Following the recent introduction of the Spark AR Design Guidelines, today we’re beginning a new multi-week series of blog posts that will provide insights and practical tips — straight from the Guidelines — to help creators, at any level, conceive and design better AR experiences.
For this first post in our series, we’re focusing on ways you can design AR experiences to help make them more accessible to a wider range of people. This is important because different people will have different responses to your AR effect, and a big part of making this first experience a positive one, is anticipating people’s needs and expectations.
Consider using the tips that follow to help avoid, or at least minimize, some of the common frustration and friction points with AR experiences. Let’s dig in:
Focus on value versus high-fidelity.
People often have different expectations of how an AR experience should look and feel. Some people expect photo-real rendering of 3D virtual objects as seen in VR, yet AR technology is still at a nascent stage and cannot currently meet these expectations. When the capabilities of the UI is limited, focus on the impact AR can make to an experience over highly polished visuals.
Help users understand AR quickly.
When people interact with technology they build a mental model in their head of how it works. As AR is new to so many people, they will not have a mental model to reference. Help people to learn how AR works by keeping the experience simple and by providing hints on what the AR technology is doing – for example, showing an active state when objects can be manipulated. This could help improve the user's understanding without burdening them with technical details.
Onboarding can help people get started quickly.
A good place to set people's expectations is in the onboarding process. There are likely to be key interactions that are new to people which, if introduced up front, could speed up people's progress.
Allow people to experiment without fear of breaking the experience.
Design the experience in a way that allows people to try things out freely, but enables them to go back to where they were easily if they make a mistake.
Design for all.
As with all good software design, it is good practice to make sure you design for all types of users, regardless of their age or ability.
Next week we’ll return to provide tips on ways to match AR experiences with the time and effort people are willing to give them. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about AR design, download the Spark AR Design Guidelines today and start using them to help shape and inform your next AR idea.
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