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Virtual Mockups for Ergonomics and Rapid Iteration

The last time I rearranged furniture in my house, we moved the couch to about 7 different locations before deciding on a spot 3 inches to the left of its original spot.?The event took all day and nearly ended a marriage.

As anyone who has moved furniture will know, the arrangement of elements in a space is better experienced than imagined.

Our mockup of the furniture arrangement made sense on our graph paper, but was actively awful when we tried it in real life. We can memorize best practices, attempt prototypes and mockups, and use traditional layout tools all day long—and it can still go wrong.

Furniture arrangement is one thing–Retail design is another.

In Retail Design, the arrangement of elements represents brand identity, impulse purchases, and returning customers.

In Healthcare Design, the arrangement of elements represents healing, patient comfort, and physician ergonomics.

In Industrial Design,?the arrangement of elements means worker safety and measurable improvements in efficiency.

Once your hospital, or your retail store, or your factory is built–adjustments to the space are cost prohibitive or impossible.

When the arrangement of elements really matters, Virtual Reality mockups are the best tool for the job.

Unlike physical mockups which run in the tens of thousands for cardboard alone, VR mockups are a small fraction of the cost and can be rapidly iterated. Best of all, you can recruit your end-users to set up the space exactly how they want it.?We’ve seen 60 year old physicians set up their exam rooms in VR–we’re confident your client can too.

Here’s How it works:

1. We work with you to assess your goals for the mockup.

2. We create an accurate virtual mockup of your space and create the 3D elements that you want arranged. If you already have the 3D elements–great! We can use them and save you a few bucks.

3. Start iterating in virtual space.

This video is a demonstration of an exam room from the perspective of the end user arranging her exam room space.??The tool is designed to “snap” the elements to the wall or floor, which makes the tool easy to use for VR beginners, and the ability to save the room layout helps the architect implement the space design in their projects. Contractors use this tool directly with owners to confirm build locations and prevent re-work.

Data Driven Design

Once the Virtual Mockup is complete–you can take it the extra mile and test it. The experience feels right–but does it make dollars and sense? Testing the Mockup gives you the data to move forward with confidence. Using gaze tracking, we can determine which product displays are catching our customers’ attention. We can measure stress levels in various exam room designs. We can time how long it takes workers to walk the factory floor.

Virtual reality gives us unprecedented insight into our building designs. Architecture professionals who can leverage VR to evaluate the psychic experience of a space alongside the data of that space will have happier clients who move forward with confidence.


If you don’t have VR equipment or don’t know how to help your clients into VR for the first time, we can rent equipment to you and and run your events. It’s just another way we take the edge off the cutting edge.

To find out how we can adapt this tool for you, learn about VR equipment rental, or take us to coffee, click the button below and contact us.

Contact us

#MaretThatcher #VirtualRealityMockup

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