VR Workshop on Human-Centered Design – Pre SIGGRAPH

The industry is rapidly evolving, and there are very few absolutes truths when it comes to virtual reality design. This intensive two-day workshop stresses the importance of understanding tradeoffs, making interactions intuitive, and using adjustable processes to efficiently iterate towards success. The workshop aims to provide insight that goes beyond mainstream knowledge that have direct application to your unique designs.

Target audience: Professionals who have spent 1-5 years creating VR experiences
Date: Saturday July 29-Sunday July 30 (the weekend before SIGGRAPH)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
* To maintain workshop effectiveness, seating is limited.

Workshop Overview

Today’s tools make it quite easy to develop for virtual reality. However, developing quality VR experiences that are optimized for your target customers is an entirely different 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.

To help VR creators take their creations to new levels, we designed an interactive workshop that lays out the design space of various factors specific to VR in order to provide insight and motivate deeper discussion and experimentation. In this unique workshop setting, we discuss topics beyond mainstream knowledge, present tradeoffs, and form working groups in order to improve upon your own designs. In fact, we suggest you come ready to share at least one of your current projects to get the most out of this workshop.

This two-day workshop  is based upon the lead instructors best-selling book The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality. Author Jason Jerald, who has developed over 60 diverse VR experiences over more than 20 years, will lead the workshop.


Day 1


9:00 am to 10:30 am

By understanding the human body and brain, and how we perceive real and virtual worlds, we can create better VR experiences in more innovative ways. The day starts by covering topics such as perceptual models and processes, the physiology of the different sensory modalities, theories of how we perceive space and time, and how perception relates to action.


10:30 am – 12:30 pm

There are numerous health-related challenges of VR. Most notably is motion sickness, which is the greatest risk for VR. We have identified 49 factors that contribute to VR comfort organized into system factors, individual user factors, and application-design factors. We share examples of how to improve comfort and discuss how comfort relates to presence and agency.


1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Interaction makes VR something more than just a passive experience. We cover topics such as Norman’s principles of interaction design, input device characteristics and classes, and 16 Interaction patterns organized into 5 meta patterns: Selection Patterns, Manipulation Patterns, Viewpoint Control Patterns, Indirect Control Patterns, and Compound Patterns.

Day 2

Virtual Worlds

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Interesting worlds do not happen by accident. We cover essential elements of virtual creation such as environmental structure, story, action and reaction, collaboration, music, and art. Integrating these different pieces together, along with some creativity, can result in experiences that are more than the sum of the individual pieces.


1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Like the real world and the humans that inhabit it, there is much that is unknown about VR. Iteration is essential for creating engaging experiences and we should focus on quickly discovering what works for our target audiences in order to iterate towards success as efficiently as possible. Our Define-Make-Learn iterative model consists of various optional sub steps that you can choose from based on your needs.

Case Studies

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Our expert instructors are not just talk. They have worked on a variety of projects and share what they have learned from their failures and successes. Examples include MakeVR, Titans of Space, the world’s first port of a AAA game title to VR with Valve, Virtuix’s pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as less-well known industrial applications. We don’t only talk about our own creations–we also discuss the most effective applications of others, and why they are successful.

Your instructors

Jason Jerald, PhD

Jason has been creating VR experiences for over 20 years. He is currently Co-Founder at NextGen Interactions, is Adjunct Faculty at Duke University, and serves on multiple advisory boards of VR companies. Jason is the author of “The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality.”

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Michael McArdle

Mike has a gift for explaining the technical aspects of bleeding edge technology with simplicity and clarity. In addition to having a unique perspective on VR experience design as Chief Product Officer at LucidDreamVR, Mike comes from a background of working for Apple teaching workshops.

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