Individuals working on digital 3D models have trouble feeling real perspective of size and space
while creating and designing environments that do not yet exist with traditional and available 3D
Team 5 Flags is a group of students at the Centre for Digital Media, collaborating with Archiact
Interactive to produce a prototype of an immersive 3D Modeling tool for virtual reality capable of
further development into a complete immersive design tool that could be used as an internal design
tool, architectural visualization, or as tool for prototyping living environments that reduces the
drawbacks of the design process in terms of time and efforts between sketching, prototype and
Unlike traditional modeling tools, our solution is a virtual reality 3D modeling tool that allows users to
visualize, create and manipulate in real dimensions with intuitive controls where the feeling of space
and perspective in realistic dimensions is core.
We created this experience under agile development, where we started with research, prototyping, user
testing and development with continuous iterations dependent on user feedback.
My role on this project was of Lead UX Designer. I worked on concept design, art style,
functionalities, interaction design, environment design, user testing, prototyping, and user
We tried to nail it down to the very basic problem that creative professionals
face while using the standard desktop applications. We wanted to make sure
that our VR experience can provide a solution to those existing limitations, for
that we drafted core personas after extensive user research and interviews.
User stories were created based in observations from potential target users
modeling in Sketch Up. We gave them a common goal to see what are their
primary tools and what are their pain points when designing.
During the research stage, the team tested different modeling tools. A common
goal was given to all team members: Design a room that has four walls in order
to discover the design process and how intuitive the tool was for different users.
To provide an intuitive User Experience we performed different user tests
through the discovery and production stages. Behavioral testing allowed the
team to create a user experience as close as possible to users natural behavior
in VR environment.
We developed two versions of menu interaction for the toolbox in SketchVR. A/B
Testing allowed us to determine which one performed better with users. A/B
testing was also used to evaluate the performance of extrude tools with two
We performed numerous tests to understand user behavior in a virtual
setting where creation process is intuitive. From controller mapping to
icon design, interaction states and visual clues, everything needed to
be simple but informative. We tried to keep the information load as
minimal as possible. We were able to achieve a high level of
interaction design through various user tests.
We broke down each function in user flow steps to understand the minimal steps required to
complete any process. This allowed us to create the right Information Architecture for each
Buttons spacing, grouping,
interaction state and text
feedback are important
details to keep.
These are important for
visual clarity and
Option A is always attached
to a controller, whereas
Option B is always snapped
on the environment, free of
any controller attachment.
Working in VR requires constant absorption of light
emitted through the headset screen. Making the
primary color black makes the experience relatively
easy on the eyes. Blue, Grey and white shades are used
as complimentary colors to black, which are great for
visual feedback and clarity when used on black. All
these colors compliment well with each other and can
be used in any combination.
Buttons are designed to reflect the 360 degree experience within VR,
that’s where the round shape is important. Also, having no edges on
the basic shape structure of the buttons leave less information load
on the user as there are no sharp edges involved. There are 4 main
segments that form the button; icon area, color zone, clear space
and outline. Clear space adds transparent section to the button
which is see through. Using different colors on the segments,
different button color combinations can be created.
An interactive 3D modeling tool for creatives. During our demo we had to
timebox users session as most of the users did not want to stop creating. This
project was made in collaboration with Archiact Interactive and has not been
officially released yet. It is planned for display at Vancouver Science World as an