Assessing usability and user experience of immersive web VR platforms for tourism destinations
Keywords:web VR, Usability and User Experience, Tourism Destination
Until recently, Virtual Reality (VR) was considered as a niche technology due to slow advancement and high costs. However, thanks to new industry improvements, VR has started to approach the mainstream audience especially through the use of web VR, therefore becoming a new tool for communication. In this sense, due to its content richness and emotional density, the tourism industry reveals as a proper one to exploit the new opportunities coming from web VR. As a result, it becomes imperative to research usability and user experience of web VR platforms for tourism destinations. Despite this importance, standards and guidelines on the topic are still missing. This paper focuses on exploring usability and user experience issues of two web VR experiences devoted to tourism destinations, namely Petra, the ancient city in Jordan, and Bilbao in Spain. The methodology used for this research is based on two sets of VR heuristics applied to the MiLE+ usability evaluation method. Merging these two methodologies has allowed to explore both technical, application independent issues, as well as user experience-related, application dependent issues. Finally, guidelines on usability and user experience factors is proposed, as a first step towards the preparation of a complete list of guiding principles on this topic.
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