Course Description

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are quickly becoming huge areas of technology, with giants like Apple, Microsoft and Google competing to provide the next big AR or VR experience. Statista predicts that the worldwide user base for AR and VR will reach 443 million by 20251, meaning that it is becoming increasingly important for UX designers to know how to create amazing VR and AR experiences. Designing for 3D experiences will require completely new ways of thinking about UX design—and the question is, are you well equipped to tackle this new field of design?

The good news is that while AR and VR hardware and software is changing dramatically, UX principles and techniques for 3D interaction design will remain consistent. It’s just that new opportunities and sensitivities will present themselves to designers and developers. This course will give you the 3D UX skills to remain relevant in the next decade and beyond. You’ll be able to create immersive experiences that tap into the novel opportunities that AR and VR generate. For example, you will need to bring together key UX concepts such as emotional design, social UX, and gamification in order to create an immersive AR or VR creation.

AR and VR need to be easy to use in order to provide users with experiences that wow. Avoiding common usability mistakes and applying the principles of storytelling will help you carefully craft 3D experiences that delight, intrigue, amuse, and most of all evoke the response you intended. You’ll need to engage users in first-person narratives by making use of spatially dynamic UI’s, including gaze, gesture, movement, speech, and sound—often used in combination.

During the course, you will come across many examples and case studies from spatial and holographic interface designers. You will master how to create immersive 3D content for AR and VR that provides rich user experiences. The course offers exercises and challenges throughout, all aimed at helping you and/or your team practice your emerging or existing AR/VR skills. You will be taught by Frank Spillers, who is a distinguished speaker, author, and internationally respected senior usability practitioner with over 15 years of experience in the field.

What you will learn

  • How to design for AR and VR from novel and unique perspectives
  • The three keys to designing for this new medium: Storytelling, Imagineering, and Improvisation
  • How to enhance immersion in order to improve your users’ experience
  • How to create 3D personas to improve spatial navigation, layout, and content
  • How to incorporate the brain’s responses to 3D interfaces by taking visual, auditory, and kinesthetic interactions into account
  • Practical tips to avoid known UX problems when designing for AR and VR

Who should take this course

This course is aimed at designers, developers, and content creators who are looking to learn or enhance their skills when designing for AR and VR. Despite this being one of our advanced courses, it contains beginner, intermediate, and advanced material. Unlike other AR and VR design courses that dwell on introductory content, we quickly move beyond the basics in order to give you strategies and techniques to develop your 3D UX design skills.

This course will appeal to:

  • UX designers, interaction designers, and 3D UI designers keen on learning how to create immersive 3D content
  • Unity developers and 3D developers who want to to create user-focused experiences
  • Product managers interested in, or working with, the development of AR/VR products
  • Storytellers, content creators, and filmmakers who want to use their storytelling abilities to create engaging AR/VR content
  • Marketers interested in taking advantage of AR/VR technology in their marketing strategy
  • Creative designers, artists, and entrepreneurs who are looking to set themselves apart by tapping into the new market for AR/VR content

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Statista, Forecast user base of the augmented and virtual reality (VR) software market worldwide in 2020 and 2025, by segment (in millions), 2018

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

The estimated time to complete this course is a total of 15 hours 38 mins spread over 7 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 43 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome and Introduction (4 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.4: Meet your peers offline through IDF Local Groups (1 min)
  • 0.5: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.6: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.7: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.8: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)

Lesson 1: Getting in the Space (3D UX)

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 15 mins.

  • 1.1: Imagination Is What It's All About (5 mins)
  • 1.2: The Challenge for 3D Interaction Design (7 mins)
  • 1.3: AR/VR/MR Distinctions (12 mins)
  • 1.4: Designing for Presence (19 mins)
  • 1.5: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 1.6: First 30 Seconds Experience (10 mins)
  • 1.7: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 1.8: Exploring Spatial Interfaces (21 mins)
  • 1.9: Storytelling Essentials (13 mins)
  • 1.10: Improv Essentials (18 mins)
  • 1.11: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 1.12: Imagineering Essentials (15 mins)

Lesson 2: Getting familiar with 3D UI’s

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 44 mins.

  • 2.1: Specifying Your Experience Design Plan (14 mins)
  • 2.2: Discussion Exercise (6 mins)
  • 2.3: The Reality of Your User's Brain in 3D (18 mins)
  • 2.4: The Reality of Your User's Brain in 3D: Gaze & Gesture (15 mins)
  • 2.5: The Reality of User's Brain in 3D: Voice (8 mins)
  • 2.6: Your Designer's Brain in 3D: What You Need to Know? (12 mins)
  • 2.7: Transitioning From 2D UI's to 3D UI's (27 mins)
  • 2.8: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)

Lesson 3: Designing 3D Story Flow

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 2 mins.

  • 3.1: Storytelling in VR & MR: 7 Essential Musts (22 mins)
  • 3.2: Exercise (15 mins)
  • 3.3: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 3.4: Use Narrative Essentials (29 mins)
  • 3.5: Plotting Asynchronous Narrative (18 mins)
  • 3.6: Developing Your Personas (20 mins)
  • 3.7: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 3.8: Designing Around Hardware and Technology Limits (7 mins)

Lesson 4: How to Wireframe 3D Interactions

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 36 mins.

  • 4.1: Developing Your Interaction Models for VR, MR, AR (25 mins)
  • 4.2: Holographic Interface Storyboarding Techniques (22 mins)
  • 4.3: Wireframe Example: The Document Reviewer (4 mins)
  • 4.4: Wireframing Immersive Interactions (56 mins)
  • 4.5: 3D Wireframing Tools (18 mins)
  • 4.6: 3D Prototyping Activity (26 mins)
  • 4.7: Open Discussion (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Social VR and Collaborative Virtual Environments

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 16 mins.

  • 5.1: 5 Important Social UI Characteristics (22 mins)
  • 5.2: Communication, Coordination and Collaboration (19 mins)
  • 5.3: 3 Tips for Better Social UX (14 mins)
  • 5.4: Social VR: Facebook Case Study (15 mins)
  • 5.5: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)

Lesson 6: Bringing It All Together

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 36 mins.

  • 6.1: Designing Your 3D Experience (59 mins)
  • 6.2: Defining Spatial Interactions (30 mins)
  • 6.3: Spatial UI Considerations (25 mins)
  • 6.4: 3D Navigation (22 mins)
  • 6.5: Designing Immersive Content (15 mins)
  • 6.6: Holographic UI Design (36 mins)
  • 6.7: Gamification for Any Immersive Experience (23 mins)
  • 6.8: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Validating Your 3D Experience

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 26 mins.

  • 7.1: Evaluating Your Design (19 mins)
  • 7.2: Discussion Exercise (6 mins)
  • 7.3: Measuring Presence (23 mins)
  • 7.4: Tools for Evaluating VR/AR Experience (15 mins)
  • 7.5: Inclusive Design: Accessibility, Gender, Localization (24 mins)

Lesson 8: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 8.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

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