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UXPA2019 Optimal AR UX for Complex Purchases — How immersive technology boosts shopper success for personalized, configured products

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Augmented Reality for eCommerce is everywhere. Major retailers and Shopify have mainstreamed 3D. But so far, nearly all product shoppers do is simply “see this in their room.” For complex, configurable, personalized purchases, this isn’t enough.
This session focuses on effective AR uses that increase user success with planning and decision-making. Think of projects such as a kitchen redesign — design aesthetics, myriad features/options, physical characteristics, and lack of buyer knowledge all stand in the way.

I’ll discuss wide-ranging aspects of AR’s potential and provide a framework for planning product-focused applications. I’ll share lots of examples and insights from recent projects, plus others I’ve found along the way, including UX principles for image-based visualizers and configurators refined over 2 decades. This knowledge with help spur ideas for your own projects.

Going beyond, I’ll align user expectations with present and future capabilities of 3D platforms/engines/hardware, giving you a working knowledge for the next generation of 3D: Mixed- and eXtended-Reality.

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UXPA2019 Optimal AR UX for Complex Purchases — How immersive technology boosts shopper success for personalized, configured products

  1. 1. OptimalARUX forComplex Purchases How immersive augmented reality boosts shopper success for personalized, configured products Note: This session as presented contained many video demonstrations, which may appear in the associated session recording
  2. 2. Hello! 2
  3. 3. Mike Osswald VP, Experience Innovation 3 @mikeosswald @HansonInc hansoninc.com Session Hashtag #UXAR19
  4. 4. Augmented Reality can help people 
 make confident purchase decisions
 for complex products When the experience is designed
 in conjunction with what people really expect, AR has applicability across the full dreaming, planning, selecting, and buying journey 4
  5. 5. Explore and discuss ways Augmented Reality can be used to create more engaging, immersive experiences specifically for complex commerce 1. Quick AR groundwork 2. How people think about complex purchases 3. Foundational UX — and how AR fits in the journey 4. The UX of AR for complex purchases 5. eXtending Reality: what’s coming soon and next 6. Answer questions Here’s the Flow 5
  6. 6. Augmented Reality Groundwork How we got to now 1
  7. 7. The “virtuality” continuum 1. Groundwork 7 Augmented Reality: when the products aren't real and you’re holding your device with one or both hands Virtual Reality: when the whole world isn't real Smartglasses/Headset: 
 you’re wearing the transparent screen in front of your eyes Today’s focus (specifically apps)
  8. 8. Early AR 1. Groundwork 8 The earliest AR from a decade ago used “image recognition” to decide where and how big to show a 3D overlay The system could match a known image and display content over the top —Lego in 2011 (FDS nucklehead, YouTube) —Layar in 2010
  9. 9. Today: ARs most basic capabilities 1. Groundwork 9 World alignment Happens at startup and continuously by tracking interesting points, 
 plus math of where the camera moves Managing a virtual, in-scale map of the space around you
  10. 10. ARs most basic capabilities 1. Groundwork 10 Finding horizontal and vertical surfaces Placing objects: they appear in scale, and stay where they are placed
  11. 11. About faces 1. Groundwork 11 Significant work has been done with face detection long before AR – Example use: autofocus photos It’s CUTE! It’s CREEPY It’s the key reason AR is so widespread
 and great for try-it-on products: 
 glasses and makeup But the thing to know here: this is 
 built-in recognition and tracking of a specific dimensional object in the real world
  12. 12. AR for shopping today 1. Groundwork 12 —Sephora —Wayfair
  13. 13. • AR is deceptively simple, yet very complicated (capable) • AR is continuously evolving — there are 
 gaps in what can be done easily (or custom workarounds); but today’s R&D should quickly become standardized • Major players are focused on enabling cross- platform applications (OpenXR standard) • Some capabilities (and experiences) will 
