Mixed reality and blockchain can work together, from retail to gaming

GUEST: AR and VR will take a few years to become mainstream. The same is true for blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency. Blockchain allows to securely exchange goods and services online independently of banks and credit card companies, and AR/VR are great visualization tools. Can the integration of two speed up the mass adoption of both? There are scenarios to combine them — let’s explore a few. New monetization models Blockchain, with its emphasis on security, decentralization, personal agency, and independence, can help small businesses and freelance content creators to keep control over production and revenue. How could a cryptocurrency-enabled system for independent businesses look like? Firstly, VR technology can enable people to access live performance — music, theatre, etc. — from the comfort of their homes and at an accessible price. Performers could connect to an online marketplace and have a control over access and pricing for their content. Read the full article…

It: Float creator shares how to make a movie VR blockbuster

GUEST: As a filmmaker and movie aficionado, watching viewers delight in VR entertainment as enthusiastically as they do hit movies is rewarding, which makes it an honor to create virtual reality experiences for beloved movie franchises. But creating VR that will pass muster with passionate fans of a blockbuster franchise is not an easy undertaking. In order to succeed with VR projects for the major studios, creators have to understand some critical rules of the game. Being associated with a revered movie franchise doesn’t guarantee the success of these experiences. Hard work goes into crafting gripping virtual reality experiences that best represent the films that inspired them and attract even more fans to the box office. It also helps to have forward thinking creative executives at the studio that are willing to take risks on this emerging technology. Working on virtual reality experiences for hit movies, such as Warner Bros. Read the full article…

Oculus now has a refund policy for the Rift and Gear VR

Oculus announced a new refund policy for games and apps purchased on either the Rift headset or the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR. Like the price cut over the summer, the policy is likely part of a strategy to lower the barrier of entry for folks who are new to virtual reality. By offering refunds, people might be more willing to give new titles a try. The policy differs for the two platforms. On the Rift, titles are eligible for refunds within 14 days of purchase and less than two hours of playtime, and on the Gear VR, they’re eligible within three days of purchase and less than 30 minutes of playtime. According to Oculus’s support page, you can go to Settings then Account, and request refunds through your Purchase History. If you want a refund but you don’t meet the policy’s listed requirements, you can still contact Oculus Support and manually Read the full article…

Stack AR is the first ARKit game to top Apple App Store’s free-to-play category

Stack launched last year for iOS and Android, but with iOS 11 rolling out to iPhones everywhere, developer Ketchapp Games rereleased the game with augmented reality. Called Stack AR, it reached No. 1 on the Apple App Store in the free-to-play games category over the weekend, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. It’s the first game built with ARKit to do so. “Stack was actually one of the best game concepts in the Ketchapp portfolio that we could port into AR, since the game is about stacking bricks,” said Ketchapp cofounder and co-director Antoine Morcos in an email. “AR brings a new dimension.” The conceit is simple: As colorful blocks drift to and fro, you have to tap to stack them into a tower. If you’re not exact, part of the block gets lopped off, leaving you with ever-diminishing blocks that get smaller and harder to land. When viewed through AR, Read the full article…

60 Travel Icons To Awaken Your Wanderlust (Freebie)

    Summer might be over, but the memories of the places you’ve visited and the people you’ve met remain. No matter if you explored an exotic country, packed your car for a road trip or took out the hiking boots to discover the nature around you — traveling is a great opportunity to discover new places, gain a fresh view on things, and make lasting experiences. To keep the essence of summer alive a bit longer, the creative minds at AgenteStudio dedicated an entire icon set to traveling. It includes 60 icons with everything from transportation and equipment to nature, activities and other motifs that are bound to awaken your wanderlust. The icons come in two versions — one monochromatic line art and one with color accents. EPS, AI, SVG and PNG formats are available, so it’s easy to customize the icons to your liking. The post 60 Travel Read the full article…

Exploring Animation And Interaction Techniques With WebGL (A Case Study)

    Two years ago, I decided to start a series of short WebGL experiments on Codepen. Earlier this year, I finally found the time to compile them all together on a single website named “Moments of Happiness”. Since its incarnation, I’ve found ways to explore and learn different animation and interaction techniques, which I’ve implemented in these interactive toys. As you’ll see, the gameplay is very different in each one, but all of the experiments share one principle: The behavior of each character responds programmatically to user input. No precalculated animation — every movement is defined at runtime. Breathing life into these characters with only a few lines of code was the main challenge. The post Exploring Animation And Interaction Techniques With WebGL (A Case Study) appeared first on Smashing Magazine. Read the full article…

