Ep 24: User focused design for VR experiences with Rupert Breheny

The Building New Realities Podcast

10-05-2022 • 1 hr 12 mins

In the latest episode of the Building New Realities podcast, Tim chats with Rupert Breheny about his work on Google Earth VR, his observations and lessons as a UX designer focussed on virtual reality and the future of immersive technology. They cover the power of VR to improve accessibility, digital anthropology and the importance of designing with a customer focus.

Guest Bio

Rupert is an experienced technology advocate and conference speaker, specialising in VR/AR and mobile ecommerce, particularly in the fashion vertical. He builds partnerships and wrangles technology to launch products that drive both business value and user delight.

Highlight 1 - Using VR to unite different generations 00:09:34:15 - 00:10:57:02… I live in Zurich, Switzerland I’m quite enthusiastic about that too

Highlight 2 - Digital anthropology and the importance of face-to-face testing 00:24:30:06 - 00:26:33:23… when I was a UX prototyper see it for yourself in person

Additional Resources

Rupert’s links

Applications mentioned:

Theories mentioned:

Book Recommendations

Episode Transcript

00:00 - 00:49 Introduction 00:50 - 01:29 Rupert explains what his role is at Google 01:30 - 03:21 Rupert talks about his first experience with VR in the 80’s 04:22 - 09:29 What does building new realities mean to you? 09:30 - 12:44 Using VR to access the non-accessible. 12:45 - 20:18  User Design for VR 20:19 - 22:28 Observing and learning from how people react in VR 22:29 - 23:54 Using novel mechanics and using the natural playfulness of VR to heighten immersion for users. 23:55 - 30:33 Digital anthropology, face to face testing and customer focus 30:34 - 33:54 Sacrificing aesthetics for performance in immersive design 33:55 - 46:21 The future of social interaction and games in the metaverse 46:22 - 48:51 What project has changed the way you approach design? 48:52 - 01:01:08 Rupert’s future trends: Avatars, virtual clothing, architecture and NFTs. 01:01:02 - 01:05:59 Gaining perspective and “opening your eyes” 01:06:00 - 01:07:48 If you had $100m to spend on a social programme with no red tape, what would you do? 01:07:49 - 01:12:00 Rupert’s favourite theories and book recommendations 01:12:01 - 01:12:55 Closing comments

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