No User Manuals Allowed–Creating Immersive In-App Tutorials
Although VR has the potential to be more intuitive than any other medium, it is most often not. A primary reason for this is that we often build for demos assuming an expert will be available to explain the interface, answer questions, and correct mistakes. Unfortunately, this can result in disaster upon shipping a product. Instead, VR experiences should be sufficient in inducing a consistent conceptual model in the minds of users, without external explanation--otherwise, confusion and breaks in presence can occur when an application does not fit with users' mental model. One powerful way to do this is with immersive in-app tutorials. I'll share some challenges we encountered in developing three titles (CureFred, VR Apocalypse, and MakeVR) and how we solved them with tutorials. Topics to be discussed include attention-drawing signifiers, teaching interactions mechanics, matching expectations, integration with the story, simplification, hierarchical steps, and completion criteria.