We impressed the UXDA 2021 jury with a virtual reality configurator. Our sixth UX Design Award has confirmed the conceptual strength and innovation behind our in-house project.
The UX Design Award is awarded as part of a global competition for exceptional experience, and is a well-established, renowned design award. This year, we were honored with our sixth UXDA - for a concept for a VR configurator as well as its implementation.
The concept and the implementation are inspired by the needs of our clients. They are expanding their digital offerings, e.g. through online shops or in terms of service design. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the possibilities of online support are being put to the test at the same time.
Paper plans meet their limits when faced with complex concepts, such as planning a bathroom. The spacial context in particular is not there, so well-founded decisions cannot be made.
Our aim is to significantly improve the consulting situation, prevent the wrong decisions being made, and therefore positively impact the customer experience in the long run.
We are conceptualizing an immersive configuration within the context of a bathroom that is being renovated or newly designed.
The VR bathroom combines digital and analog benefits, as we designed an application with maximum interaction. In our context, this means that drawers can be opened so that the customer can estimate the size of their preferred design features in the final room.
The room should look as real as possible. The devil is in the detail: our VR specialists focused especially on light, shadow and reflections on smooth or wet surfaces.
A real bathroom mid-renovation served as the basis: no fittings but lots of questions and ideas.
We translated the room into a virtual version so we could then roughly visualize shapes through VR blocking. Our VR specialists then painstakingly designed two versions of the bathroom with various surfaces, colors, lighting elements and details. In terms of software, Blender was used for 3D modelling as well as Substance Designer for surface design. The concept was realized using Unreal Engine 4. Users experience the scenario on Vive Pro.
We received initial feedback in a user testing with end customers.
Testers agreed: the interactive elements, combined with the virtual room, are a game changer.
Plans that seemed good on paper were adjusted after the VR experience.
What’s more, we confirmed that our concept lets our clients come up with hybrid solutions: professionals can make their initial plans on paper. Detailed planning, such as the choice of colors or materials as well as the specific positioning of various elements, takes place in the virtual space.
Other projects that have already won over the jury with their consistent focus on the user include our machine visualization for Schütte and our app for Leica Geosystems.