Looking Back & Moving Forward

Week 7 : June 11th - 17th

Looking Back & Moving Forward

 

Reflecting on the Research

Looking back on the research so far, I've gained a much deeper understanding of AR and what it will mean to design these everyday experiences. The following is a brief recap on certain parts of the project which I feel will be key in its progression. The process of this reflection will help further refine what the project needs to be within the timeframe; I want to bring the most compelling aspect forward to ensure that the project doesn't become too vast or diluted.

Title

Aim
To celebrate the physical world by embedding contextual AR in everyday life and exploring how it should be displayed and interacted with.

Assumptions
AR head mounted display hardware will progress to a much higher standard.

These head mounted displays will become ubiquitous in use and are worn by the average person.
Guiding Research Topics

What Should the Output Do?
1. Display up to date, contextually relevant information when you want it
2. Provide functional interactivity with ergonomic and social ease
3. Provide a superior real world experience to mobile devices
4. React to your environment & devices
5. Shared social experiences

 

What Shouldn't the Output Do?
1. Display too much or irrelevant information when it’s unwanted
2. Compose, manage & create large bodies of content or media
3. Cover your senses and remove you from the real world
4. Social media in it’s current form
5. Replace all of your devices

 

Avenues of Exploration
Through the research, ideation and exploration so far, I've identified three routes of progression that this project could take. Ideally each of these types of interacton would function together to create a holistic AR experience in the real world. One, or a definied combination of these areas needs to be chosen to develop within to avoid the chances of dilution or spreading the project too thin.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Supporting Rationale

I've decided to leave the shared social aspect behind in the progression of this project; it's very likely that it could be an entire project by itself but will still require the groundwork provided by the other two project routes (personal persistent content & information retrieval). I feel that both personal persistent content and information retrieval work well together and are the most viable areas to progress the project. The project will be a platform which supports levels of functionality across both of these areas.

Stance
As I've said before, my stance when it comes to this project is that it should celebrate the real world. I'd like to add to this:

  1. Celebrate the real world
  2. Be easier than current methods
  3. Calm technology (not invasive, not forceful, not overwhelming)

Goals & Aims

Product Goals:

  1. Use the world as your canvas
  2. Provide contextual digital content
  3. Be useful, usable, wanted and superior to current methods in contextual situations
  4. Bring people out of the mobile screen and into the world

Project Goals:

  1. Explore how AR should be implemented for long term public use
  2. Determine and design interactions and rules of use for AR applications
  3. Expand my personal knowledge of usability, UX, ergonomics and testing of AR applications
  4. Compare and contrast what public AR use should and shouldn't be
  5. Develop a proof of concept "Calm" AR platform

Why Should People Care?

  1. It will make digital content more contextual, accessible and useful
  2. High level of personalisation, customisation and control
  3. Discovery and surprise
  4. High versatility of content consumption
  5. Easier and superior to mobile in certain circumstances

The headings above inform the rationale and direction behind the project. I want to design a platform which will be useful enough for people so that they will be willing to wear AR glasses for the benefits it provides. This platform should be highly personal and non-invasive, I want the platform to give people the opportunity to decide what they see and when they see it. It will be a "Calm Technology" which doesn't seek to take advantage of the user.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

High Level Concept

From a high level, this concept will be an operating system / platform for AR glasses which will provide functionality surrounding information retrieval and personalised persistent content.

There are five main types of functionality that the platform will be able to achieve, creating a consistent suite of funcionality and rules of interaction across the system:

1. Content Plug-ins / Apps
Like mobile apps, generating up to date real time content will be achieved through 3rd party content plug-ins. These plug-ins could be downloaded onto the platform by the user to increase the range of content which can be accessed. These apps would allow for the usage of long term persistent content. Examples of these are news site content, public transport timetables or maps.

2. Web Browsing
People need to be able to find what they're looking for online and display it intuitively. The platform needs to be able to offer a level of web browsing applicable to AR. I imagine this content to be for single or short term uses. Examples of web browsing uses are finding recipies, search engines, forums, reviews.

3. Content Placement & Personalisation
The content from browsing and the plug-ins will need to be displayed, placed and interacted with. Standardised control and rules around placement of content will be defined, the required display or placement format will need to be relevant to the type of data being displayed.

4. Media Player
Music and video are widely used across other devices and AR offers the opportunity to experience media in a unique way. Interaction and display guidelines for this content will need to be established. Using the platform it could be possible to create a persistent movie screen at home which media can be easily streamed to.

5. Messaging
Messaging is one of the most used functions of mobile devices. How messaging is brought into the AR platform will need to be defined. Does the platform allow for messaging as similar to a phone, or does it simply display the messages, requiring the user to reply using their phone?

Interaction Foundations
To define how this suite of functionality works, there are a number of user interactions which needed to be tested for UX, usability and understanding. These interactions will form the foundation of the platform, ideally leading to consistent rules of use and interaction across the entire suite.

  • Text input
  • Navigation
  • Display
  • Control & placement
  • Working with other devices
  • Suggestions / User assistance

 

Building Blocks >