When I put on the headset for the first time; the immediate brightness instantly triggered my ‘design alarm’. Bad contrast and overly bright interfaces are one of my bugbears. It became apparent that it was going to be even more of an issue inside the headset.
It may seem obvious that overly bright interfaces would be worse in VR, but if it’s that obvious, why does it still happen on websites?
I noticed that line weights were dramatically reduced when viewed in Oculus Rift, rather than a monitor. This issue does connect to contrast. If your copy is rendering much thinner in a headset; it’s going to be very difficult to contrast between the copy and the surround.
I’ve been known to fuss a lot about contrast issues, but that’s because I believe it’s very important.
I fully support these people.
There are huge numbers of people with sight problems; both diagnosed and undiagnosed. If you present content that requires concerted effort of the user to read it; then you are isolating a big percentage of your possible audience.
Now extend this idea to VR.
If you create a product that alienates a fair percentage of your audience; they don’t decide to use another VR system. You’re not running a website where you may lose them to a competitor.
Alienating someone means they will most likely be lost to the world of VR. When you’re trying to present ‘the next big thing’ you need each and every person to go ‘WOW’.
If you make one person ‘WOW’ then they tell others, obviously the converse is true. You don’t lose one person to VR if they have a bad experience, you potentially lose more.
Good testing isn’t simply about pointing out issues with a user’s experience. It’s easy to say something has bad contrast and could be hard to read. It’s harder to see the knock-on effects that issue can cause. That’s where good testing comes in. The ability to see the problem and *potential* problems created by it.