Ever been to the Sistine Chapel?
While Michelangelo's iconic masterwork is BREATHTAKING, the experience of viewing it on-site is pretty strange. Imagine the most holy chapel crammed with knots of tourists, tour guides simultaneously speaking in half a dozen languages. And everyone's eyes up, heads craned way back. People are walking blindly, bumping into each other like pin balls. It makes one very dizzy--
I start with this image for a good reason: When designing Augmented Reality experiences, stay away from the Sistine Chapel effect.
In fact, here are 5 best practices we use at PRSONAS to take our award-winning, interactive characters into AR.
1) Consider the View: Unlike the Sistine Chapel, your canvas is small--a phone or tablet. So KEEP IT SIMPLE when working in Augmented Reality. Don't overwhelm your audience by adding clutter. Make sure you use the entire screen for viewing.
2) Make it Convincing: Make your illusions more lifelike by adding a wealth of realistic details. 3-D, visual textures, and sound effects. Dig deeply into your design toolbox with the goal of making the illusion believable and fun.
3) Consider Comfort: Design for viewing in short bursts. Build in regular breaks and off-screen time so your audience doesn't develop text neck (the opposite of Sistine Chapel neck). Both can be painful and discouraging.
4) Go Slow on the Mo: Which means if you're using motion in your AR, introduce it gradually. Give users a chance to adjust to the AR experience before taking them further: throwing them a football, baseball, basketball, etc.
5) Consider Safety: You don't want viewers bumping into each other, do you? Always consider the environment where they are viewing. Will it be crowded? Low light or bright? Trains or buses? Whatever the environment, troubleshoot it with safety in mind.
Finally make it fun--That's number 6 by the way. A bonus for reading to the end the end of this post. Augmented Reality can add wonderful sparkle to engagements. As we've proved at PRSONAS, it's a great way to enhance and build your brand. Experience our Augmented Reality demo for yourself.