Ask DN: Should we learn to design for VR?

over 7 years ago from Matthew Blode, Designer & Front-end Developer

  • Nalena Santiago, over 7 years ago

    As a current UX VR Designer at Samsung I say yes, you should definitely pursue learning how to design for Virtual Reality. Currently there are few designers in the field and there is a lot of room for impact. From the 7+ months I have been in the field here are some suggestions:

    1) Start testing out VR applications (note that the type of app you design for Gear VR is different from the Rift or Vive that have positional tracking). Some good GearVR apps: Jaunt, Oculus Apps (Video, Arcade, Social Trivia, Photos, etc.), Land's End, Samsung Internet, YouVisit VR (their old UI was better), Within (formerly Vrse) Good Vive Apps: Tilt Brush, Pool Nation VR, Job Simulator. For the Rift I recommend watching the demo reel to see the full capacity of the HMD.

    2) Learn Unity. Unity seems to be the standard for VR. You don't need to learn how to script, but know how to place objects, create UI elements, and deploy to your HMD. Unity has the roll-a-ball tutorial on their website which is a good start. You can also find some good classes on Udemy.

    3) Learn Maya. This is a more long term one. But to create a great VR experience you need to be able to build environments and objects.

    If you're interested in more the Oculus design team has some good videos on YouTube from Oculus Connect and so does the Google Daydream team from Google IO 2016.

    You can also consider going to the Oculus Connect conference in October which is targeted to designers and developers.

    13 points
    • Raffaello SanzioRaffaello Sanzio, over 7 years ago

      Thanks for your answer, Nalena!

      2 points
    • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

      Thank you for the response! I have done a course in animation in Maya and I know the software fairly well. The other portion of the course was creating a simple game in unreal engine. Would it be beneficial to stick with using unreal engine or switch to learning unity as my primary engine? Thanks again

      1 point
      • John PJohn P, over 7 years ago

        Unreal is generally better at higher end work (AAA style/photoreal), Unity for lower-mid but it can do higher too.

        1 point
    • Jon HargreavesJon Hargreaves, over 7 years ago

      What are your thoughts on using Blender as an alternative to Maya for VR? I got my Bachelor's in Animation and I used Maya a lot when I was going to school, but I currently cannot afford to have it since I am no longer a student.

      0 points