goal

The goal of the project is to design a high-quality dashboard UI for a new VR headset that is accessible, visually stunning, and user-friendly. This requires a multifaceted approach that includes conducting thorough UX research, designing a UI that is intuitive and easy to navigate, creating a three-dimensional virtual environment that is immersive, utilizing VR/AR technologies to create an authentic and engaging experience, prototyping high-fidelity designs, and ensuring that the design is optimized for performance on a lower-end VR headset.

My goal is to create a seamless and immersive experience that meets the needs and expectations of all users, including those with disabilities or mobility issues, and balances the desire for a high-end and luxurious look and feel with the need to create an intuitive and user-friendly UI. By achieving this goal, you aim to provide users with a virtual reality experience that is affordable, accessible, and visually stunning, and that showcases the full potential of VR/AR technologies.

Project duration

January 2023 to April 2023.

Meet our Personas

The Research

To begin with, I conducted research in a few different ways. Firstly, I conducted personal interviews with individuals who have experience using VR headsets and virtual interfaces. These interviews allowed me to gain valuable insights into what features and functionalities are important to users and what pain points they experience when using VR interfaces.

In addition to personal interviews, I also conducted research online using resources like Google and ChatGPT. This helped me to gather information about best practices in designing VR interfaces, as well as information about the latest trends and technologies in the VR/AR industry.

To test the usability of the dashboard UI, I conducted usability tests using participants’ phones with VR and AR capabilities and Google Cardboards. This allowed me to see how users interacted with the interface in a virtual environment and identify any usability issues that needed to be addressed.

To develop and refine the design, I used a range of tools and techniques, including greyboxing, hi-fi mockups, and prototypes. Greyboxing allowed me to quickly create and test basic layouts and structures for the interface, while hi-fi mockups helped me to refine the visual design and layout. Prototyping allowed me to test the interface with users and make iterative improvements based on their feedback.

Overall, the research and design process for this project was comprehensive and multi-faceted, incorporating a range of tools and techniques to ensure that the final product met the needs and expectations of users.

Competitive audit

Meta:

Meta’s interface is sleek and modern, with a focus on minimalism and simplicity.
The dashboard has a clean design that is easy to navigate, with large icons that represent various applications and settings.
The UI is intuitive and user-friendly, with clear labels and simple gestures for navigation.
However, Meta’s interface may lack some of the more advanced features that users might expect from a high-end VR headset, such as robust customization options.


Microsoft:

Microsoft’s interface is more complex than Meta’s, with a greater focus on customization and advanced features.
The dashboard has a more traditional desktop-like design, with windows and menus that can be resized and rearranged as needed.
The UI is highly customizable, with a wide range of settings and options that allow users to tailor their VR experience to their preferences.
However, Microsoft’s interface may be overwhelming for some users, especially those who are not familiar with the Windows operating system.


Our Design:

Our design is focused on creating a luxury and modern experience, despite the affordability of the VR headset.
The dashboard has a clean and elegant design, with a focus on providing quick access to essential features and settings.
The UI is intuitive and user-friendly, with simple and familiar gestures for navigation.
Our design aims to strike a balance between simplicity and advanced customization, providing users with the features they need while keeping the interface easy to navigate and understand.
Overall, while Meta and Microsoft offer unique and compelling user interfaces and dashboards, our design offers a sleek and modern experience that is accessible and user-friendly, while still providing advanced features and customization options for power users.

 

Visual Design: The Meta dashboard has a sleek and modern design, with a dark background and neon blue accents, while the Microsoft dashboard has a more minimalist look, with a light background and simple blue accents. Both interfaces are visually appealing, but the Meta design feels more high-end and futuristic.

User Interface Navigation: The Meta dashboard has a unique “bubble” navigation system, where users can navigate by looking at and clicking on floating bubbles that represent different apps or features. In contrast, the Microsoft dashboard has a more traditional menu-style navigation, where users can scroll through a list of apps and select the one they want. The Meta bubble navigation system is more immersive and engaging, but it may also be more challenging for some users to navigate.

Input Devices: The Meta headset includes hand-tracking technology, allowing users to interact with the interface and apps using hand gestures, while the Microsoft headset relies on handheld controllers. Hand-tracking technology can provide a more intuitive and natural user experience, but it may also be less precise and reliable than handheld controllers.

Multi-tasking: The Meta interface allows users to multitask more easily, with a “floating window” feature that allows them to open multiple apps or windows at once and move them around in the 3D space. The Microsoft interface does not offer this feature, requiring users to switch back and forth between apps or use a “snap” feature to display two apps side by side. The Meta floating window feature can be particularly useful for productivity tasks or entertainment activities that require multiple apps to be open at once.

The most important pain points

Complexity: Many users find VR interfaces to be overly complex and difficult to navigate. This can be especially frustrating for users who are new to VR technology or who have limited experience with virtual interfaces.

