So recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with a company developing a media player for VR; most notably Oculus Rift.
As a user; putting on the headset does throw you into another world. As a tester that world is even more different. Not only are you coming to grips with what you’re seeing, but at the same time you’re questioning it all. Breaking down what you’re seeing into its respective aspects.
Questioning what you need to think about; that you never have before?
How do you take all your experience and apply it to this situation?
One of the first questions that came to me:
What’s more comfortable; to look up towards content or to look down?
This may seem like a facile question, but it’s deceptively important. One of the main differences with using VR; is the user’s ability to look around the virtual environment. The virtual environment needs to be purposed so the user can do this in a comfortable way.
So you’re in the headset, you move your head up and down. You use different rates of motions and different ranges. Then you look down far enough that your chin hits your chest. Now that is not a nice feeling! The sudden contact with your own body does disturb the immersivity.
But it’s not as straightforward as looking up is nicer than down.
If the content as you look up; is also too close to you. It can give a claustrophobic experience. Now that might be perfect within a specific section of a game, but it’s the last experience you want a user to have; when selecting from a wall of video content, for example.
I am going to write more articles on various aspects of testing with Oculus Rift. I also welcome any other testers, or developers with an interest in testing to contact me. Let’s talk about our experiences and build new heuristics that can form a good foundation to help testing with VR develop.