AR navigation app design
Oct. - Dec. 2019
Team Work (Team of four)
Survey, Interviews, Usability testing, Prototyping
It is difficult for students to find a specific room on campus. They feel confused and sometimes get lost inside the building.
See how frustrated Nick was when he tried to find a certain meeting room in the UTA building →
Locatify is an Augmented Reality(AR)-powered application that built for college students to quickly locate meeting rooms or classrooms they want to find on-campus with the mobile phones on their hands.
PROCESS & METHODS
We all had this experience…
being in a new place and felt that we needed someone to help us find out where to go or what to do next.
Our initial concept came from our personal experiences. As a student at the University of Texas at Austin, we visit new buildings and new places very often, but it’s also common that we couldn’t find the places we’re looking for or we don’t know how to interact with the facilities in the places.
We noticed that there are many signs being placed to inform people. For example, the posters in the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) teaches patrons how to use the check out machine, and where to find printers. However, are the posters the best way to deliver this information? Can we use technology to create a better experience?
So, what if...
What if there are Augmented Reality guidance helping us get familiar with a new place faster?
USER & STAKEHOLDER RESEARCH
In order to dive deeper into our concept, we conducted a competitive analysis to understand the current usage of AR.
AR Creation Platform
Our team reached a consensus to focus on solving the problems on campus and target students as our users.
We brainstormed cases that we can apply AR to help students and created a mind map to visualize our user cases.
We identified several categories of students' AR uses cases and decided to narrow down our topic to “finding places on campus”, since it contains several subcases and there is a bigger room for improvement.
Is “Finding places on campus” really an issue for students?
We designed a survey questionnaire with three sections to understand students':
1. Problems and difficulty levels
2. Preferred type of information
3. Preferred way of getting information
The result of the survey was consistent with our assumption — finding a place, especially a room on campus is difficult for students. It also indicated that building a mobile application with visual instructions is a solution what students expect.
Interviews & Affinity Diagram
We interviewed four students from UT to learn more about their experience in finding places on campus. During the interview, we ask open-ended questions to elicit interviewees’ stories, thoughts, and actions.
After interviews, we organized and analyzed the feedback through affinity mapping.
Based on the insights we got from the affinity diagram, we created a journey map. The map shows that people have many negative experiences when they’re searching to find a room, which aligns with our survey’s results. We identified users’ pain points and our product’s opportunities in the entire journey.
DESIGN & EVALUATION
Since lots of users' negative experiences happen while searching to find the room, we ideate solutions to make instructions clear and to help people find direction efficiently.
Using virtual guidance (like a 3D avatar) to lead users to the place they want to go.
Interesting and fun.
Users need to read through the instructions.
Using arrows on the ground to show the path to the destination.
Users may be used to this way because navigation apps like Google Maps use lines and arrows.
Solution 3 (selected)
Using highlighted boxes as a visual cue to lead the user to the destination.
Users don't need to hold their phones during all the navigation.
Users can choose the path they prefer.
Initial flow chart
Usability Testing & Iteration 1
For the lo-fi prototype, we conducted in-person usability tests with five users and found out several usability issues.
Starting the app
On the first page, users can select if they want to talk to the system or use text input.
Instructions are shown in the text bar. Users can turn off voice instruction with the icon on the bottom left.
When the user’s phone is not toward a target, a blue arrow notifies the user to change the direction.
If the highlighted target is a door, the text box reminds the user to try the Reroute option from the menu.
A big icon in front of the destination.
Usability Testing & Iteration 2
For the mid-fi prototype, we also conducted in-person usability tests with five users and found out several usability issues.
You can use text or voice command to let Locatify know your destination.
Simply follow and pass the highlighted areas to your destination.
Locatify navigates you with the shortest route, but also provides Reroute function.
Blue arrows guiding you in the right direction.
The big destination icon and your phone vibration showing “ You are at your destination”!
We decided to separate the AR creation feature from the original application. Thus we made a mockup screen for this AR creation app. This app is built for tablets to maximize the experience in creating content using AR technology.
We built the prototype with Dark Mode to make the instructions easier to see. The Light mode could be switched under setting but more screens need to build and test.