Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Educating our viewsers

While I've been learning about making and presenting panoramas, I've also observed how our viewsers interact with them. It's been painful to watch first-time panorama viewers struggle with clicking and dragging to navigate, let alone using control and shift keys to zoom. They often give up and leave the page. Ouch.

I include some text on my pages ("Navigating VR panoramas: Click and drag to move around. Shift-click to zoom in, control-click to zoom out."), but there's better ways to get the point across. There's a current thread on the PanotoolsNG Yahoo group about helping readers better understand how to interact with our panoramas.

Eric Leeman at has a nice Viewing Instructions page for his viewsers. It's tightly written, and blurring the background image to make the instruction text clearer is a great touch.

Matthew Rogers at 360precision (makers of the Ferrari of pano heads) posted to the list a link for a reader tutorial he developed some years ago. This one is a little more text-based, and may not be as easy to first use as Leeman's example.

I think it's important to remember that the interactive panorama is new to many of our users. Let's help them have a good experience. These examples are good starting points.


Gary O'Brien said...

Matthew Rogers tells me the original context of his QuickTime movie explaining how to use the pano was originally in the context of an html page with some additional text. The standalone pano doesn't fully capture his intent. I've asked if the original page still exists and will post it if it does.

zachwise said...

The pano instructions are brilliant. I'm going to mock one up my self like this. Thanks for pointing this out!