 require newer and faster hardware • 3D content is a requirement, but the ecosystem is working on that too Quick Tech Notes 13 OpenXR Working Group 1. Groundwork
  14. 14. What people experience with complex products and purchases What we’re trying to solve 2
  15. 15. Somethingsarehardtopurchase 2. Complex products & services
  16. 16. Checklist for a hard purchase: Aestheticsareinvolved Many stylistic/design choices  I might not know what I like I want something that looks a particular way I want something that goes well with other things 
 (that I also might be buying) 2. Complex products & services
  17. 17. Checklist for a hard purchase: Manyphysicalconfigurationoptions What size is this? Will it fit? What size is it when set up this or that way? 2. Complex products & services
  18. 18. Checklist for a hard purchase: Thecostis“significant” Is it worth the money? What about delivery? Installation? And disposal? What if I want to return it? Can I return it? 2. Complex products & services
  19. 19. Checklist for a hard purchase: Haven’tboughtthisrecently(orever) Where do I begin? What am I getting into? Will I like this in 2 years? 2. Complex products & services
  20. 20. high-involvementproducts big-ticketitems complexprojects 2. Complex products & services
  21. 21. Harddecisionscanbe
 physicallyexhausting— whichwecall DecisionFatigue 2. Complex products & services
  22. 22. PeoplelackConfidence
 inmakinga“good”decision
 theywon’tregret (oh,manydecisionsaremadewithothers) 2. Complex products & services
  23. 23. PeoplelackTrustinthesalesperson (becausetheydon’tfeelincontrol) 
 (andbecausesalespeople
 aren’tknownasimpartial) 2. Complex products & services
  24. 24. Aconfusedminddoesn’tbuy TheymightjustAvoidordeferthedecision,
 andspendonsomethingelse 2. Complex products & services
  25. 25. HomeImprovementproducts
 areespeciallytroublesome
  26. 26. HomeImprovementproducts
 areespeciallytroublesome –youlivewiththem,seethem,usethem –somepurchasesseemsmallorsimple –youmightbecrazyaboutdesign,orhavenoideawhatlooksgood –butyoulikelydon’tknowhowtoshopformost –youmightevenstartoutoverconfident 2. Complex products & services
  27. 27. Furniture,largeandsmallappliances,
 doorsandwindows,cabinets,wallpaper, woodflooring,carpeting,rugs,tile,faucets, sinks,toilets,showers/tubs,countertops, storage,homedecorandaccessories… 2. Complex products & services The complex products include…
  28. 28. First time buyers (with low experience) 
 own homes over 20 years old Home improvers have many projects 
 “in the works” – 60% doing some 
 form of continuous planning
 Research with building products tells the story (2 years prior or in the future) Painting Landscaping Kitchen Remodel Bath Remodel Flooring Major Appliances Replacing Doors/Windows Closets/Storage Living Room Redecorating Bedroom Redecorating Outdoor Areas Replace Siding Adding Insulation Reroofing 0% 20% 40% 60% Number of projects completed or planned >2000 1980-2000 1960-1980 1940-1960 <1940 Year home built for first time buyers (across all age groups) 6+ (37%) 2-5 (49%) 1 (14%) Number of projects completed or planned (2 years prior or 
 in the future) 282. Complex products & services Hanson Research, 2018
  29. 29. Othercomplexpurchases
  30. 30. automotive add-onsand accessories boats
 ATVs RVs clothing (outfits)and accessories electronics tools 2. Complex products & services
  31. 31. The UX of complex purchase journeys, visual feedback and composition AR will be relevant when it supports the complete journey 3
  32. 32. Buying
 (and owning) People, products, experiences—making decisions to purchase 32 decide to pursue a project gather information on what to buy identify options and make a list evaluate the short list (prioritize) pick the winner purchase Unlimited/unknown items that might be OK 5-10 1 Stage of decision-making Potential products considered People want to compare (ranking) People want to categorize (decision set) People want to decide Planning specifics 
 detailss Dreaming with similar homes 
 (or body styles) Dreaming with my home 
 (or my body) Selecting and last steps What they’re doing How they’re doing it 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  33. 33. 33 🙂 Inspiration often leads to indecision 😫 • People are inspired with seemingly infinite design images and videos they find online • But they people lack the ability to really see 
 how things would look in their home • Not everyone has a design professional or project manager on their side “I want to enjoy my home more” — 78% 63%use social platforms and video but 66%struggle to picture how
