Designing Contextual Web Usage in AR for Useful & Enjoyable User Experiences

What might the future of web usage be with ubiquitous AR glasses and what kind of operating system would run it?

When we think about the future of Augmented Reality (AR), we often imagine a world immersed in digital content, advertising and futuristic computer interfaces. Examples of these can be seen in Minority Report’s digital interfaces or Hyper Reality’s dystopian AR world. AR is a technology rife for speculation through film and cinema, but what role would the future of AR really play as part of our everyday lives?

Assuming that AR glasses have advanced technologically and solved the size, weight and display issues, how would we interact with and view this AR content? In real life AR needs to bring the physical and digital worlds together to enhance the overall experience. Showing only what we want to see when we want to see it. The concept of a “Calm” AR platform should be non-invasive, not forceful, not overwhelming and completely under the control of whoever is using it. Essentially, calm AR would be the opposite of Hyper Reality.

This project is about understanding how and what an AR platform should be used for when designing for long term consumer level Augmented Reality experiences to ensure the creation of useful and enjoyable products that we want to live with.


Image Credit: Hyper Reality by Keiichi Matsuda

12. Final Video & Feedback

The finished video and unity prototypes were created and brought to users and experts for validation and feedback, to bring an end to the project.

11. Rationale & Final Design

A design rationale was created to document the entite project and the frames and handles paradigm is established.

10. Prototyping AR 2

Interactive experience prototyping was carried out to test the interactions with users in context. Gestural exploration with user input defined platform gestures.

9. Prototyping AR

Visuals, gifs and videos of AR interactions across use cases are created to bring the user into this world of AR.

8. Take a Stance

The creation of an AR design manifesto guides all future design decisions, and further user research is carried out through environment mapping.

7. Building Blocks

Primary input modalities for the AR platform were explored and evaluated through experimenting with a completely gestural typing interface.

6. Looking Back & Moving Forward

It was decided that the concept would be a platform for AR which allowed users to create and place personal web content.

5. Scenarios, Storyboards & Sketches

Initial AR concept ideation was carried out through scenarios, storyboards, sketches and world building. These techniques supported identifying promising concepts.

4. The Project Begins

The first week of the project without other projects to work on brought a new level of focus to designing for AR. Interesting avenues of research and progression were explored.

3. Redefining the Project

Following the ARVR Innovate expo and finding a lack of consideration for the user in AR design, the project shifted from prototyping to designing and exploring AR interactions and how the technology should be used.

2. Mapping the Landscape

Diving into research in the area by attending the annual ARVR Innovate expo in the RDS. I had the opportunity to interview experts in the field and experience new AR products and demos.

1. Getting Started

Early project direction following a project proposal in the exploration of prototyping techniques for the design of augmented reality applications.