Improving the usability of a VR app that helps students visualize 3D math waves.


what 🤔

Jupyter3D is a VR application that allows engineering students to visualize waves and math functions. This was an ongoing project at EML and I decided to help out with current usability issues.


September 2019 - December 2019 (3 months)


Ideation, Wireframing, Prototyping, User Testing


Figma, Sketch & Unity


Oculus Rift S, Oculus Rift


"None of our testers knew how to use any of the controls of Jupyter3D." 

- Kyle, Jupyter3D Project Lead

before coming onto the project I had a chat with the project's current tech lead, Kyle. Kyle told me that during the end of the previous term (before I came into the lab), they had a demo day wherein they were able to get some user testing data from observing people use their VR applications. Some of the problems he mentioned were:

  • Users had no idea how to use the application when they put on the headset.
  • No one knew how to use the controls.
  • People couldn't see the instruction labels.
  • Even though there were instructional labels, people didn't understand what it was referring to

Why were these users having such a hard time? Because VR is unconventional and not something everyone uses everyday. Therefore, the controllers were very unfamiliar to all the people who tried out the project.

We sought out a way to make these controls more accessible and easier to understand as a "New VR user"

Jupyter3D before design intervention:


Our solution: a visible menu, to allow users to use the "A" button to access all controls.

I then did an A/B testing with the possible menu interactions.

Pop-up menu vs. Static menu

pop-up menu

static menu

The winner of the A/B testing was the static menu because people found it more intuitive since most did not know you had to click on the wave to access a menu.


After A/B testing, we started prototyping on Unity to see how the interaction would work.

First Prototype

Final Prototype

  • allows you to change the background of the scene.
  • improved the design of the menu to match wireframes.
  • very huge improvement from first prototype 

I then conducted user testing with interactive the prototype on 10 new VR users. The results we found were that these users had no difficulty adjusting the wave at all. BIG improvement from the first design.


Unfortunately, this project has been discontinued due to lack of viability, scalability and resources. Maybe more initial UX planning could have given this project better scalability and because of this, I, as well as my team mainly consisting of developers, realized how important initial UX research and scoping were. Even though our team will not be moving forward with this product, I definitely grateful for the learning experience, being my first 3D design role. 

Thanks for getting this far, I know it was a lot. But hey, here's more things to read...

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