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brumguvnor

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone; we just got some usbility research completed on our site (at http://www.venuebirmingham.com) and it was very interesting: one of the things it confirmed was that it was not acceptable to have all of the virtual tours of our venues off in their own separate section of the site - simply because our CMS cannot currently host virtual tour files within it.

But that got methinking; I've never seen any usability research for virtual tours: to me there's a lot of topics to cover, such as:
  • should they start to rotate automatically or not?
  • should instructions on how to use them be there? - or are they so common that they are redundant?
  • if there should be instructions, should they float over the tour image itself in semi-transparent fashion?
  • should the instructions dissapear when you click anywhere on the tour window? - or should the have an explicit close button?

Many thanks for any help!

James

borryshasian

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi James,

I've never done any usability test on virtual tours site, but here's my thought using common sense:

  1. For first time users, rotate automatically for a few seconds is important, to show that the feature exists. Many time we just don't know what we can do, simply because the controls are hidden.
  2. Again, for first time users, instruction is important. You should be able to detect returning users, as instruction would be annoying for non-first time users. But you should provide a method for non-first time users to see the instruction, in case they need it back.
  3. The semi transparent can be a good idea, so we still can see the context of the instruction. But that really depends on the instruction. If it's like how to navigate, then semi transparent is good.
  4. That should be the common behavior: either clicking outside the instruction window, or clicking the close button to close the instruction window.
Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Borrys

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Borrys Hasian
brumguvnor

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Reply with quote  #3 
Cheers Borrys; good stuff - and in the absence of research common sense isn't bad at all!
borryshasian

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #4 
Good luck with your site, and looking forward seeing it improved!
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Borrys Hasian
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