After debut, Star Trek: Discovery will only be available on CBS All Access

Enlarge / Nichelle Nichols (left, who played Lt. Uhura in The Original Series) and Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham) attend the premiere of CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery at The Cinerama Dome on September 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (credit: Todd Williamson / Getty Images News) Get yourself to a viewscreen: Sunday, September 24, 8:30pm ET is the moment that Star Trek fans have spent years waiting for. The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery will broadcast on traditional television (your local CBS station) as a way to kickstart the series before it moves over entirely to CBS All Access, the company’s nearly-three-year-old paid online video service. According to CBS, after the first broadcast of Episode 1 airs (“The Vulcan Hello”), the first two episodes will be made available on CBS All Access. A one-week trial is free, otherwise the service costs $6 per month or $10 per month with Read the full article…

Never run out of stock graphics with this deal

Every designer knows just how important it is to be able to lean on stock art from time to time. Having the right image to work with is important, and having access to great stock art makes it easier to achieve the visuals you’re aiming for. If you’re a designer, you need to get your hands on this lifetime subscription to Stock-Graphics, available for just $29 (approx £23). 5 tips for using stock imagery in your designs Stock-Graphics is a royalty-free library that has everything you could need to make your next project come to life. You’ll find a seemingly endless supply of essential assets, from one-of-a-kind vectors to a huge collection of editable images waiting to be used in any way that you see fit. There are more than 13,500 photos and 2,900 vectors available now, with new content being added every single month. Download as many images as Read the full article…

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How To Do A UX Competitor Analysis: A Step By Step Guide

Getting to grips with the ins and outs of a UX competitor analysis can help you know your market, product and goals better. You will also understand the competition, get actionable insights and boost your brand. With an almost limitless number of competitors out there all vying for attention, the heat is on to understand […] The post How To Do A UX Competitor Analysis: A Step By Step Guide appeared first on Usability Geek Read the full article…

Applied UX Strategy, Part 6.1: Implementation

By Yury Vetrov In my series “Applied UX Strategy,” I’ve written about a model that describes three levels of UX maturity and key areas of effort that can transform designers from implementers into strategic partners. To achieve the goal of transforming User Experience into a strategic function, a company needs a long-term action plan. In the beginning of this journey, there will likely be a huge list of things that are wrong with the company and its products or services. Seeing an enormous number of painpoints for our customers is frustrating and saddens our product designers. Of course, we want to fix all of them at once, but resources may be scarce. Plus, ineffective processes and narrow-mindedness about design often hinder our solving customers’ woes once and for all. Moreover, the value of every change we make may differ, depending on the company’s stage of UX maturity. Now, in Part Read the full article…

Testing Products People Will Use in a Variety of Environments

By Janet M. Six In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses how best to test designs for products that people will use in a wide variety of environments. First, the panel discusses which and how many of the expected environments you should test within, then how to simulate those environments, if necessary. Of course, it is also important to consider the financial and time costs of testing in multiple environments. Furthermore, you must design a usability study appropriately when testing in various environments, recognizing that particular participants may complete only certain tasks within each of these environments. The panel also explores the advantages of remote testing when users’ environmental conditions are likely to have usability impacts. Finally, I describe a two-phased approach for evaluating the design of products for use in multiple environments. Read the full article…

5 Myths Your Product Stakeholders Believe About UX Research, Part 1

By Michael Morgan What do your product stakeholders really know about user research? In organizations in which User Experience is more mature or even completely institutionalized, there is a good chance that product stakeholders—for example, your product owners, product managers, business analysts, and developers—know at least a little something about user research and user-centered design practices. But in organizations in which User Experience is in its infancy or corporate budgets underfund User Experience, you might hear someone on your product team say, “That’s the stuff you do with the one-way mirrors, right?” The majority of product teams are likely neither practicing nor evangelizing UX research. There might be a UX unicorn or two—a UX professional who does a little bit of everything, including design, strategy and research. In companies that have not fully embraced User Experience, product stakeholders do not have a firm grounding in UX research and do not Read the full article…

The Inspiration Behind Brutalism in Web Design

You’re reading The Inspiration Behind Brutalism in Web Design, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+! A stripped-down internet inspired by architecture of the 90s. Brutalism in web design, in its most basic form, incorporates stark colors, bold and unforgiving shapes and layouts, and typography that is often clumsy and oversized. By now, we have all experienced some form of the brutalism web design trend that has gained traction over the […] Read the full article…

Infamous Started as a ‘Superhero Version of Animal Crossing’

Sucker Punch has revealed that the popular superhero action game Infamous was originally slated to be more akin to an Animal Crossing game. In a PlayStation Blog post, the company looks back on 20 years of development starting with their first title on Nintendo 64, Rocket Robot on Wheels. While not very successful this lead the team to make the Sly Raccoon games and eventually brought them to Infamous. Chris Zimmerman, one of the Co-Founders of Sucker Punch, explains that originally Infamous was going to be a lot more like Animal Crossing. “At first, we were building a superhero version of Animal Crossing. You roamed your city, tracked down criminals, helped out the citizens, and did some light zoning work along the way. The best superheroes have alter egos, right? So your alter ego was a property developer, deciding where to put the pet shops and tiki bars the citizens Read the full article…