My love for User Experience Motion Design began when I had to animate a demo for the Window's Phone back in 2011. I had been a traditional motion designer for quite sometime before having to articulate UX principles via motion design.
The thought process was very new and interesting one. Instead of only concerning myself with how cool or dynamic an animation was, I was now thinking of the user and the influence of my motion curves and timing.
XBOX VR Studies
For the VR Motion Studies there was a ton to dive into and sort out. For one we had our "brand" of motion curves that had to be implemented into all of the motion. We also had the opportunity to try to understand concepts like Acrylic and Parallax within a virtual environment. There was a focus on research due to the fact that certain actions or visuals could potentially make a person uncomfortable. We paid close attention to color, hue, glow and materials. The idea of delight was one that we held in high regard.
The following are several studies we did to try to understand these concepts and to explore what the XBOX experience would feel like in the world of VR.
Refraction Raised Button
If you have the ability to give your environment more substance, then do it. Also the idea of a "premium" experience was an underline theme for this exploration. Quality and weight come to mind when I think of the word "premium". Refraction through heavy glass and a dull matte reflection.
Extrude Focus Selection
Most VR menus consist of multiple flat panels. So then what would a menu look like? What could that menu do? Could it come out to greet you? We were thinking about the Jedi mind trick of having something come to you vs you having to grab it.
Z Depth Menu Selection
Light sources from your depth story. It is a wonderful thing to think about. Just like a light strip connected to your TV to have a more immersive experience. Following the XBOX motion language, we wanted to see how the quick and snappy movements would be accentuated by the color via global illumination.
Multiple Title Menu Selection
"What to do with a list of titles" was the question that was posed to me. You really don't want to be doing big movements with your neck repetitively. Plus your focus is only about 30 degrees directly in front of you. I came up with a Z Depth solution that would piggy back off of the "come to me" model. Honestly I was influenced by the droid ships in Ep 1.
Centralized UI Movement
Staying with the theme of having the world come to you, I came up with a concept of having the angle of the menu tiles adjust to "look" at you. This along with the focus rectangle takes the movement that your head would do and transfers that work to your eyes. There would still be a bit of strain on your eyes but physically I thought it would be more ergonomic.