Design for im­mer­sion

De­sign­ing user ex­pe­ri­ences for ex­tra di­men­sions

Web Designer - - UX - New rules, top tools -

Tra­di­tion­ally UX de­sign­ers had a clear sep­a­ra­tion of re­al­i­ties to design for: real life, and the ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­ered on screen by the per­son’s de­vice. Now the lines have been well and truly blurred with Aug­mented Re­al­ity (AR) and Vir­tual Re­al­ity (VR) en­ter­ing into main­stream use. It’s not enough to design for screens, pages and off­line touch­points any­more, now the con­cept of mul­ti­ple di­men­sions opens up a plethora of ways to en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence.

A whole host of in­ter­ac­tions can be in­cor­po­rated into de­signs, such as pick­ing up, pinch­ing, push­ing and pulling, fa­cial ex­pres­sions, and even air tap­ping for Mi­crosoft’s Hololens. To get them to do this you must also think about the cues you will give users that are used to in­ter­act­ing with flat screens, how will you en­cour­age them to look around in the space? With new im­mer­sive tech­nolo­gies you can now use au­dio to grab at­ten­tion, or dis­play el­e­ments just off screen to prompt them to move left and right. This new tech­nol­ogy also gives you the op­por­tu­nity to play around with ob­jects in a 3D space, so it’s im­por­tant that de­sign­ers be­come com­fort­able in how shadow and light can be used to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of depth and mass for ob­jects in the in­ter­face.

De­sign­ers also need to be con­scious of the right con­text to use th­ese in­ter­ac­tions. As a user in­ter­act­ing with an Aug­mented Re­al­ity App whilst driv­ing would be en­tirely in­ap­pro­pri­ate, and it might be that a voice in­ter­ac­tion is more suit­able in this type of sce­nario. Thor­ough re­search and test­ing is re­quired of the UX prac­ti­tioner to find and un­der­stand th­ese con­texts and user goals.

Over­all, ex­pect the preva­lence of AR and VR to in­crease rapidly over the next few years as busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions find ways for this tech­nol­ogy to fit their busi­ness mod­els.

“It’s nat­u­ral to be ex­cited by the pos­si­bil­i­ties of im­mer­sive UX. But we must be care­ful not to let tech­nol­ogy dis­tract us from the hu­man that needs to use it” Damian Rees Di­rec­tor and Founder of Ex­pe­ri­ence UX

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