Cardboard Design Lab

From Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cardboard Design Lab
Developer Google
Platform Google Cardboard
Device Google Cardboard, Smartphone
Operating System Android
Type Education, Experience
Genre Education
Website Google Play
Infobox Updated 5/8/2016
Cardboard Design Lab is an android app developed by Google. It was created to teach the principles of designing for virtual reality inside virtual reality.[1] It can be accessed by any user who possesses a smartphone along with a Google Cardboard slide-on HMD. It debuted at I/O 2015, alongside the updated Google Cardboard.


Cardboard Design Lab is developed by Google and can be installed for free on any smartphone running the android operating system. The app needs a Google Cardboard for full functionality. The app teaches design principles for developing in VR within VR. The app puts the user inside a VR environment and teaches the fundamentals of VR design in a very effective way. Cardboard Design Lab is meant to start and arise discussions between developers and designers. The app features two different sections for the users. One is “Foundation” which shows and demonstrates the basic principles with examples. The other section is “Immersion” which explores advanced principles by different beautiful audio and video examples [2]


The app uses virtual reality to demonstrate 10 VR design fundamentals in a span of less than 10 minutes. The app walkthroughs the user through the following things[3]:

Scale - You can change the scale of different objects in the virtual world and then observe the effect.

User Interface (UI) - User Interface is an extremely important parameter for virtual reality. The interface needs to be purely 3D just like the virtual world itself.

Acceleration - The velocity in the virtual world should be constant in order not to create confusion for the users as they are stationary in actual but are moving in the virtual world.

Sound - The rules of sound are explained to the users by navigating him/her through meticulously and beautifully designed scenes which illustrate exactly how a principle works. Each click takes the user to a new scene and a new experience.

The other design principles that are covered in Cardboard Design Lab are as follows:

  1. Using a Reticle
  2. UI Depth & Eye Strain
  3. Using Constant Velocity
  4. Keeping the User Grounded
  5. Maintaining Head Tracking
  6. Guiding with Light
  7. Leveraging Scale
  8. Spatial Audio
  9. Gaze Cues
  10. Make it Beautiful

Cardboard Design Lab is the perfect app for developers who want to start developing and working in the field of VR. The app does not teach how to actually create a game or software in VR but it rather gives a lot of useful information and explains basic principles of VR to help the user start his or her own games. Even if the user is not a developer, still the app explains the concept and elements of a good VR experience beautifully[4].

Created in partnership with design studio UsTwo, Cardboard Design Lab, a simple VR app that teaches how to build effective VR apps works on almost any modern Android smartphone in conjuction with a Cardboard-style headset. All that users have to do is open the lab and enjoy a short guided tour through the best practices for virtual environments.[5]

The application demonstrates things like the best distance to place text, the importance of smooth motion, and the use of light, which can subtly guide users in a 360-degree environment. As such, the application is not aimed at seasoned developers, but rather at people who might otherwise be intimidated by coding.

The app is currently only available for Android, and, although Google has recently updated their Cardboard Unity SDK with iOS support, a spokesperson told Road to VR that there’s “No concrete plans [to bring this app to] iOS at the moment.”[6]

System Requirements

Android 4.1 and up. To fully enjoy this app you'll need a viewer that works with Google Cardboard.[7]

Setup Instructions

The application is available on Google Play Store. No special configuration is required.

Images and Videos



VR and AR  Wiki Discord Logo