Stick to best practices in designing good user experiences, and don’t start developing VR products to turn a quick profit. These were two of many takeaways from Google VR/AR Gaming and Store Lead, Michael Almeraris’ at the recent CVR conference (video below).
Almeraris is in a unique position to track user behavior on the Google Play Store in terms of what types of VR games and experiences are resonating with users. And that has produced valuable and unique best practices for developers, given that such data is generally scarce these days.
Among the best practices seen through the lens of the Google Play Store, and ongoing usage of Daydream apps:
— Usage is consolidated into fewer, but longer, sessions than smartphone apps. That should compel developers to design VR app experiences as a “meal, not a snack”
— Don’t interrupt experiences for in game purchases or upsells. That breaks presence and turns users off quickly.
— Instead, offer “try before you buy” shorter experiences, then apply upfront purchases for the full app.
— 60 frames per second is the bare minimum for apps that will pass app store approval, in the interest in not making users sick.
— In any preview material, screenshots or marketing, adequately capture the experience so that users don’t feel they’ve been baited and switched. They will ask for a refund.
Lastly, Almeraris cautioned that these early days of VR are all about experimentation. For brands and other interests, it’s not a huge revenue engine in terms of app purchases. It’s more about brand extension and cultivating knowledge and audience for VR’s next phases of growth.
“If your motivation and incentive is ROI, VR is not the place for you, at least today,” said Almeraris. “You have to wait for the audience base to grow, and you have to wait for the right business models to prove themselves.”
See the full presentation below, and jump straight to the above quote here.
Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.