Cluttered Design: VR interfaces can often be cluttered and overwhelming, with too many elements competing for the user’s attention. This can make it difficult for users to find the information or tools they need to complete their tasks.

Discomfort: VR interfaces can cause discomfort or motion sickness for some users, particularly if the interface is poorly designed or overly complex.

Limited Accessibility: Some users with disabilities may find it difficult to use VR interfaces due to limitations in mobility or dexterity. It’s important to ensure that the interface is accessible to as many users as possible.

My problem statements

Mark (user) is a working professional (user characteristics), who needs a VR headset with a comfortable and ergonomic design (user need) because this will allow him to use the headset for extended periods of time without discomfort or fatigue (insight).

Maria (user) is a/an retired individual (user characteristics), who needs a VR headset with large and easily readable text (user need) because this will enable her to clearly read and navigate the interface without strain or frustration (insight).

Alex (user) is a/an college student (user characteristics), who needs a VR headset with a simple and intuitive interface (user need) because this will allow him to focus on her studies and explore virtual environments without distractions or frustrations (insight).

Usability study

Study type: Moderated usability study

Location: Remote (conducted online via video call). Participants will be individuals who have used VR headsets before.

Participants: Participants are individuals who have used VR headsets before, and are interested in purchasing a new VR headset. Three males, three females, between 40-60.

Duration: Each session will last 30 to 45 minutes, consisting of a series of tasks and prompts related to using the dashboard interface.

Results: During the study, participants had difficulty navigating the interface and finding specific features, especially those with smaller text or icons. Some users also reported experiencing discomfort and fatigue while using the headset for extended periods of time.

VR Concept

Low-fidelity design (wireframes)

Greyboxing (ShapesXR)

High-fidelity designs (ShapesXR and Bezel)

Prototypes

Reasoning behind decisions

When my team and I set out to create our new VR headset and system, we knew that we wanted to make something that would stand out and feel luxurious. That’s why we decided to use purple – it’s a color that’s historically been associated with royalty and luxury. We wanted our customers to feel like they were getting a truly premium experience, and we thought that using a rich, regal color like purple was the perfect way to achieve that.

When it came to designing the menu and navigation for our system, we knew that we wanted to make something that would be intuitive and easy for people to use. That’s why we modeled our menu and navigation after those found on mobile devices – we figured that most people would already be familiar with those systems, and would be able to easily navigate through our VR system as a result.

To make sure that our system was as user-friendly as possible, we used Bezel for usability testing. By getting feedback from real users, we were able to identify any pain points or confusing elements in our system, and make adjustments to improve the overall user experience.

Finally, when it came to creating the final product, we chose to use ShapesXR because of its Unity plugin and ability to export everything for developers. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for developers to create new apps and experiences for our system, and we felt that ShapesXR was the best tool for achieving that goal.

Overall, we’re incredibly proud of the final product that we’ve created. We believe that our decision to use a regal color like purple, model our menu and navigation after mobile systems, use Bezel for usability testing, and use ShapesXR for development has resulted in a truly top-of-the-line VR system that people will love to use.

Accessibility considerations

As the researcher, UX/UI designer, 3D designer, VR/AR designer, prototyper, and graphic designer, you recognize the importance of creating an interface that can be used by a wide range of individuals, regardless of any physical or cognitive impairments they may have.

To ensure that the dashboard interface is accessible, you have conducted extensive research on best practices and guidelines for accessible design, both online through sources like Google and ChatGPT, and through personal interviews with individuals who have disabilities or impairments that affect their ability to use technology. I have also consulted with experts in the field of accessibility to ensure that your design meets the highest standards of accessibility.

Throughout the design process, I have prioritized accessibility considerations, such as ensuring that the interface is easy to navigate with a keyboard or assistive technology, using color contrast that is accessible for individuals with visual impairments, and including alternative text for images and icons. I have also considered the needs of individuals with hearing impairments by including closed captioning and other visual cues to convey information.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this project has been a collaborative effort to design a new dashboard UI for a VR headset that is affordable and accessible to a wide range of individuals. As the researcher, UX/UI designer, 3D designer, VR/AR designer, prototyper, and graphic designer, you have been instrumental in ensuring that the design is not only visually appealing and modern but also user-friendly and accessible.

Through extensive research and testing, we have identified the pain points and needs of our end-users and developed a design that addresses those needs. We have taken into account the accessibility requirements of individuals with physical or cognitive impairments, ensuring that our design is inclusive and user-friendly for all.

We have created three personas to represent our target audience and conducted usability studies to test the effectiveness of our design. We have used a range of tools, including Figma, bezel, shapesXR, and ChatGPT, to create high-fidelity mockups and prototypes that bring our design to life.

Tools used

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