 a product would look in their home 3. UX of complex purchase journeys Hanson Research, 2018
  34. 34. For complex products, Amazon and the majority of retail sites are designed for failure And when people get serious, the process gets hard 34 Comparisons are just 
 side-by-side specs on 3 or 4 products!) Product data is lacking, filtering is 
 spec-based Too many places to buy Too many options People want to compare (ranking) People want to categorize (decision set) 💣 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  35. 35. Complex products 
 need immersive, 
 engaging experiences 35 lots of customization many stylistic/aesthetic choices concerns about installation high cost to purchase low knowledge Dreaming Planning Selecting Purchasing Owning
  36. 36. AR’s future will build on current UX solutions 36 Reducing the decision set • Human-based filtering, not just technical specs • Step-by-step planners, wizards, quizzes • Meaningful comparisons • Recommended “Outfits” and mood boards • Using favorites or a wishlist Visually seeing the solution, specifying the solution • Photorealistic visualization tools • Product configurators / calculators Ways to translate project needs and lifestyle desires into “the perfect purchase” 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  37. 37. Current UX: Human-based filtering 37 A step in the right direction, 
 could provide more meaningful criteria, but this data might not be universally understood (branded features might be unclear) (styles might be arbitrary) 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  38. 38. Current UX: Step-by-step planners / Wizards / Quizzes 38 Filter the catalog by asking people human-based questions they can answer Help define their style and make recommendations Help capture their required 
 anchors (like specific sizes) 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  39. 39. 393. UX of complex purchase journeys Current UX: Step-by-step planners / Wizards / Quizzes Filter the catalog by asking people human-based questions they can answer Help define their style and make recommendations Help capture their required 
 anchors (like specific sizes)
  40. 40. Current UX: Meaningful comparisons 40 (One of these is 
 important for 
 pet owners) 3. UX of complex purchase journeys And a smaller set of recommendations
  41. 41. Current UX: “Outfits” and moodboards 41 Easy ways to visually shop through recommendation
 of coordinated items 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  42. 42. Current UX for visualization: Let’s look at existing experiences 
 for seeing products come to life 42
  43. 43. As projects progress, inspirational and emotional experiences precede practical and rational Visualization/Configuration along the journey 433. UX of complex purchase journeys VisualRealism(aestheticemotional) Level of Specificity (getting a feel, putting together, on to purchase) surfaces/textures photorealcartoon Following the typical purchase Journey SKUs / BOMmaterials estimation… plus dimensioned objects
  44. 44. As projects progress, inspirational and emotional experiences precede practical and rational Visualization/Configuration along the journey 443. UX of complex purchase journeys VisualRealism(aestheticemotional) Level of Specificity (getting a feel, putting together, on to purchase) surfaces/textures photorealcartoon Planning specific 
 details Selecting –  for actual plans and budgets Dreaming with similar homes Following the typical purchase Journey SEEING SCALING SHOPPING Dreaming with my home SKUs / BOMmaterials estimation… plus dimensioned objects
  45. 45. Visualization/Configuration along the journey 45 Different types of tools help these activities goVisualRealism(aestheticemotional) Level of Specificity (getting a feel, putting together, on to purchase) surfaces/textures photorealcartoon Planning specific 
 details Selecting –  for actual plans and budgets Dreaming with similar homes SEEING SCALING SHOPPING Dreaming with my home SKUs / BOMmaterials estimation… plus dimensioned objects photographs photo-real visualizers photo-real visualizers configurators space planners 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  46. 46. Visualization/Configuration along the journey 46 3D and augmented experiences can be used in many ways and support each stage’s activitesVisualRealism(aestheticemotional) Level of Specificity (getting a feel, putting together, on to purchase) surfaces/textures photorealcartoon Planning specific 
