5 ways augmented reality can improve mobile user experience

Eva Triantafillopoulou

Improving the user experience (UX) is one of the most effective ways of increasing app engagement, conversions, and customer retention. The important question, however, is HOW?

How do successful mobile developers improve an app’s user experience?

Simply put, they focus on enhancing the app’s functionality, usability, meaningfulness, efficiency, design, and other elements that typically characterize a good UX.

To improve these UX elements, mobile developers usually have to work separately on several fronts. However, there is a medium that is getting a lot of attention lately as it ticks practically all the boxes when the subject is user experience enhancement. Augmented reality technology requires no equipment beyond a smart-device, allows users to utilize their phones to scan images, objects, and their surroundings to reveal hidden digital content.

When working with AR, developers can create an immersive, innovative, contextualized, practical, and meaningful experience for the user. Continue reading to further explore the benefits and practical applications of AR in UX.

5 Ways Augmented Reality Can Improve The Mobile User Experience

  • AR innovatively displays multiple sources of information

Augmented can unite various forms of information and present it in a practical and easy to digest manner. But, to make such an attribute work towards adding value to the user experience, said information must be useful and contextualized. To better visualize this example, let’s talk tourism.

Imagine an app that allows users to scan new surroundings and immediately see relevant digital information seamlessly superimposed over the physical world. Think navigation instructions, cultural text prompts, opening times, business ratings, public transportation schedules, and more; – or less for that matter, depending on the user’s preference in settings.

  • AR allows users to experience immersive engagement

In this fast-paced digital era, it is challenging to truly capture one’s attention. And, with the average attention span decreasing, it probably won’t be getting any easier to do so anytime soon. For that reason, mobile developers have been seeking innovation and getting positive results with augmented reality. Due to its naturally immersive nature, users tend to retain focus and dig deeper into the task at hand when submitted to an AR experience.

Whether the AR app is designed for a student learning a new language, a child playing with a toy, or a chef searching for the ideal ingredients to cook, AR allows users to get effortlessly involved and feel more connected to the product and the whole experience.

  • AR eases communication and collaboration

Gone are the days in which physical presence was an absolute necessity to enable rich, instant visual communication. Yes, we have come a long way since the time of smoke signaling, and luckily, nowadays people all over the world can benefit from advanced video-conference capability over long distances. But things are still changing for the better. Be it business, day to day sharing, or precise remote assistance, augmented reality is taking communication and collaboration to a whole new level.

With augmented reality, users can now communicate with an extra ability to manipulate augmented content and add annotations (draw, highlight, place arrows, share text bubbles, etc.) on the screen that appear and will remain in place on top of real-world objects during live video stream – directly in the user’s field of view. This AR-enabled feature adds a great deal of ease, security, practicality, and efficiency to the user communication experience as a whole.

  • AR makes experiences entertaining

Entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes, but to stand out as a real crowd-pleaser, mobile developers have to give an extra edge to their applications. Pokémon Go and Snapchat are unarguably a big worldwide hit in this sense. However, there is much more being explored in the AR entertainment realm.

A great example is what a London-based Michelin-starred restaurant and bar have created to delight their customers: cocktails that come to life with AR. Customers scan their drink to view an AR series entitled “art through the ages” that ranges from Michelangelo to Banksy, projected seamlessly around their glass. Fun, easy to share, and a great conversation starter.

  • AR improves shopping experiences

Online shopping has become a standard activity for many. But, there are some situations in which nothing beats looking at the actual product itself in its intended setting – nothing except for AR that is. Thanks to augmented reality, users can now experience a product, digitally and proportionately placed in their physical surroundings. This AR capability helps users make the correct choice when planning a buy, saving time, effort and money. This valued user experience can be better understood with a space planning and design showcase.

The Roomle 3-D furniture catalog allows users to utilize AR to visualize any brand product using a smart-device camera. After selecting a piece, users can position and configure the product according to personal preference for a realistic augmented reality view – a great feature for customers and professional sales staff alike.

Due to its versatility and innovative traits, augmented reality is changing user engagement and social interaction by providing practical functionality, entertainment, valuable content, and a welcomed breath of fresh air in a variety of sectors.

Retail, marketing, gaming, decor, industry, logistics, education, and many other sectors are finding, in augmented reality, new ways to connect with and please their audience while getting their message across, achieving their goals, solving problems, and improving the overall user experience.

Want to learn more about AR and its potential? Check out our series AR 101 to learn about the technology, development platforms, and most common use cases.

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