Here are some useful tips on how to design a successful AR mobile app
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the most interesting emerging technologies that’s been making rounds in the market over the past few years, more particularly in the mobile gaming world. Recently, AR technology has been seeping its way to other industries, including marketing, education, social media, and entertainment. In fact, the use of AR mobile apps is anticipated to grow to $2.4 billion in 2019.
However, with mobile AR still in its infancy, as it introduces a new set of challenges to both AR designers and AR mobile app developers. Augmented reality, in essence, combines the power of digital technology and the real-world environment to create a seamless immersive experience.
Here are a few tips to help you get started in designing a successful AR mobile app.
1. Consider mobile constraints and usability
The first and most essential consideration to make when creating any kind of mobile app is the mobile constraints. Mobile AR experiences typically require users to to use at least one hand to hold their mobile devices or joysticks. There’s also the obvious issue of varying screen sizes and orientations.
Think about how people will hold their devices when using your AR app. To make the mobile experience more enjoyable, it’s important to keep interactions within your AR app intuitive and easy to do with as fewer gestures as possible. Your app should aim to reduce the time needed for users to complete simple tasks.
2. Incorporate audio and visual cues
In immersive experience technology, it’s easy to get too immersed in the virtual world which leads to users missing out on important UI elements that were meant to be interacted with. With AR, it’s important to keep the right balance between immersion and real-world quality of the experience.
Consider incorporating auditory and visual cues to guide users towards interactable elements of your UI. Visual cues, like on-screen instructions or hover states, help encourage users to interact with AR elements. Auditory cues paired with on-screen UI can also prompt users to see off-screen elements that they can easily miss. To add more depth to the AR experience, placement guidelines for user tracking can also be employed, as well as gestures (such as opening the mouth) for additional effects.
3. Design in context with the environment
With AR, the physical environment where your user is at is essentially the primary context of your design. The physical environment significantly affects the AR design, so it’s important to make it feel as natural and as safe as possible. Identify interaction scenarios before delving into the nitty gritty details of the app, and consider the length of user sessions in context of the type of environment.
For example, in outdoor and public environments, the safety of your user is of the utmost importance. AR interactions in this context should remain short, and your visual cues should steer clear from locations that are potentially dangerous, such as in the middle of the street. In home and private environments, however, you can design AR interactions to be longer and may involve more gestures.
Augmented reality takes the mobile app experience to a whole new level. Many businesses, both small and large, are incorporating AR technology into their products and services to enhance their customers’ experiences and to add more value to what they’re offering. The success of your AR mobile app lies heavily on the design of your UX and UI. To achieve this, always begin with understanding your users’ needs and wants.