User Interface (UI) and User Experience(UX) design and how Augmented reality has reshaped design principles.

6 min readDec 18, 2020

User’s first impression matters most in the success of any product design. As far as it is concerned, a successful UX and a UI are essential to ensure that this first approach is delivered to the users with the objective of providing ultimate user satisfaction. Though UX and UI work complementing each other at times, there’s more than a fine line between the differences identified in them. Especially when new technologies such as Augmented Reality influence the conventional UI and UX designs; it is not about a simple swipe across the screen anymore. The digital experience has to be far more considerate of the extra dimensions dealing with the immense level of complexity cooperated with the real-world environment.

  • What is User Experience design?

UX design (User Experience Design) is a design concept which is concerned with digital products to improve the inclusive experience of the users throughout their entire journey with the product. In simple terms, user experience manages to provide meaningful and relevant experiences to the user who engages with the product. UX designers have to direct their concern throughout the user’s entire experience from the first to the last encounter of a product, in order to identify and solve related problems that can occur to the user. The designers have to follow through the steps the users take and map their journey. Also, UX designers engage in researching the issues/user pain-points and identify procedures to solve them. Target users and their requirements must be identified during this design stage via all-encompassing user experience research. According to gathered information, a structured illustration must be created at the final stages in order to specify the features the consumers require to navigate through the product easily.

The vital goal of UX designing is to ultimately optimize the convenience, efficiency, effectiveness and to provide a satisfying experience to the user.

  • What is User Interface design?

UI design is concerned with enhancing the interactivity as well as the overall visual presentation of digital applications. The visual outcome and interactive features in an application are designed through this procedure to ensure user fascination is well elevated. All these interactions between the user and the digital device/applications are formed through the visual elements added such as buttons, tabs and screens etc. on your smartphone or other smart devices.

The ultimate objective of UI designing is to strengthen the identity of a brand with the use of visual assets in the interface to ensure that the design is visually appealing and interactive to the user. UI designers also play a part in creating an impact on a product’s comprehensiveness and the accessibility. The UI designers make decisions about colors, contrasts, intensities and other visual elements to improve the overall presentation and the interactivity of a product.

  • Reshaping UX/UI designs to integrate Augmented Reality(AR)

Thanks to Pokemon Go and social media platforms like Snapchat and Facebook, Augmented reality gained the spotlight of digital users during the last 5–6 years. With the emergence of the new technology, digital products began to grab the marvels for the convenience and the usability it delivers.

In general, UX/UI designs for AR based products are associated with few key principles that require emphasizing, especially over traditional UI/UX design strategies.

-Ensuring that AR is the suitable medium to approach the product functionalities.

AR could be used as a medium to ultimately optimize the overall user experience and solve the user issues in a more prominent manner. The required functionalities of the product should be vitally enhanced with the experience the user receives through AR.

-AR design should be in sync with the business objectives and the user expectations.

The designer must ensure that A UX/UI design complements the AR applications and adds direct value to the product which ultimately increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the product.

-Minimizing the effect of hardware limitations.

It is also important to make sure that the AR application is available to devices that are capable of handling specific AR functionalities. Errors shouldn’t occur when users try to use these specific features on devices which don’t support them technically.

-Think outside the frame.

Since, AR integrates the digital world with the real world, it is more important to seamlessly create interactions to ensure that the user has the ability to interact with the real-world environment in the most effective way. That is when traditional UI design concepts face redundancies to provide new AR mediums to embark into UI design. With the implementation of AR, the visual and interactive elements broaden along a wide range. It becomes far more than buttons and screens. Interactions are embedded to real-life activities which open up endless possibilities to keep the user engaged. And it is important to anticipate that users will use these AR applications in a variety of real-world environments.

-Be aware of the the space and directions required for interactions

UX designing for AR applications can add few more additional issues users might encounter especially given the extra dimensions in the real-world environment. Safety instructions should be interpreted to the user clearly and it is one of the most significant parts of the UX design stage when it comes to working with AR. When the product is concerned with AR applications, the UX design has to redirect their focus towards issues with safety measurements, eye anatomy of the user, moving directions and distraction statistics mainly to ensure the safety of the user.

-Testing is key.

It is important to make sure that usability testing is carried out in real-world conditions when an operative prototype is available for the design. This will ensure the interactions are safe and comfortable for the users.

-Use additional features and minimize user inputs through the journey.

Cameras and other external sensors on the device can be used to collect relevant information rather than expecting inputs from the user. The total AR experience shouldn’t be interrupted by anticipating user inputs all the time.

-Providing a clean display.

A wider space of the screen should be reserved to display the physical world and virtual objects rather than cluttering the screen with buttons, tabs and other visual UI elements which can directly disrupt the user experience.

- Audio and easy navigation.

The overall user experience can be enhanced via adding audio effects and instructions to the application rather than providing text based navigation through the product. It is important to make sure that more visual navigation elements are provided through the virtual experience itself rather than using separate text based instructions for navigation.

In a nutshell,

While UX design is concerned about identifying and solving user issues/pain-points; UI design is concerned about creating visually-pleasing and interactive interfaces. The UX design process where UX designer maps the structure of the user journey is usually followed by the UI design procedure where the structure is filled with visual and interactive elements, in the product development journey. In addition, UI and UX design for AR has created many opportunities to generate uniquely engaging platforms to drastically elevate user experience and satisfaction.

On behalf of Team LiveRoom, put together by Kushlani Perera