What has to be done before AR development?
We’re talking a lot about UX, types of content and cases. But what about all the routine surrounding the development process? And how do you start your first project without experience?
There’s A LOT that’s going on before the development. You might even miss some of these steps. But if you want to stay in touch with all the processes, we’ve created a smart guide through all the pre-development stage!
- Problem identification
- Searching for a developer
- Technology choice
- Building a roadmap
- Content creation
- UX/ UI design
This might look a lot, but approached step-by-step process turns into a simple and even entertaining process. Let’s dive into it!
Identifying a problem
You always start from the problem. Be specific on what you want to solve. Immersive experiences are all about interacting with multiple media at the same time (f.e. real world environment + 3D models, or living objects with digital overlay). This opens up numerous opportunities for combining different media into one solution that is good for a very specific task.
While thinking about AR development, imagine different medias as spectrum. Augmented Reality is a media in-between these specters. The problem you want to solve might not be solved by known means – this is where AR fits the best.
One problem – one solution. Think of a problem you couldn’t solve before with known means!
How to find YOUR developer?
Start of checking listings such as clutch.co that contain professional feedback on development services from their clients. Usually, a good website with a blog, cases and interviews is a good business card of a developer. You want a developer who will also ask as many questions as it is possible.
If you’re looking for AR content, here’s the list of a well-balanced team setup:
- Business consultant (to identify business problems and help with ideas for solution)
- Project Manager (to handle and coordinate the development)
- Ui/Ux designer (to create smooth and friendly experience)
- Developer team (from junior to architect positions according)
- Quality assurance (to make sure that you’ll receive the best possible quality of the app)
- 3D artist/ animator (to create 3D models and animate them)
- Content Manager (to fill the solution with all required content)
- Back-end developer (to build a back-end system, configure servers, and create admin panel or CRM, to track the results and structure gathered data)
Also, search for C-level managers personal pages on LinkedIn. It is a good place to understand how they talk.
Remember! Management qualities are as important as technology experience. When talking about your project, be sure to divide responsibilities about non-development stuff (such as design, marketing, PR) with the representatives from their side.
Ideation is a process of generating concepts for a future product. We’ve covered it here.
Turn AR ideation into methodical concept analysis, with homework research, group sessions and repeatable reevaluation. Your first task is to cover the problem, then everything else!
- Decide who’s in the ideation team (up to 6 people)
- Write down the problem
- Brainstorming in any way you want
- Homework – gather references, ideas and inspiration material
- Group pitch – rate ideas and choose 3 best ones
- Repeat from step 2 until the One Big Idea
Remember! Keep ideation healthy by listening to every idea and communicating pros and cons. Don’t judge, but explain!
There are three types of AR Technology – AR App, AR module in other app and WebAR. WebAR is faster in development but simpler, modules and apps are longer in development but can do more stuff.
You will need a proper set of technologies – a base platform that will house your app. If you need a fast solution you may go with an existing SDK, or build an app from the scratch. As for now, it is easier and faster to build an augmented reality app on one of the few developed SDK’s on market. Choose the one that fits your needs most.
Building AR Roadmap
Product Roadmap explains further development in steps. The structure might differ, but you want to see these steps or other interpretations of them:
- Research – technology and SDK
- Design and demo – UX and UI, first working prototype of an a[[
- Development – a process of turning code into product!
- Launch and support – what happens when the app hits the market
This is your last chance to understand all the terminology before everything goes crazy. Even more about the roadmap we have in this video:
So what’s inside? At this point, your content stage is halfway done in ideation! Choosing type of visualization can be on your side, or developer might propose their vision. Overall, these are the types of AR content you can put inside your solution:
- Locations – detailed stores or showrooms on a 1:1 scale
- Products – easily accessible via the store or just placed wherever you want
- Videos and images – as an additional channel or point of interaction for your content
- Creatures and characters – less researched field with huge opportunity for storytelling
- Further gamification and content unlocking
- 360 videos – for tours and translations
- Volumetric videos – very high quality render of a 3D person in motion!
- …basically other 3D content and animations
Any combination of the previous can be fully recreated in AR on your smartphone
Interface and UX
What you want to know about User experience and interfaces is that they should be simple. No visual noise in the form of thousand buttons or effects!
Signs of a good UI:
- Every button has a unique action behind it
- A guide on AR activation is simple and understandable for everyone
- Visual noise is reduced to minimum
- Colour schemes use 3-4 colours that match together
- Brand logo match the actual logo brand is using at the moment
In other words, pre-development is a big design commitment that is called to create an image of a ready product inside everyone’s head. From ideation to roadmap, you and development team finds the best way to create a solution that will organically fit the life of users.
As for AR UX, we’ve got another video that explains how 3D objects appear in a real world and on a smartphone screen:
Remember! You’re the prophet of changes. And your task as a visionary to show people how easy new technologies are to adapt. That’s pre-development is what for.