AR Greeting Card

a Design Sprint Prototype

Role: Art Direction, Product Design

Context

Augmented Reality use cases on Facebook have mainly been user expression and entertainment through selfie filters.  Using AR for utility and as a creative tool for users to tell their own stories or consume content as a new medium has yet to be realized.

I worked on this design sprint with Product Designers and User Research to validate whether we could build a compelling use case in where people could come together to create collaboratively in a World AR (Back camera).

Design Goals

How might we help users engage with one another to create unique experiences (greeting card)      they can share with their friends that feel personal?

How might we leverage Facebook's platform into the product?

Design Problems

Based off the design goals, one the biggest challenges was finding a way to make it easy for users to build and customize a rich AR experience collaboratively.  The other, was determining the kind of AR experiences that would suit collaboration and benefit by being in AR.

Planar AR Tracking      vs      Target AR Tracking

Design Decisions

The product was designed so that friends on Facebook could build a greeting card together and send it to a friend.  The entry point was straight forward.  Users would begin making their card together in an existing or new group chat and take turns customizing it.  It very important that the card felt unique and also could be easily built quickly.  To simplify the creation, there were templates, options for adding pre-made content and the ability for users to add their own.  

The physical diorama design of the greeting card served as the 3D setting to hold all the various customized user content.  Photos and video messages were integrated into the house and onto characters.  When the recipient opened the card, they were able to explore this unique AR experience.  Tapping on doors, windows, and objects would trigger animations and video/audio messages that encouraged user interaction with the card.  

AR Greeting Card opened up a lot of potential ideas for the different types of visual messages that could be added by users.  Users could literally record videos of themselves dancing on their phones and that could then be transferred onto a dancing character in the experience via body tracking (mo-cap).  

Working Prototype

At the end of the design sprint, we had made a working prototype that gave people / user test research an opportunity to experience what a 3D Greeting Card in AR was like.

Retrospective

AR Greeting Card was a great case study in developing creative applications for AR that have utility and go beyond simple entertainment.  We learned a lot about how challenging it can be to create user customized experiences without an overly complicated interface and design.  It was definitely a challenge to (1) understand just how much personalization is needed to make for a successful experience and (2) design a simple, intuitive UI to help make that possible.