Human-Centered Design for VR Interactions


Human-Centered Design for VR Interactions

Monday, 25 July, 9:00 am - 10:30 am, Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom B

The most important part of VR interaction is the person doing the interacting. Human-centered interaction design focuses on the human side of communication between user and machine: the interface from the user’s perspective. Focusing on users is more important for VR than for any other medium. When VR is done well, interactions can be brilliant and pleasurable, but when done badly, they can result in frustration, fatigue, and sickness. Many causes of bad VR are centered on a lack of understanding of human perception, intuitive interaction, design principles, and real users. Quality interactions enhance user understanding of what has just occurred, what is happening, what can be done, and how to do it. For optimal VR experiences, goals and needs must be efficiently achieved, and the experiences must be engaging and enjoyable.

This course begins with the most fundamental aspects of VR interaction design, then provides extensive detail about various ways of interacting with the hands. Topics include human perception, human-machine communication, adverse health effects, input-device classes and their characteristics, reference frames, interaction patterns and techniques, multimodal input, and bimanual interaction. Emphasis is on designing and iterating around content and goals, selecting input devices (and conversely designing around specific input devices), and example interfaces such as realistic and non-realistic hands, hand-held panels, color cubes, jigs, 3D multitouch, and the viewbox. The course also includes a broad overview of how attendees can apply the define-make-learn iterative design cycle to their own VR interfaces and projects.




No technical background is required. The course does not include math or code. But it is best suited for those who have a background in creating VR experiences and wish to innovate with new ways of interacting that go beyond basic designs.

Intended Audience

Developers, researchers, psychologists, and user-experience professionals.


Jason Jerald
NextGen Interactions

Richard Marks
Sony Interactive Entertainment