How We Can Leverage Virtual Reality to Gain Better Insight

By Eugenio Santiago

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New waves of excitement are flooding the industry of virtual reality (VR). Businesses of all types are discovering the influence this interactive tool is having on their user experience (UX).

Why should companies care about virtual reality and user experience?

Virtual reality is no longer a futuristic concept. It's now a tangible tool for helping brands extract deeper user insight to improve their product or service. Not only can virtual reality be used for consumer research and product development, but it also has the potential to dramatically influence the future of marketing.

For the consumer, virtual reality enables the “try before you buy” concept. Making costly quality-of-life investments like buying a car, home or major vacation comes with uncertainties and insecurities that create purchase pressure, causing a lengthy decision-making process. VR has the ability to eradicate these trials and inspire buyer confidence by offering a hands-on, interactive experience with an investment prior to purchase.

how we can leverage virtual reality to gain better insight?

  • Instead of risking the unknown, companies can utilize virtual reality to offer security to their consumers making major investments, such as a building a home or customizing a car. 
  • Brands can utilize VR to translate the value of products or services in development, therefore fostering understanding within their consumer network and reducing buyer’s remorse.
  • With the deepened environment of VR, consumers can go beyond face value and experience the physical and emotional effects of the product.

How are companies using virtual reality?

The healthcare industry is experiencing some of the most impressive benefits of virtual reality with surgery, training and in-lab testing. For example, the Royal London Hospital provides a window into the operating room as doctors perform surgeries. Using virtual reality as an educational tool improves the teaching and training experience in a way that will improve the future performance and success of healthcare professionals.

In the automotive industry, manufacturers are using virtual reality in test drives, prototypes and product development. By utilizing virtual reality in this way, companies cut time and cost before releasing final prototypes to the public. This hands-on interaction translates to brand transparency, which then inspires consumers to have confidence in their investment and become brand advocates.

Would you believe that virtual reality can also affect the future of retail? We envision leveraging virtual reality for a number of retail-related opportunities. For example, product placement on shelving units is of great importance to brick-and-mortar retailers. A fully immersive virtual reality experience will enable retailers to test a variety of setups without the expense of stock and staffing. The ability to test various configurations with less prep time will keep costs down and allow for quicker insight.

How Does virtual reality impacts Key Lime Interactive's qualitative research process?

Today, companies go through rounds of creating low-fi and hi-fi prototypes but are limited at times because the environment is not real. Key Lime Interactive plans to integrate virtual reality into UX testing to immerse subjects in a more realistic environment. Deepened insights gained from using this tool will benefit the client and help Key Lime Interactive to develop better strategies. We believe virtual reality is an opportunity to improve UX and qualitative research results.

 

READ MORE: What's The Difference Between VR, AR, and MR?, Strategies for Usability Testing With VR, Setting Up a VR-UX Testing Lab, A Brief History of Human-Computer Interaction

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