How designing AR experiences can enhance your skills and help you stand out as a UX designer
If you're a UX designer, or looking for your first UX design job, you know how important it is to make yourself stand out from the crowd, especially in this job market. But how can you do that? One unique way to level up your design skills is to explore the world of augmented reality (AR) experiences.
AR experiences can create powerful and immersive user experiences. They can bring people together in exciting ways and take our collective creative imaginations to new heights.
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In this article, we'll be taking a look at how designing these kinds of AR experiences can really enhance your skills as a UX designer and help you stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Introduction to AR & UX Design
UX design is one of the most sought-after tech jobs around today. As demand for UX designers continues to rise, standing out from the pack is a great way to put yourself in the best position for getting hired. One way to do that is through exploring augmented reality (AR) experiences, which are becoming increasingly popular with tech companies as a way to provide an immersive customer experience.
AR is an innovative technology that overlays digital elements onto our physical environment using a device such as a computer or phone. It's becoming more and more used in almost every industry, from gaming and entertainment to retail and healthcare.
As a UX designer, you'll be working on ways to make these AR experiences as intuitive and enjoyable as possible for your users. By designing for AR specifically, you'll be able to bring your skillset up-to-date with the growing demand for such experiences. This can include devising how users move between real and digital worlds via an interface; designing gestures or motion controls; creating clear visual elements; and ensuring a smooth transition from one environment to another.
Benefits of Designing With AR
Designing augmented reality (AR) experiences can be an exciting way to expand your UX design portfolio and show potential employers that you have skills and experience beyond the basics. AR design requires a different set of skills than traditional UX design, so it's important to understand the additional skills you'll need—but also the unique advantages that come with designing for AR.
Here are some of the key benefits of designing with AR:
An immersive experience: AR allows users to interact with digital elements in a physical space, creating a more immersive experience than traditional UX designs.
More engagement: By combining physical elements with digital elements, AR designs enable even more engagement from users, giving them a sense of being “in” the experience.
Enhanced creativity: Not only do designers get to explore and create innovative interactions, but they can also push boundaries when it comes to UI design for AR experiences.
More opportunities for creative projects: Because there are fewer designers experienced in this field, businesses are always looking for people who have the training and expertise necessary to create successful AR experiences.
Designing with AR can help you stand out from other entry-level UX designers by demonstrating your ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions—which is exactly what employers look for when hiring new talent.
What Design Tools to Use for AR
You might be wondering what design tools you need to use in order to create great augmented reality experiences. The good news is that most of the tools used by UX designers are also applicable for AR, so you don't have to learn a whole new set of things.
Let's take a look at three essential design tools you need for AR:
Bezel is the only web-based collaborative 3D design and prototyping platform that enables you to build 3D experiences for any device. Build an interactive scene in Bezel without any code and have it work on desktop, mobile, mobile AR, and VR headsets right out of the box.
We also have a workshop and design challenge coming up with Bezel. Hope to see you here!
Workshop - Make your Portfolio stand out with Mixed Reality Design (Mon May 15, 5 pm PST)
AR Design Challenge (May 15-31), featuring big prizes like the Macbook Pro.
Unity or Unreal Engine
If you want to develop interactive 3D applications or games, then Unity or Unreal Engine are great tools. With these two powerful engines, you can create fully immersive 3D environments with realistic physics and special effects that add an extra layer of engagement for users and make your AR experience stand out from the rest.
Skills You Can Enhance With AR Design Projects
Designing AR experiences can be an amazing skill to learn, and you might be surprised at the range of skills you can enhance.
Creative Problem Solving
Designing an AR experience is fundamentally a creative problem solving exercise. You need to look at the problem from different perspectives and think outside the box. You also need to consider how the user will interact with the experience and how it will affect their perception of it.
Designing AR also requires a great deal of technical knowledge, as there are many different tools and techniques used in creating this type of experience. This forces you to stay on top of new technologies and trends, helping you stay current in the ever-evolving field of UX design.
Ultimately, designing AR experiences requires a strong understanding of UX as well. This is because users need to be able to easily understand how an AR experience works and how to interact with it for maximum impact. You will gain invaluable knowledge about UX design principles that can help you create amazing experiences for any project or platform in the future.
By developing your skills in designing AR experiences, you can set yourself apart from other designers and make yourself more attractive to potential employers. With the right application and attitude, your design projects could take off in exciting ways!
Best Practices for Designing Great AR Experiences
Now that you know how AR experiences can benefit your UX design work, let’s talk about best practices for designing great AR experiences.
One of the most important best practices when it comes to crafting great AR experiences is focusing on the user experience. AR experiences should be designed with the user in mind, and should provide a meaningful, engaging, and valuable experience. Additionally, when designing an AR experience, you should also pay close attention to usability and accessibility. Usability and accessibility are two key factors that will determine whether or not your users will have a good experience with your product.
Another important best practice involves paying attention to interaction design. Interaction design is a crucial element in making sure that users receive feedback about their interaction with the environment. Additionally, interaction design also helps create an engaging user experience by allowing users to interact with objects in their environment in a meaningful way.
Finally, you should also keep in mind performance when designing AR experiences. Performance is key for providing a quality user experience, so it’s important to monitor performance metrics such as loading times, frame rates and latency in order to ensure that users have a smooth, enjoyable experience with your product.
How to Market Your AR Skills and Stand Out as a UX Designer
It's great to know how to design AR experiences, but in order to stand out as a UX designer you need to know how to market those skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can do that!
Define your specialty
Defining yourself as an AR designer can help set you apart from the rest. Consider creating a portfolio specializing in your AR designs, or even sending out targeted letters of introduction outlining your specific skill set to potential employers and colleagues.
Network, aka make friends!
Attending relevant events such as conferences and workshops (such as Make your Portfolio stand out with Mixed Reality Design with Bezel) can be a great way to show off your AR design skills. By networking with other professionals in the field, you'll increase the visibility of your work and make sure more potential employers notice what you have to offer.
Be Active on Social Media
If you want people to notice your work, social media such as LinkedIn is essential. Not only can it help you reach more people, but it also allows prospective employers and clients a chance to see how well-rounded you are as an AR designer. Make sure your content is varied and engaging – this could include case studies of previous designs or a behind-the-scenes look at current projects.
All in all, AR design is a highly rewarding and challenging field of UX design, and it’s sure to give you an edge no matter what role you’re competing for. Whether you’re a UX design student hoping to get your foot in the door or an established professional seeking greater job satisfaction, understanding the basics of AR development is a critical step to becoming a more rounded, capable UX designer. With the right attitude, skillset, and approach, what awaits you on the other side is boundless potential.
🐰 Upcoming Design Buddies Events
May 15, 5 pm PT (UTC-7) Online: Make your Portfolio stand out with Mixed Reality Design
May 17, 3 pm PT: Design an Augmented Reality App for Art Museums: Hands-On UX Workshop with Bitesize UX
May 20, 1 pm PT: AI in Design & Networking (in-person in San Francisco)
Jun 19, 3 pm PT: Complete a Beginner UX Design Project with Bitesize UX
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