ScotlandVR Mobile App

Activites conducted: Usability Testing

Case study: 2 minutes 42 seconds to read


VisitScotland sent out a challenge to Universities across Scotland to come up with a new and innovative way to promote Scotland to the world. A team from Napier University won the competition with the idea of promoting Scotland using Virtual Reality. VisitScotland expanded on the idea and with the help of an external agency we designed and developed ScotlandVR. This was my first project employed by VisitScotland and although the project was well into development and already had a prototype, I was in charge of usability testing with users.

The Problem

Virtual Reality is a relatively new technology, especially on mobile devices and because of that, nobody in the team really knew how users would use the app.

Team and My Role

  • 1 UX Designer (me)
  • 1 Motion and Interactive Designer
  • 2 Developers
  • Video Production Crew
  • 2 Video Editors
  • 1 Illustrator

Tools Used

  • iPhone 7
  • Samsung Galaxy S7

Usability Testing

As there was already a prototype developed it was important to see how users use the app. So I set off to do some guerrilla testing in front of The National Museum of Scotland. We had quite a few willing volunteers to test the app. Users tested the app by going through some tasks that I have set before them and I wrote notes about their experience. Users tested the app on Virtual Reality/Cardboard mode and also on Mobile mode.

ScotlandVR usability testing outside The Muesum of Scotland

Analysis and Recommendation

It was very interesting to see that when users were on the Virtual Reality/Cardboard mode, they didn’t seem to understand where their centre viewpoint was, and therefore couldn’t really interact with the different elements in the app but on the mobile mode, users got it, and because they could click anywhere on the screen they could interact with the different elements in the app. Since all 10 users on Virtual Reality/Cardboard mode had problems with their centre viewpoint, I recommended that on this mode, there must be a visible centre focal point, so users can see where their centre focal point is, but also it highlighted when a user could interact with an element. The team thought it was a good idea and the developers went to work to put it into the prototype.

Testing, testing and more testing

After the developers put my recommendation into the app, I organised a half day internal usability testing with VisitScotland staff who are not involved in the project and also another round of testing in front of The National Museum of Scotland again. I wanted to see if the recommendation put earlier was the right move.


From the several rounds of usability testing, it did seem like the recommendation was the right one! In the first week of launch the app had 13.5k downloads and was featured by Apple on the App Store’s ‘Hot this week’ list. To date the app has more than 60k downloads and has won 3 awards including –

The Hearld Business Awards App Winners

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