Joining Toptal – VR needs Ux and WebVR thinking!


After teaching web design and web development for nearly 20 year, I’ve decided to do more freelance work, and signed up with Toptal. Specifically, with their Ux Designers Community.

The reason? The rise of VR presents a breakpoint for the web. As VR and AR become more popular, they may go “the way of Ux” (meaning sustainability will be part of the design) or “x-treme gamer” (meaning that VR will make the web an even bigger energy hog than it is.

There are lots of reasons to incorporate VR and AR into the web. Luke W, the great Interaction Designer currently at Google, has described and collected many meaningful “use cases” for the AR web. The VR web fits into this, since IMHO VR and AR form a continuity of design, rather than two separate worlds. If VR and AR absorb Ux thinking, they’ll be more valuable than a way to play (an energy intensive) action game.

The real use cases for headsets are in vertical markets, building apps that do something. And WebVR has the potential to be more inclusive and cross-platform, as opposed to native app development. The vision of Sustainable Ux can extend to new interfaces.

So, that’s the motivation for doing Sustainable Ux in VR. I chose the Ux Designers Community for a couple of reasons. Changes at my school mean I have more time to do freelance than previously. For the past few years, I did sustainability with my Green Boilerplate framework, but a PHP/MySQL format now seems dated. In contrast, the new WebVR API is a new world – and, in my opinion a great chance for jobs. My first effort – WebVR-Mini, an attempt to build a WebVR framework 20% the download size of the most common framework, THREE.js.

Why Toptal? – Time to see if all those years teaching and freelancing Web Design, Ux, and Development add up. The particular (sustainable) vision I have doesn’t fit neatly into the parsers on standard resumes, so Toptal seems like a better bet, due to their curation of outstanding designers and developers.

Footnote:

The Twitter feed below is a bit long, but it shows useful cases where these new media fit into “Ux of VR” thinking – MUCH more interesting than the “VR will put you into a first-person/porn shooter” game mentality of much of the industry.

 

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