Augmented Reality UI Design: What, Why and How?

| UI Design

The world has pretty much embraced AR(Augmented Reality) by now. And a few keynote events and announcements from both Google and Apple had confirmed the news to a great extent.

On that note, what designers and developers are concerned about is- AR UI(Augmented Reality User Interface). Since 2016, AR UI had been talked of the town among designers all over the world. And we’re already lucky enough to taste the sweet result of it through many applications and products.

However, today’s post is a basic AR UI 101, where we’ll be talking about its definition, purpose and a few tactics to start implementing UX with AR technology.

Without wasting further time, let’s get started-

What Is Augmented Reality UI Design?

Augmented Reality or AR is a set of computer-generated information that can be displayed in wearable devices and mobile devices over products/items/places in the real world.

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I know it’s complex to understand. Let us break it down with a few examples-

What AR does is, it concludes the user’s perspective of the real world items/products/places and coats it with a digital film.

The digital film contains information and data about the elements of the screen. And these data are helpful to take buying decisions, to sharpen up the outlook over the elements and to interact in a smarter way.

3 Examples of Augmented Reality UI Design

By the end of 2018, we’ve got to see designers getting overwhelmed by the possibility of AR UI design. On that consequence, there are a few successful examples as well.

Take Pokemon Go, Snapchat and Tada Time App as an example-

AR UI In Pokemon Go

We’re sure what you’ve heard and probably got to play the massively popular Pokemon Go. It uses a camera of the phone and places an image of Pokemon within the surrounding of the user.

Afterward, the GPS, Accelerometer and the Compass about which direction the phone is pointing towards. Eventually, users engage in a mission to find the right place and the right pokemon.

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Image source: shutterstock

AR UI in Snapchat

The use of AR UI in Snapchat can be best described through the real-time filters that it providers. The social media Tycoon had done a revolutionary job when it comes to real-time face filters right on the smartphone of the users.

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Image source:

AR UI in Tada Time App

Augray Pvt. Ltd. designed Tada Time app and it’s a perfect example of augmented reality UI. It lets you create your own AR avatar that is able to look and talk exactly like you.

Besides, it can also let you create real-time animations based on the user’s interactions with the app. Also, it can let you communicate through its messenger all around the world.

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Image source:

Some more examples of AR-driven UI design are-

  • 01, Sony Interactive Tabletop.
  • 02,Laforge AR Glasses.
  • 03,BMW’s New Futuristic car.
  • 04,IKEA Augmented Reality App.

Why AR UI Design Is Important?

If you talk about the future of UX and UI design, AR-driven UX/UI will definitely take a major part. Hence, there is no chance that we deny the importance of these newborn technologies.

Here are a few key points of why we think about its importance-

  • 01, AR technologies will get you the most real-time user’s feedback on what they are doing with the app.
  • 02,It will redefine brand UX along with its close sibling VR(Virtual Reality).
  • 03,Understanding designs will be easy, better and more accurate with the help of AR-driven features.
  • 04,It will help end users to get the most out of anything they spend time and money after.

How to Design Augmented Reality UI: 4 Steps

At this section of the article, it’s going to be breaking down 7 different approached regarding AR UI that designers are taking at the first place. To add interactions to AR experience, this might give you a hand to transit through this evolution-

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Image source: Shutterstock
Step 1:

Study the User’s Behaviour

Users and their behaviors are the #1 factors to take in considerations while you are designing for AR. You need to sort the users based on user’s behaviors like time spent, age-group, expectations, terms of use, etc.

A proper analysis of user’s behavior gives you the idea about what exact features users are looking for in an app. And you can also take certain decisions of which kind of people are looking at what kind of AR features.

Example: ‘Messaging and Chatbot apps are more popular among people of 18-28’.

Step 2:

Develop The Concept

No matter you’re dealing with an app or a wearable device UI, your clients won’t come up with the UI idea all the time. Based on the user’s behavior, the troubles that they are facing, and the trendy AR-driven UI practices, you’ve to build the ideal itself.

Take social media platforms as an example. Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. had tons of mobile users. So, when they through about implying AR in them, they did it for the mobile users in the first place. To keep the user’s engaging. Snapchat had brought up mobile camera filters, Facebook had brought up GPS-based find-a-friend feature and so on.

Based on the user’s database, there are lots of ideas to ponder upon.

Step 3:

Develop The Features and Functionalities

As you’ve figured out the ideology, now it’s time to decide the features and functionalities. Also, combining the interactions of the functionalities themselves takes a major role to play.

There are tons of AR-driven UI features in communication, gameplay, shopping, location tracking and whatnot. As for example, a ride-sharing app would go for AR-driven research to determine the most preferable locations that users are likely to visit.

On a side note, your clients will always love to draw examples from popular AR-driven apps like Snapchat, Uber, Amazon, Tinder, etc. But your impression depends on what unique and advanced feature you can provide them with.

Step 4:

Finalize the Prototype Design

Once you’re done with the three aforementioned steps, it’s time to go for the prototyping. Before starting that, make sure you’re transparent about the idea, essence of clients and the utilization.

Now, the design can be anything between a simplistic one to a multi-complex one. Talking about the simplistic design, we can recall the IKEA app, where users get to opt the furniture right into their living rooms. And an example of complicated AR UI design, you can look over AR VR apps that include both VR gears and AR.

Bottom Line

Technology is supposed to make our lives dynamic and way more advanced. To sort out our real-time problems, to save our hard-earned money and to make the best decisions about the facts of our life, AR-driven technologies are the next big thing. And the front door of such technology is the User Interface design.

Hope you’re also on the same page as we are, and motivated enough to evolve yourself with the technology.

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