I’ve Created and Distributed My VR App. Now what…?
We live in a data driven world. Thanks to computers, we can measure just about anything. And though creating VR apps is largely a creative driven exercise, there’s no question that quantifying the success of a VR app — and improving it in subsequent versions — is important.
In the past, the main way to gather feedback was by asking. That approach, though simple and easy, is inherently flawed. First, many people that are willing to provide you feedback will be friends or colleagues, so their feedback is likely to skew more positive than overall users. Second, memory is inherently biased. There’s such things as the Recency Effect — where you remember things that happened more recently in more vivid detail. Hence, if you ask a user their favorite part of the VR experience, the scenes towards the end will be over represented.
Luckily, we live in world where computers can capture a lot of the data for us. InstaVR is no exception. We provide you with tools to gather actual user data. This is important to creative designers, marketers, researchers — pretty much anyone who cares how users interact with their InstaVR-created apps.
Below, we outline three ways you can capture information on how users are interacting with your VR apps.
Heatmaps are a visual representation of where people looked within your VR application. We wrote about their specific importance to marketers previously. Among all the methods of feedback, this is one of the most popular. Why? A visual representation gives the creator a clean, succinct look at where users are focusing during the duration of the VR experience.
What can you do with the data collected in heatmap form? A lot. You can choose a new starting view location for a scene, if the user tends to not look at an area you want them to. You can add a Hotspot, and A/B test different icons for the Hotspot to see if that garners more attention to that location. You can provide audio narration, to guide the user to the area you want them to look. With subsequent iterations, you can see using the different methods if you’ve re-focused user attention to where you want it to be.
- Make sure while packaging you turn on Heatmap data collection, if you want to use it. The feature is only available to Pro users, and has to be enabled for each VR package you want it captured for.
- The Heatmap data can also be exported to CSV, giving you a numerical depiction of where your users looked within the VR experience. This gives you more granular data than you would get with the visual overlay.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is mostly known for tracking web page data. But did you know InstaVR Pro users can tie their VR application into their Google Analytics account also? This gives you counting stats on interaction with your app. For instance, we’ll compile total number of times a certain Navigation link was triggered, or how many times a Hotspot was initiated.
These numerical statistics are great for looking at engagement. VR is often supposed to be an interactive experience. Sure, your whole app could be a single video, in which case the Google Analytics data would not be terribly interesting. But as you build out more complicated VR apps, if you give your audience choices of where to navigate to and what Hotspots to trigger, you’re accumulating data on how engaging your VR experience is. If a certain Hotspot that’s important isn’t generating strong engagement, either remove it or change up the icon to encourage more interaction.
Check out our guide on How to Set Up Google Analytics and Incorporate InstaVR
- You’re going to be giving the pages and Hotspots you want tracked names. Make sure to keep those names distinct, so that while viewing them in Google Analytics they’re clear.
One of the unique features of InstaVR’s authoring platform is the ability to add Calls-to-Action to your mobile or webVR app. What is a Call-to-Action? It’s a particular overlay on your 360 media that allows for one of two things: 1. Either it will pull up a phone number using an API, allowing your VR user to call a number that you desire or 2. It opens a tab to a specific web page URL you choose.
Calls-to-Action are a great direct response vehicle. They’re generally best left for the final 360 image pano or video, as they’ll take the user out of the VR experience. But, they will allow the VR creator to guide the user to get more information. If it’s a Real Estate app, the call button could pull up the listing agent’s number. If it’s a Education app, the webVR overlay could pull up a web site with more in-depth information. Etc. As the VR creator, you can then track the number of calls or web site visits to determine if the VR app was successful in generating direct response.
- When placing a Call-to-Action overlay on your 360 media, the icon defaults to a Telephone. If your call-to-action is a web page opening, you may want to switch that up to something like a mini computer or a picture of a browser screen. You can also add text under the call-to-action. (ie “Call Us Now to Learn More Info”)
The true success of a VR app does not rely solely on number of downloads. Anyone can hype their app on social media, and get iTunes/Google Play downloads. But that doesn’t mean that your app achieved what you set out for it to do.
Using advanced tools like Heatmaps, Google Analytics, and Calls-to-Action, InstaVR users can get more detailed information on how users are engaging with their VR. Creating 360 media is an ongoing, iterative process. Your 1st draft of a VR app may not be as good as it can be. Use the data options provided to you by InstaVR to make informed decisions, and improve your subsequent apps.
Good luck and let us know of your success stories!