It seems that many 3D websites target the experience of the user, while for 2D websites the most important goal is often to supply some information in the most convenient way. For 2D websites specific controls have been developed, like tree views, tables, but also form controls like text boxes, combo boxes etc. What are good examples of 3D controls that improve the way a user can access information?
I’ve been working on text input that takes place in 3d. I actually create an input field behind the canvas and just copy the value over to the troika-three-text input. that way you keep the same input functionality of copy/paste, cursor movement, etc while not breaking immersion. check it out by clicking log in or signup: www.muse.place
also kind of tackled forms, but it’s not the most flexible.
Yes, the (lack of) 2d form controls within the 3d environment is also an issue, especially if you also want the site to be used in VR, where the Css3dObject cannot be used. I think they are very important and often necessary for 3D websites that focus on providing information.
But an extra step is when the 3D actually improves on the 2D. An example is Google street view and similar implementations. Or when you can turn a 3D model and zoom in from all sides. Here the 3D really contributes to the information. But can you think of 3D controls that improve a Wiki page? Why is the ThreeJS site largely in 2D, except when you go the the 3D examples?
ps. moderators: the topic was meant to be a discussion.
it has to do with accessibility and performance.
there’s currently no standard for the 3d web, so almost every 3d website offers a new control scheme for the end user to learn. not to mention, a standard visual language for links, buttons, etc is non-existent. also, think about all the shortcuts like copy/paste, open in a new tab, cmd+f.
the performance point is pretty obvious, it’s a huge roadblock when going to build and maintain a 3d site. if you actually sit down to make a robust 3d website, a huge chunk of your time will be spent optimizing, with no guarantee that you can actually display all the information you want across every device.
fundamentally 3d will always be a better medium than 2d since you can literally display 2d in 3d, but for the reasons above it has some time before that will become true.
Yes, it seems to me we’re in the early Netscape phase of 3d, still finding out how to setup a proper webpage that everybody feels comfortable with. You are right that even for a hyperlink on an object there is no default visual implementation. I tend to make an object slightly larger on ‘mouseover’ to make people aware of the presence of a clickable link, but this is a personal choice.
I thing the performance issue is something that has also been there for 2D, and still is: if the 3D is appealing enough, you can redirect to 2D for less suitable hardware. But maybe even the better hardware is not yet good enough. You should be able to clearly read some distant text to see whether it is what you’re searching for at that moment, but often it is too pixelated.