August 2013 - Interactive Print and the User Experience

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As augmented reality (AR) and interactive print continue to grow, it is becoming clear that many more people now understand that a whole new world is emerging. We now have designers and engineers specifically working on AR projects, and with that comes an increasing amount of theory and best practices for AR user experience.

I recently saw an article in UX Magazine called Augmented Reality and a Better User Experience and noticed how it related to interactive print in some places. In the article, authors Olli Siebelt and Michael Marina provide some starting guidelines for thinking about user experience when developing augmented reality experiences.

Consider Context
They mention first to categorize and plan your project based on the intended use case, and the same can be said for developing an interactive print campaign with Layar.

It is important to consider differences in context when enhancing a magazine page versus and billboard ad or product packaging. The experience needs to feel natural to users, and what feels natural will vary among these different scenarios.

Real World Testing
Another tip — to go out and test in the real world before creating your project — can also be translated to interactive print campaigns.

The bright orange mystery crate displayed in Antwerp’s central station was a very unique use of interactive print for users. Instead of holding a magazine in their hand, they were standing amidst a busy train station with varying lighting throughout the day. The results were terrific!

Design for Mobile
And, finally, having an eye for design for the small screen is one of the big points made in the UX Magazine article. This also applies to interactive print. It’s very important that visual assets are easy to view and read on a mobile device, and that any web-based content linked to from your print is mobile-friendly.

This article was reprinted with permission by author Chris Cameron, who works at Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Layar.