Planning and designing for Virtual Reality

It has been said that 2017 is the year of VR, so what does this mean for designers and the future of web design?
First, let’s look at the some of the ways VR could benefit three distinctly different industries.

VR in eCommerce

Online shopping is great – it saves time, sometimes it’s much cheaper, and you can do it all from the comfort of your home. Virtual reality could drastically improve this experience. Imagine being able to virtually try on a piece of clothing you’ve been looking to buy. All this isn’t a million miles away with some companies already starting to implement the technology. Ikea are currently developing and testing their Virtual Kitchen Experience, which will allow users to move around IKEA kitchens seeing it at different angles and watching it in action.
Ikea - Virtual Reality in Ecommerce

VR for travel and property

The benefits for using virtual tours in the property and travel markets are endless. Imagine stepping into a hotel in New York and having a nose around before you book, or looking around a property online before booking a viewing. These all allow the user to know exactly what to expect and therefore increase the chances of them converting. Sotheby’s Real Estate has already started offering virtual tours for some of its properties.
Sotheby's virtual reality tour
These are just a couple of examples, but VR can be implemented in so many areas, from education and medical to sport and science.

Virtual Reality Technology and Web Design

In terms of the way we design, there are some new factors to consider. Today when designing for the web we are constantly thinking of the user experience and designing websites that will work seamlessly across a range of devices. This is still crucial when introducing VR into designs, as the VR experience will vary dependent on the device you are using. However, factoring in the size of a user’s screen has almost been made redundant, as using VR and 360 video means there are no edges.
Another factor to consider is whether your design requires VR goggles, and if so, you will have to consider which type of goggles your viewers are going to be using. An experience that is optimised for Google cardboard will not always translate through to the more top-end goggles on the market.
Probably one of the most challenging aspects of VR design will be the switch to “first-person design”, taking into account that the way things look will affect the user’s feelings and how they interact and engage with objects.
Here at Clicky we’re really excited about the future of VR and 360 videos being used in web and can’t wait to start implementing them into our designs.

Written by Hayley Sackett

Lead Digital Designer