At its best, augmented reality is an interactive storybook that briefly makes the end user suspend their disbelief and feel like their physical environment is integrated with digital content. As an augmented reality designer, your goal is to surprise and delight users while maintaining immersion throughout the entire process.
A good comparison is a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat — you know he put a rabbit in there, but that destroys the illusion if you see him doing it. Here are some practical tips to help make sure you never get caught hiding your bunny in a hat or with cards up your sleeve.
Bring your image to life with video and animation
When designing a project for a client, try to make sure that the first frame of the video matches the trigger. By juxtaposing the two, you get the ability to move elements that exist on a physical target that you don’t need, and inject those pieces of content that you do. If something just appears on the screen that has nothing to do with what existed before, this is a sure way to destroy the magic.
For Web-AR.Studio users, we recommend using the first frame of the video as part of the tracking image. This is the easiest way to create a «liven» effect that immediately benefits when your target audience scans your code. If you plan to use video in the designer, video editing tools such as After Effects or Premiere Pro can be great for animating components of the target image. Or, you might even decide to use animated graphics created in third-party software.
Break the fourth wall
AR is designed to act like another layer of reality, making you, as a user, a part of it. If you have a 3D character standing on a trigger, why not make him turn to face you when you look at him from a different angle? Have your character look up at the user instead of straight into the distance like in a theatrical production, making sure everything is done with the awareness that the audience should be watching.
AR has an advantage over more traditional media like television or films in that we can design and create interactivity with the content in question. The more interactivity you add to your project, the more immersive it will become. Touch, swipe, browse — really engage your user in exploration down to the smallest detail! A really good example is the AR Pack we made for you as a template. This project is actually quite simple compared to some of the things you can create in Web-AR.Studio, however you should see how you can add additional levels of complexity to your project.
Like any good magician, starting small and perfecting the basics is the key to long-term success. Use these design tricks to create an immersive experience that users will come back to over and over again. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate. AR is still in its infancy, and you have the opportunity to help define design conventions in an entirely new environment.