By @SimonCocking review of The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality by Jason Jerald, available to buy here.

Design for virtual reality is an incredibly complex challenge. When done well, these experiences can be brilliant and pleasurable, but when done badly, they can result in frustration and sickness. Whereas limitations of technology can cause bad VR execution, problems are oftentimes caused by a lack of understanding human perception, interaction, design principles, and real users. This book focuses on the human elements of VR, such as how users perceive and intuitively interact with various forms of reality, causes of VR sickness, creating useful and pleasing content, and how to design and iterate upon effective VR applications.

The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality is not just for VR designers, it is for managers, programmers, artists, psychologists, engineers, students, educators, and user experience professionals.  It is for the entire VR team, as everyone contributing should understand at least the basics of the many aspects of VR design.

VR has come a long way, and we have reached the vibrant place where we now are by building on the shoulders of the giants that came before. This book, published in 2016, is a very thorough, step by step, text book on what VR is, what you need to be thinking about when you build it, the challenges you will face. I can imagine this book becoming a well thumbed text book on college VR 101 courses. The last section of the book is perhaps the most practical with a series of check lists to make sure you are looking out for all the right things.

Every year in Dublin there is the AR/VR Innovate conference and each year the technology improves and the applications continue to develop and evolve. With the next one on in just under a month it will be interesting to see where things are now at in 2017. For a few years the hype has threatened to outpace the ability of the hardware, and the supply of the content. We may now be just moving out of the valley of despondency, and many of those we speak to in the industry would challenge such comments. We hope this is the case, though at times it can still feel this is a great solution looking for it’s optimal problem to solve.

Looping back to Jerald’s book, it is a through, well written, understandable comprehensive guide to VR and will hopefully provide the template to inspire and guide the next generation of VR developers.

ARVR Innovate returns to Dublin, May 11th

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