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How to avoid common pitfalls when designing for AR

Evgeny

Evgeny |

12. Juli 2018 |

- min Lesezeit

How to avoid common pitfalls when designing for AR

As you hopefully have noticed, there are huge innovations in the field of AR (currently mostly in the industry) and by working on various projects there are some unexpected problems that came up in the design phase, you should always think of when working in this field.

Explanation & help

The interactions in AR are different than we are used to have in apps or websites before. Even if there are some patterns, most of the users will not know them, so provide as much help and explanations as you can. The best practices here are videos ( tutorials at start for example ) and animated icons, static explanations will become long and bother users. Static icons for 3D are rare and very hard to understand, try to bring movement to show directions and actions that can be performed. One good example here could be the Porsche Mission E App, which provides cool animations showing how to move the device for scanning.

Test, test, test!

AR is not static and the problems we have with different browsers & devices are nothing in comparison with the real world. There are huge differences in testing in-outside buildings, in the morning/evening etc. You will not be able to cover all situations, try to focus on the most common use cases of your application and test it as much as you can.


Can you ensure that your application will work outside & in the dark?
Can you ensure that your application will work outside & in the dark?

Work close with your client

There is no such thing like working/broken in AR, its all about optimizing and rely on the APIs provided by the framework. There might be not enough data for featurepoints on a black table and the 3D model will not stand still. That what you often will have to explain to your client on these edgecases. And again here, working at a clients place you will be able to test at his conditions and optimize or explain the problems. A lot of clients will try to test your prototype/app and face some problems just like the users, in the early phase of this new technology it is necessary to consult and explain much more than you are doing for websites.

Content is hard, get help

Look at dribbble and you will see a lot of fancy designs & layouts, most of them use nice stock fotography or illustrations. For AR you will face huge issues when searching for content, most models cost some money and have to be optimized for mobile devices. As long as you are not a 3D modeler, it will break your neck. Try to find/hire 3D artists with some coding skills or understanding for interactions, learn from them, work with them. Take some courses on 3D software like Cinema 4D or Blender(hard piece of interface), so that you will be able at least make some changes on models and ex-/import them into your prototypes.

Know the limitations

Just like in the browser, you need to be aware of possibilities and limitations of the technology. Some clients will come up with ideas and to give realistic advices without expensive prototypes you have to think about how it will work in the real world. This one is the easiest step, just look up some apple posts on ARKit releases and download & test some AR apps on your phone. It will give you a feeling what is currently possible, please don’t rely on all the promising videos on twitter and youtube, many of them remind me of catchy news headlines, as they only work on specific situtations and are optimised to get clicks.


EvgenyBecker

AR reminds me of the time when we had to get out of our comfort zone and think responsive & non linear for the web. To give up the control of the medium and optimize for the most common usecase.

Evgeny Becker Senior Interaction Developer


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How to avoid common pitfalls when designing for AR
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How to avoid common pitfalls when designing for AR