VR Reviews

Look­ing at the emerg­ing Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty con­tent sec­tor, I realised that find­ing good expe­ri­ences seemed to be quite a dif­fi­cult process. Although there seemed to be a grow­ing num­ber of 360° and Google Card­board VR expe­ri­ences, these were dis­played across many sites (such as YouTube, Face­book, VR film fes­ti­vals, App Store and Google Play). Adding to this, each man­u­fac­tur­er also had their own gal­leries. VR’s new and poten­tial­ly vast user base was going to have dif­fi­cul­ty find­ing good con­tent — a gap in the mar­ket which I intend­ed to fill.

My main two con­straints were: a small bud­get and quick edi­to­r­i­al turn­around — this meant using an exist­ing Word­Press theme (instead of devel­op­ing from scratch), and as much automa­tion as pos­si­ble. Unlike my com­peti­tors, I aimed to cre­ate a friend­ly, con­tent-focused review site, aimed at a non-tech­ni­cal audi­ence who want­ed top qual­i­ty immer­sive expe­ri­ences. To cap­ture addi­tion­al sub­sidiary mar­kets, I includ­ed reviews of a hand­ful of the most com­mon view­ers, cam­eras and rigs.

I sketched a few logos and cre­at­ed wire­frames to deter­mine the brand­ing and UX require­ment. I care­ful­ly matched my func­tion­al require­ments (such as respon­sive, drag-and-drop lay­out, struc­tured data, and adver­tis­ing to gen­er­ate rev­enue) and com­pared a num­ber of themes to select the most effec­tive option. After some domain name research and con­fig­ur­ing the site secure­ly on a new serv­er, I gen­er­at­ed about 50 test posts (using real con­tent) to refine the site archi­tec­ture. I was then able to gen­er­ate a com­pre­hen­sive con­tent plan.

The final result is an appeal­ing, fresh look at VR con­tent — from a consumer’s per­spec­tive. It includes an RSS-based HTML email sub­scrip­tion ser­vice — this auto­mat­i­cal­ly sends out a cus­tom email tem­plate when each post is pub­lished. I con­fig­ured an impact­ful slid­er on the home­page which updates auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Land­ing page tem­plates sur­faced both new and fea­tured con­tent. The site is sup­port­ed by a brand­ed YouTube chan­nel, dis­play­ing all reviewed 360° con­tent in a sin­gle list for eas­i­er access.

On this self-ini­ti­at­ed project I was respon­si­ble for:

  • Branding/Identity Design
  • Busi­ness Development
  • Adver­tis­ing integration
  • Word­Press theme selec­tion and plu­g­in con­fig­u­ra­tion (includ­ing ana­lyt­ics, SEO and security)
  • User Expe­ri­ence and User Interface
  • Back-end host­ing and serv­er configuration
  • Con­tent plan and image approvals

Date: 18th July 2016

Category: Code, Product, UX