5 VR Design Principles For Every Home Builder to Understand Today

Based on experience, many people find it hard to navigate in virtual reality without instructions. So when creating VR materials for home builders and property developers, we ask them to put themselves in their client’s shoes. We ask about the things they want to see. Then, we make recommendations to make VR less confusing for first-timers. Giving the user a sense of direction is what we want to discuss in this blog. Here are the different VR design principles that you must understand as your business embraces VR technology:

Human instinct

Not everybody understands technical architectural drawings at first glance, which is why home builders and property developers use VR to present their services. VR makes the process client-friendly.

The challenge here is looking for a VR visualisation company who understands how people think and move in nature. They can help you develop a realistic VR material.

To create a stunning VR material, the VR visualisation company needs the architectural drawings and 3D CAD plans from you. VR creators use these technical drawings as a guide in building the structure in the digital world. 

Once the main structure is complete, add the final interior and exterior design features. These finishing touches are the most important for the viewer because these help them navigate the structure in VR. 

What you can do

  • Show the structure behind a dynamic, serene landscape. Produce a bright VR environment to make your viewers feel safe and secure. Eliminate any image that triggers danger and uncertainty.
  • Insert interactive hotspots which push users to move towards a specific direction. Subtly animated arrows (like the one shown below) are wayfinding tools which make the VR environment more explorative and intuitive.  
5 VR Design Principles For Every Business

Controlled perspective

Your clients feel free when they explore the structure in VR, but, it doesn’t mean you’re not in control of what they see. With VR, you have the power to choose the things/scenes you can show your clients.

Here, we showed a house on a typical day. We programmed the flow to ensure the user moves seamlessly from one point to another. In this video, you will see how VIZ360 works on a laptop/desktop computer.

What you can do

  • Place content on purpose. Furnish the structure in VR. A virtual home display without fixtures and furniture pieces is like an empty physical showroom — it isn’t good for the business.

Always place items with intention. Here, a granny flat builder wants to highlight the efficiency of their design. Take a look at how we arranged the interiors and the style that we used to showcase it.

  • Produce VR in eye-height. When shooting images, use a camera elevated about 64 inches from the ground to replicate eye-height for most viewers. Failure to do this might result in disorientation. The user will feel dizzy and less engaged.   
  • Insert floating texts and voice prompts to make the VR more informative and engaging. These details count.

Immersive 360° images

Our VR designers in VIZ360 create materials for head-mounted devices and flat-screen devices (smartphone, laptop, and desktop computers). But, we never design for the screen — we design another world. Every time our client tilts their head, they see another angle of the room they’re in without lags.

Important pieces of advice

As a VR visualisation company, we uphold four core VR design principles, namely:

  • Design for flat-screen devices. VR is an immersive medium, and more people own flat-screen devices than VR headsets worldwide. There is a need to present 360° content to more people. Also, it’s better when the VR content is accessible via any device. 
  • Make it realistic when viewed from a VR headset. VR developers strive to make hyper-realistic immersive experiences. Give the information directly to the user and keep your message clear and understandable.
  • Put the essential elements in the middle of the screen to highlight them. This area is called the cone of focus. Put the less important feature on the side but avoid overloading the screen. You don’t want your client to feel overwhelmed. 
  • Invest in a high-quality headset. The hardware you use makes a big difference. For example, Google Cardboard doesn’t offer peripheral viewing, but it’s an excellent way to experience VR using a smartphone. More powerful devices like Oculus Go and Quest offer a more extensive range of vision. Many home builders and property developers who use VR invest in a few pairs of this.

Use symbols that people recognise

When we upgrade our phones, we spend a few hours to familiarise ourselves with our new device. The same thing happens when we use VR for the first time. It takes time to learn how to use the headset, but we’ll figure out how to use it. 

VR is not alien technology. We recognise the icons used and the logos of the applications. Take a look at Youtube’s logo in Google Daydream’s menu:

5 VR Design Principles For Every Business

Here’s an iPhone X’ screen with a Youtube icon as well:

5 VR Design Principles For Every Business

As long as we recognise the logo or images, we can use the device and navigate the VR environment. These symbols help us pick up on technology quickly. Take a look at the bottom row of this VR environment. Did you recognise the icons for fullscreen, share, more information, and close?

5 VR Design Principles For Every Business

Don’t worry if you don’t know what a symbol means. Hover the pointer over the icon and a pop-up will indicate what the icon means. Try to navigate this VR here.

What you can do

  • Always use symbols and terms that people understand easily. Use gestures that people know how to do. Of course, show instructions to the user before the VR experience begins.

Unforgettable experiences

If you want people to remember your business, provide them with a memorable experience. VR is an experience ⁠— use it to immerse your clients in an interactive environment where you highlight your product or service.

What you can do

Most people get that woozy feeling seconds after being immersed in a poorly designed VR environment. To avoid this:

  • Minimise movement in VR. The fewer movements you make, the better the VR experience will be. Teleportation is our preferred navigation method — it’s the most convenient and most efficient way to explore the VR. It reduces the occurrence of motion sickness. 
  • Prioritise the user’s comfort. Lags and abrupt motions disorient the user. Move from one spot to another at the steady and smooth movement. Also, avoid presenting screens that are too bright to prevent eye-strain.
  • Make sure the VR follows the user’s movements. Scenes vary depending on the user’s head movement. Use a powerful VR device to provide the best VR experience. Read this article to find out the best headsets available in the market today: 7 Most Recommended New VR Headsets for 2019. Of course, invest in high-quality VR material. Give the best to your clients, and you won’t lose them.
  • Minimise the pop-ups. Allow your clients to explore the structure in VR. Never show unwanted pop-ups. Let them click it when they want to read it.

Take note of these VR design principles when you embrace VR technology

Powerful and effective VR strategies work when companies invest in the best VR hardware and material. Consider outsourcing work from VR visualisation companies. A great one will help you create lasting immersive experiences that tell your story interactively and engagingly. A great one will help you provide comfortable VR experiences that will wow your clients. These VR design principles will be maximised.

VIZ360 is ready to amp up your VR efforts. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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November 12, 2019