Tag Archives: Aesthetic

How to Leverage AR to Boost Sales and Enhance the Retail Experience

The global market for VR and AR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025 according to research conducted by Goldman Sachs. Even after years of growing popularity, effectively employed Augmented Reality experiences feel to the end-user about as explicitly futuristic as any experience created by popular technology.

We have covered the many applications for AR as an indoor positioning mechanism on the Mystic MediaTM blog, but when it comes to retail, applications for AR are providing real revenue boosts and increased conversion rates.

Augmented Reality (AR) History

Ivan Sutherland 1

While working as an associate professor at Harvard University, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, aka the “Father of Computer Graphics”, created an AR head-mounted display system which constituted the first AR technology in 1968. In the proceeding decades, AR visual displays gained traction in universities, companies, and national agencies as a way to superimpose vital information on physical environments, showing great promise for applications for aviation, military, and industrial purposes.

Fast forward to 2016, the sensational launch of Pokemon GO changed the game for AR. Within one month, Pokemon GO reached 45 million users, showing there is mainstream demand for original and compelling AR experiences.

Cross-Promotions

Several big brands took advantage of Pokemon GO’s success through cross-promotions. McDonald’s paid for Niantic to turn 3,000 Japan locations into gyms and PokeStops, a partnership that has recently endedStarbucks took advantage of Pokemon GO’s success as well by enabling certain locations to function as PokeStops and gyms, and offering a special Pokemon GO Frappucino.

One of the ways retailers can enter into the AR game without investing heavily in technology is to cross-promote with an existing application.

In 2018, Walmart launched a partnership with Jurassic World’s AR game: Jurassic World Alive. The game is similar to Pokemon GO, using a newly accessible Google Maps API to let players search for virtual dinosaurs and items on a map, as well as battle other players. Players can enter select Walmart locations to access exclusive items.

Digital-Physical Hybrid Experiences

The visual augmentation produced by AR transforms physical spaces by leveraging the power of computer-generated graphics, an aesthetic punch-up proven to increase foot traffic. While some retailers are capitalizing on these hybrid experiences through cross-promotions, others are creating their own hybrid experiential marketing events.

Foot Locker developed an AR app that used geolocation to create a scavenger hunt in Los Angeles, leading customers to the location where they could purchase a pair of LeBron 16 King Court Purple shoes. Within two hours of launching the app, the shoes sold out.

AR also has proven potential to help stores create hybrid experiences through indoor navigation. Users can access an augmented view of the store through their phones, which makes in-store navigation easy. Users scan visual markers, recognized by Apple’s ARKitGoogle’s ARCore, and other AR SDKs, to establish their position, and AR indoor navigation applications can offer specific directions to their desired product.

Help Consumers Make Informed Choices

Ikea Place Screenshots

AR is commonly employed to enrich consumers’ understanding of potential purchases and prompt them to buy. For example, the “IKEA Place” app allows shoppers to see IKEA products in a superimposed graphics environment. IKEA boasts the app gives shoppers 98% accuracy in buying decisions.

Converse employs a similar application, the “Converse Sampler App”, which enables users to view what a shoe will look like on their feet through their device’s camera. The application increases customer confidence, helping them make the decision to purchase.

Treasury Wines Estates enhances the consumer experience with “Living Wine Labels”: AR labels that bring the history of the vineyard to life and provide users with supplementary information, including the history of the vineyard the wine came from and tasting notes.

Conclusion

AR enables striking visuals that captivate customers. As a burgeoning tool, AR enables companies to get creative and build innovative experiences that capture their customers’ imagination. Retailers who leverage AR will seize an advantage both in the short term and in the long term as the technology continues to grow and evolve.

Facebook Champions Material Design: Why You Should Too

In the past year, material design has been rising in prominence as both an app and a web design aesthetic. As we’ve detailed in our past article How Material Design Redefined Android App Aesthetics, Material Design has the potential to catch on in a major way.  In this post, we take a look at the bright future ahead for the platform.

Facebook recently began testing a Material Design overhaul of their Android app. Additions include a floating action button commonly found on Lollipop apps. The design on the whole has a more cohesive digital world adhering to Material Design principals.

“Not only does the app look better, but it’s also going to make the app easier to use for Lollipop users who are now becoming accustomed to that floating action button.” Writes Killian Bell of Techno Buffalo.

Check out this picture of the Beta app (via Techno Buffalo)

Material Design Facebook

If Facebook’s Material Design app looks slick. If it proves to be functionally efficient, it’s reasonable to assume they could utilize some of the same design techniques to update their iOS app.

Facebook’s Android app redesign is reminiscent of the Gmail Inbox app. Considered one of the premier Material Design apps on the market, Inbox was developed by Google and provides a perfect showcase for Material Design aesthetics. Depth plays a major role in all the gestures. When the user swipes an email to mark it done, it reveals a green checkmark underneath the top layer as the email disappears off screen.

Check out his awesome promo video by Google which explains how Inbox works:

Inbox was created to manage mass volumes of emails. Larry Dignan over at ZDNet reviewed Inbox by forwarding his 700 or so work emails per day to the app to see how it handled organizing bulk emails. Inbox passed the test, allowing the user to create bundles of emails in order to better organize incoming messages.

With futurists predicting the downfall of email, the question becomes: Could the same Material Design techniques which the Inbox app uses to organize bulk emails and save screen space be applied to an encompassing Facebook social feed which replaces email?

The main problem inhibiting Material Design from catching on in a major way for the Android platform is device fragmentation. As of March, only 3.3% of Android devices are running the latest OS: Lollipop. 40% of Android devices are running KitKat and 20% are still using Jelly Bean.

Despite the obstacle of device fragmentation, as the next Android OS is released, Lollipop and Material Design are sure to become more and more prevalent. What makes Material Design so crucial is its role in connecting the Android device ecosystem. With more and more devices coming into the fray, Apple has been doing their part to push for Device Continuity, allowing for seamless transition between devices. Android may have to battle to overcome device fragmentation, but as Material Design gains momentum, their hardware and software will at least have aesthetic continuity.

The future of Material Design extends beyond the smartphone and the tablet. With the wearable revolution impending upon Apple Watch’s April 24th release date, it’s reasonable to assume Material Design will find outlets beyond traditional mobile devices as Android increases it’s wearable repertoire. If Google Glass had lasted, no doubt it would have utilized Material Design in its updates. Regardless, Android has several products in the pipeline that are sure to boast Material Design, including Android TV and Android Auto.

For now, Material Design is an Android-exclusive technique still vying for mainstream adoption. However, Facebook’s adoption of the design technique for their upcoming Android app is a good sign. As we look to a device-interconnected world, it seems inevitable the principles of Material Design will continue to evolve and shape the future of Android design aesthetics, and potentially expand to influence web and iOS aesthetics as well.

At Mystic Media, we’re constantly engaged in various app design projects. Our expertise reaches across all facets of the industry, be it iOS designAndroid designweb designstrategic marketing and more. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

Game Up: Employ Top Gaming App Design Trends for a Killer End User Experience

Mobile gaming is one of the most widely utilized functions of a smartphone. Studies show the average user spends 7.8 hours in the average month on mobile gaming. iPhone owners account for 14.7 hours per month, while Andro