Topik VR App

A VR social platform includes mobile users
The Challenge
VR has tremendously promised since its inception. The sense of immersion is a very powerful and attractive experience. Yet as in 2017, the majority of consumers do not own a VR headset due to the price and ergonomics reasons.
My Role
I was responsible for the product strategy, user research & Analysis, MVP definition, wireframes, UI design & prototyping, Illustration/Icon design, usability testing and strategic alignment with other areas of the company.

Competitor Analysis

We researched how Topik compares with its competitors. They included Facebook Space, Altspace, vTime, Rec Room and Big Screen. There is a large untapped market to capture as more VR-ready mobile devices come out, especially the games sector. We want to bridge the gap to connect VR and mobile users. The beachhead market will be Google Daydream VR users.

User Research

The high end player - Male - age 22 - 31
- Only demographic to use PSVR (52%) over any other headset - Three in four use VR to play games. Spends up to twice as much each month on VR content than any other audience segment ($43)
- Spends almost 5 minutes longer per VR session than any other demographic (18 minutes)
- Most interested in content that features their favorite athletes (34% are interested)
The starstruck Explorer - Female - age 19 - 27
- Most compelled by content where they can explore landmarks and locations (37%)
- Want to see their favorite celebrities (24%) and fashion designers (23%) in VR.
- Willing to spend more than older demographic on tickets to VR events ($19)
- Spends more than twice as much on console content ($47) than mobile ($17) or PC ($21)

Persona

Tom, 25
A software engineer at Blizzard. He has been a crazy game player since he was a little boy. He isn’t very outgoing and tends to be quite when meeting new friends but after a few meetings, he would be very active and talkative. He enjoys playing with friends from his undergraduate, grad school and even high school, even though they are no longer live close to each other. He usually spends an entire day to play games with friends every weekend. Recently, some of his friends becomes very interested in VR. To play with his friends, Tom also purchased an HTC Vive. He is excited about exploring the new 3D world, playing 3D games and meeting his friends in the virtual space.

Creating the Foundation

I started by creating a Flowmap, in order to have a high-level view over the core user flows. This helped creating the foundation for designing the app and communication with developers. I designed in Sketch and transferred into inVision to build an interactive prototype and tested the user story with 5 different individuals.

Ideating Solutions

  • Discovery Channels - Allow users to create trending topic, watch or particulate in the conversation.
  • VR games - We created bite-size content and Trivia game for both mobile and VR users , so they can stay engaged and challenge friends and others.

  • Social Mechanic - Users are able to follow and subscribe topic or users they are interested and get notification when they are broadcast.

Brand Creation

01

Users can immersed in the space and play games like VR golf, basketball, spin the bottle and trivia.

Watch and listen to debates, share thoughts through group chat.

The VR Soapbox

Users can be part of the conversation even outside VR using mobile app mode.

Share genuine opinions, with a secret identity avatars.

UI Design

Produced UI components to ensure consistency across the different platform and experiences created.

What I have learned from this project?

  • Constraints in Mobile - The hardware constraints, the latency, overheat device and battery consumption can dampen the VR experience, no matter how fun the game or useful of the software. Though we created a balanced graphic style and optimize the 3d models to suit the frame rate a mobile device can handle.

  • Feasibility - Make sure to understand the flexibility on the framework developers adopted. It might be expensive to change course as the project evolved with technical challenges.
  • VR UX-  Design an optimal distance so users can focus on objects and the text also be large enough to be legible. All virtual objects must be locked relative to the world, not to the user’s head. Keep the UI in a stable horizon line and comfortable content zone, so it won't create stress for users neck.

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