Brand defining design patterns for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality
In 2017, a leading German automobile manufacturer approached us with the task of developing a uniform, brand-specific user experience for all future virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality and documenting it in a pattern library. The company itself speaks of "New Realities", while others now speak of "Extended Reality". Augmented Reality is one of the trending topics in 2018 and even if customer naming is not possible here for internal company reasons, the company is leading the way in this area as the first to explicitly develop cross-brand design patterns for these new digital media.
Agile design process
In our strategic design process, we initially incorporated requirements from brands, business and user perspectives, defined the personality of the brand and derived brand filters for the new realities from these. The first VR patterns were then developed in a design direction and incorporated into a VR prototype for a dealer application. Subsequently, all central design patterns for VR and AR were developed and documented in a pattern library and prepared for further use. The AR patterns are already used in an AR-Mobile app.
Cost savings and consistent brand experience
For the first time, design patterns for VR/AR were developed from the brand and for all brand applications. The cooperation with the customer was close and productive. The result: a Pattern Library for Extended Realities, which is now agilely developed and regularly optimized and which not only guarantees a uniform UX in all XR applications, but also sustainably reduces the costs for the development of new applications.
The rethinking was exciting and instructive for our 2D-tested digital brand designers, since completely different laws apply especially in virtual reality. Designing the holistic experience of a virtual world holds special challenges, because every parameter has to be defined (from the brand perspective). Aspects such as spatial dimensions, architecture, movement, light and sound and the physical behaviour of objects have to be considered.
The prototyping of VR and AR applications is of particular importance. A design pattern that is documented and made available for repeated use must first be tested. We used cardboard-based prototyping for VR, but also created animated sequences and design patterns as well as videos.