UX for Augmented Reality
I was the team lead on UX for Augmented Reality, an online course hosted by the Interaction Design Foundation.
With a small, cross-departmental team, I created this course to teach the techniques and practices behind excellent augmented reality experiences. Additionally, I wrote and voiced the course trailer!
I began by looking at the feedback at users feedback from other Interaction Design Foundation courses. I found that there was a need for a practical, hands-on approach that combined theory and practice without going too deep on specific tools that might become obsolete. Templates and worksheets were included for teachers and working professionals to use in their own projects and classes.
The course explored the usability challenges of augmented reality and how to design to its unique context of use.
Each lesson module had portfolio projects where students could put their knowledge into practice. This would help students create a professional-looking portfolio project ready for development. Students were encouraged to explain the logic behind their design choices and the benefits of their approach.
UX for Augmented Reality was released in September 2022 to great success, with 1,500 enrolls in 6 months. From data collected by Interaction Design Foundation subscribers, 92% of users said they would recommend it to another person.
The course's many innovations inspired new approaches to course creation at the company, including a new visual style used in later courses.
To help promote the course, six lesson items were published for free as standalone articles. I wrote these articles on a variety of topics related to augmented reality, from AR heuristics to how to create memorable narratives in augmented reality.
Take a look!
Augmented reality UX has endless opportunities to make a usable and engaging product. Place-based storytelling can show information spatially in a way that is easier to understand than abstract ideas.
However, AR isn’t always practical or safe to use, which makes it hard for users to want to use it all the time. One solution is to use multiple platforms, media and devices in a holistic approach to your product that leverages the strengths of AR when needed.
AR Heuristics to Avoid Common UX Pitfalls
User testing may be the final word in usability, but usability guidelines, or "heuristics," are rubrics designers use to evaluate their designs.
These guidelines are the product of decades of research and experience. They have traditionally been applied to mobile or desktop interfaces but were updated to allow AR designers to make the most of their AR experiences.
Spatial UI Design: Tips and Best Practices
UX design for AR has some different guidelines than what is used for screen-based UX. Designers must consider the space and the physical limits of what is comfortable for the human body.
Also, as AR overlays physical space, you must be very aware of the cognitive load because you add to the existing distractions of the real world.
How to Design for AR on the Go
From a design perspective, UX for augmented reality is similar to mobile UX in that users are often on the move and use the interface in short bursts of activity. In contrast, the user experience of a virtual reality application is more similar to web or desktop UX, designed for immersive, continued use.
Here, we'll explore how to make the most of the kinds of interaction AR excels at and how to design for the spaces where we use AR.
How to Use the Environment in AR
Augmented reality is an exciting medium because of the unique way it interacts with physical space to add new information and meaning. Let's look at what makes AR unique: the context of use. Unlike other devices and platforms, using an AR headset or mobile phone for AR allows you to interact with the world differently than usual.
How to Create Memorable Stories in AR
Augmented reality is particularly effective for place-based stories. Because of how human memory works, place-based narratives are powerful tools for education and entertainment. UX designers for AR look for opportunities to turn seemingly uninteresting spaces into engaging stories or tedious tasks into playful and memorable narratives.