Ottifox

Design and prototyping for AR and VR is not an easy task. The problem is, you need expensive hardware, complicated and pricey 3D software, and on top of that, you’ll likely need to write non trivial code...

Ottifox is a new design app that helps you design and prototype AR and VR without the need for expensive hardware, complicated 3D software, or writing code. It’s meant for rapid design and prototyping of AR and VR which can run in the browser.

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My role

I’m the founder, designer and developer of Ottifox. I left Adobe in late 2016 to investigate and learn WebVR, and in the process created Ottifox. I shipped V1 September of 2017.

Ottifox is currently an indie project, which means I wear many hats, including design, research, development, and talking to my users, aka all the things.

  • Customer interviews
  • Persona development
  • Designs and prototypes
  • Usability tests
  • Copywriting
  • Web design
  • Engineering

The challenge

Most designers, don’t know how to use 3D modeling programs, and don’t code for 3D. VR presents a challenge to designers coming from 2D world to 3D. The goal of Ottifox is to enable designer’s to get into VR design, while removing a lot of the common barriers that exist today.

I’ve always had trouble working in the traditional CAD interface, or using the XY/YZ/XZ window convention of most 3D modeling programs...
— Will Smith

Launch

When you launch Ottifox you’re presented with a simple start screen to get started. Since VR is such a new subject for most designers, I opted towards simplicity, rather than a busier screen that would look more intimidating. The user can choose to start from an example file, or choose to start from scratch.

Onboarding

While the main goal for Ottifox is to feel like a traditional design app, as opposed to a 3d modeling app, the user still needs to learn some basic concepts as they get started.

The Editor

Ottifox is designed to look like modern design apps. Especially Sketch. The designer should feel comfortable with the UI, as if they already know it. The dark look of the editor allows the designer to to be immersed in the scene, instead of focusing on the app itself.

Preview over wifi

During early development, I found that it's really important to see the scene live in VR. 3d content can be pretty heavy in regards to file size, so I built a local preview server into the app, instead of forcing the user to upload to the cloud. The server allows you to test your VR scene over wifi. As well as share it with colleagues on the same network.

V1 to V2

The initial release of Ottifox received positive feedback and a good number of sign ups and downloads. It's being used by some of the top design schools and agencies to design and prototype VR and AR experiences. I launched V2 of the app Spring 2018

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