User Testing with Senior University Staff…and Princess Anne.

We had been told that a VVIP was coming to the university to open the new building at UUB, and had been asked to showcase our project. In light of this, we planned our week with the aim of making our first full build of our project.

Through this whole process we’ve been having weekly sprints, creating a breakdown of what needs done for each week. While it’s not the most beautiful of project management boards, it works well for us a team. We’re always in the studio, so having an easy reference point that we can all see is perfect for what we need. Anything that does not get done, we carry on to the next week’s board.



First Build

We managed to make our first build on Thursday evening, ready for the VVIP arriving the next day. We knew that there was still a good amount of work to be done, but it felt like an achievement to be able to play the game on it’s own without Unity.

Showcasing our work

With all the work for the project to be done, it’s quite easy to forget how new people will view the project. We knew there was someone coming who was important, and we had the thought that they may not put the Oculus up to their eyes. We know from experience that the piece is no where near as effective when viewed on the PC monitor instead of the headset. With this in mind, I collected a few of the elements of our piece, creating cameras in Unity to walk through them, and speeding up a few sequences to make them easy to watch while a conversation is going on. I then edited them together in Premiere to loop on one of our MACs at the showcase.

User Testing

We were all set up and ready to go, and while waiting for Princess Anne, the VVIP, we decided to make the most of our time. Many people were intrigued by the Oculus, and so we got the curious onlookers to have a go! We tested with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, and numerous heads of department in the university.


The feedback was great, and we were able to observe people testing the experience for the first time. By just standing back and observing people, we noticed a few things:

  • Many people looked on cautiously, before deciding to try to oculus. Most of the time I asked, “want to try it out?!” before anyone tested it.
  • When in the experience, a lot of people would only look around about 180 degrees. They looked left and right and not around.
  • Loosing the floor in the experience was a distracting element, and caused some people to miss out on an important part of the piece.
  • When there were larger gaps in visuals, people would put the oculus down, thinking it was over.

With these things in mind, we will continue to iterate on the piece. We have a few ideas on what that will look like, but when we regroup on Monday, we will be able to discuss in detail.

Princess Anne  – Conversations on VR


When Princess Anne arrived, it was an honour to be able to display our work and chat to her about hat we were up to. The three of us, and two others from our class took some time to demonstrate what we were doing.

I introduced Portrait of The Artist to her, while Nicole was demonstrating the headset, and then answered a few questions. Like we had predicted, she didn’t try on the headset (didn’t want to ruin her hair), so the high quality run through was great to have so she could get an essence of the piece. She asked about the economic viability of the piece, and from my past research, I was able to speak to her about how VR has potential to make and save a lot of money in prototyping, testing and entertainment. She then chatted to Fiona about what her experience was last year on Pingster. It was great to give her an insight into the wide application of our animation skills, from interaction, to animation to business. I don’t imagine it was what she was expecting from animation students!


2 thoughts on “User Testing with Senior University Staff…and Princess Anne.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s