Making virtual reality a reality

Damian Stewart

Senior Director, UX, Digital & Creative

Virtual reality (VR) in healthcare communications is nothing new. We’ve been to many conferences and seen VR being utilised. However, in my opinion VR was being used more like a toy; something to play with; something cool for the sake of being cool; vanity projects for people who wanted to wear a VR badge.

So, when we tasked ourselves to enhance the current VR offerings we needed to ensure we delivered something relevant; something that would be used and something that was useful. To keep us focused we created a series of rules. We pledged to adhere to these rules to guide us.

Rule 1 – It needs to be appropriate. Whisper it, but sometimes VR is not the most appropriate channel to convey a message. If it can be viewed as an animation or as a video, then build it as an animation or a video. VR is all about immersive experiences. It’s not about making someone watch something through a headset.

Rule 2 – It needs to have a meaningful narrative. Allowing someone to move one molecule from left to right without context (yes, we have seen VR used to demo this!) offers no value. It’s gimmicky. Our rule ensures that we think about the experience we are trying to convey. Allowing a user to experience another person’s lifestyle, condition and challenges is where VR truly adds value.

Rule 3 – It needs to work across multiple platforms. Once created we wanted to ensure our clients got the best return on their investment. So, we create our VR offerings to work across multiple platforms, from Google Cardboard to HTC Vive, providing flexibility in the delivery.

Rule 4 – It needs to be compliant. Just because something is innovative and creative doesn’t mean it can ignore the importance of compliance. And when you are talking about products, brands and patients it is key that compliance is brought in. Luckily, we have a strong compliance department who we work collaboratively with. This way we ensure strong impactful messages are created that never bring our client’s brand into disrepute.

Rule 5 – It needs to be something we are proud of. As with all our work we have high standards and VR needs to always meet those standards. When we had finished the work we wanted to review the project with a sense of pride, a sense of ownership and a sense of joy that we had produced something quite special. That’s our agency ethos and it’s one we take very seriously.

So five rules. Five guiding principles. Five ways to ensure we deliver quality. Click here and see one of our VR experiences for yourself.

If you’d like us to determine if VR is the reality for you, then we'd love to hear from you.

+44 (0) 1625 668318