Why UI/UX designers should dive into VR/AR

Why UI/UX designers should dive into VR/AR

As technology continues to grow, possibilities for virtual and augmented reality are often brought up, almost in a sense that it is a hot topic everytime we hit a new generation of tech. Experts have predicted that the virtual reality field could potentially become a $150 billion industry, while others are having a hard time understanding why it could be the next big thing. As a  designer or a  developer, should virtual reality and augmented reality be something worth expanding your skills into?


Major players in the tech industry such as Google and Facebook have invested dollars and manpower towards AR and VR technology. As the number of smart devices rises, the opportunity for VR/AR implementation does as well. We may be entering an age where we can truly see the power and value of VR/AR.


VR/AR will grow in advertising
Brand awareness is an important aspect of running any company. It is the sole purpose of any form of advertising. VR/AR can help these brands elevate their awareness to the public at a whole new level.

One of the biggest tools in advertising is human emotions. Throughout the history of advertising, the greatest agencies always had the ability to manipulate the emotions of the human public in order to reach that engagement.

Through mediums such as commercials, websites, etc., customer engagement allowed users to further relate to the company. VR allows users to become immersed into a whole new environment, stimulating senses of all sorts that could not be tapped in earlier digital mediums. People can interact and remember experiences that require more from the user than just simply seeing visual cues. In AR, an experience can be created by answering some of the most important question that a user can have; “What if…?”


Augmented reality will become a valuable tool
AR may not be as big in terms of creating games and widgets, but it will be big for brands that wants to give users taste tests without even leaving the comfort of their home. Checking out whether that new TV will fit in your loft, or maybe you want to see how that recliner would look next to your sofa by a few taps to the screen can be increasingly valuable.

In the state that the web is in now, the fact is that web browsers are not built for VR experiences. Despite what browsers have done to accommodate VR experiences for the web, it doesn’t seem efficient as of now. Although in the near future when VR systems become more prevalent, web browsers can be integrated in such a similar way as to how web browsers became integrated with smart phones and other touch devices.


What you should do as a designer
VR/AR design can pave a new set of skill for designers to learn and work with. We are so used to seeing things in 2D through print and the web and have been using two dimensional grids to do so. Although, designers would not necessarily need to learn the use of 3D modelers, they can appreciate and gain experience in handling things in 3D, unlike your traditional web/UX designer.


Designers can already harness the power of consumer emotions according to do so through print, web, digital media etc. The impact that designers can have through VR is quite staggering. People can not only recall things better when put into an appropriate environment, but can also better relate themselves to the situation at hand since in a way, they are physically interacting with it. By being able to manipulate the user’s senses physically, you can tap into their emotions for effective advertising. This will open a supply of possibilities from a designer’s standpoint.


One of the most important aspects of design is storytelling. With the use of VR, it will be much easier to guide users through a particular process. Users can be able to have whatever questions they have be answered in front of them literally. With what we have tech wise in today’s time, we are able to somewhat do this through websites and mobile apps, and VR will add a whole new dimension to it.


Not only will you be able to tell a story through color and presentation much like with the web, but you can also tell it through other senses such as sound.

Design jobs are growing in VR/AR

VR/AR if it hasn’t already, is about to take off in the tech world as there is plenty of value in it and will therefore have high demand for VR/AR designers. We are in a period where web and interactive designers may or may not jump on the wagon as the tech is still in its infancy. As a result, skills for such systems may not be readily available. Again, this is projected be a $100+ billion industry so there will be some good money in it.


How to get started
There are plenty of online course that you can take to get started with User Interfaces for VR. Sites like Treehouse and Skillshare are great places to start. Through these courses, you can learn more about the up and coming software that will be used in this promising industry.


Is 3D modeling not something that seems intriguing to you but still want to get more into VR? Fortunately, there does seem to be some room for User Experience designers to get into the field without doing so.


Designers seem to feel a bit intimidated by new technology that can change the playing field in the industry. Learning new tech and software may be a bit difficult but it would really pay off as designers begin to enter design in a whole new dimension.