 details Selecting –  for actual plans and budgets Dreaming with similar homes SEEING SCALING SHOPPING Dreaming with my home SKUs / BOMmaterials estimation… plus dimensioned objects photographs photo-real visualizers photo-real visualizers configurators space planners 3D/AR 3D/AR 3D/AR 3D/AR AR Today
 (mainly 1 item 
 at a time)
  47. 47. Current UX: Image-based Visualizers 47 • Focus is on realistic design/aesthetics; product SKUs and amounts to purchase may be secondary • Work best for flat “surfaces” because what’s in the photo is physically “fixed” in scale Simplest approach is just like putting a sticker to a “straight on” photo 3. UX of complex purchase journeys Hanson project for Therma-Tru Doors
  48. 48. 48 circa 2000 today Specific products but also suggested combinations 3. UX of complex purchase journeys Current UX: Image-based Visualizers Hanson projects for Owens Corning
  49. 49. and/or using seamless tiled patterns for every surface How visualizers work: But first – photos need to be prepared
 Masking area boundaries, and then indicating the scale and perspective curved shapes are possible, but with desktop software Recoloring parts of product images 493. UX of complex purchase journeys
  50. 50. How visualizers work: 50 Can layer to create product variations Can layer to create whole rooms 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  51. 51. transparency curved surfaces reflections and shiny surfaces custom patterns and layouts randomized installations see what’s inside shadows 51 Image-based visualizers have limits to realism… 3. UX of complex purchase journeys
  52. 52. 52 • When you make choices to put products together or specify measurements • Might have several steps, each informed by the previous • Might have a calculator – and lead to quantity and model number and exact price • Realism is secondary 3. UX of complex purchase journeys —Smith & Noble —Tylko —MYCS Current UX: Configurators
  53. 53. So,tomoveAugmentedRealitytothe nextstage,weneedtointegrateitmore completelyintothepurchasejourney Dreaming Planning Selecting Purchasing Owning Saidanotherway,beginARwhentheuserhassomeideaofwhattheywant
  54. 54. The UX of AR Basics and Beyond 4
  55. 55. Stages 1. Initialization / Surface Detection (setup) 2. Main interface (doing stuff) • Defining areas • Placing/manipulating objects Behind the scenes: the application continuously 
 evaluates the virtual/real world maps Key Concepts: Structure/Flow for AR Application 4. The UX of AR 55 Be aware of interruptions! • ARKit can’t keep track of position when AR is not active • “Relocalization” is a state where the application attempts to reorient to the world • “Persistence” features are ways to save the 3D world map, and try to realign in a future session
  56. 56. Screen interface layers “screen space” – UI layer (panels, text, buttons) that stay aligned to the phone screen “virtual environment” – camera, 3D objects, other UI elements (incl. text) “inside” the virtual world Key Concepts: Structure/Flow for AR Application 4. The UX of AR 56
  57. 57. Design for users Visibility / Affordances Consistency Feedback Non-destructive operations (undo/restart) Human Interface Guidelines Apple ARKit Google ARCore Microsoft (Hololens) Core principles still apply 574. The UX of AR https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/ios/system-capabilities/augmented-reality/ https://designguidelines.withgoogle.com/ar-design/augmented-reality-design-guidelines/introduction.html https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/design
  58. 58. Ethan Allen inHome IKEA Place Pottery Barn 3D Room View Burrow Housecraft Homestory Houzz Graham & Brown Wallpaper Warby Parker Interior Define markilux Awnings Sotheby’s Curate Wayfair Major applications referenced 584. The UX of AR
  59. 59. Examples follow for: Onboarding / Initialization & Surface Detection (Startup) Placing/Manipulating Objects Defining Areas (for Surfaces ~ floors/walls) Connecting with the Catalog Getting product Details/Specs Changing Variations (surface/color/material choices) Changing Physical makeup (size, configuration) Interactions with Product features/functions UX/UI Experiences within the AR flow 59 Theexactsequencewill vary–somefunctionsvary withthedesiredexperience Asanapplication,
 sometasksarenecessary 4. The UX of AR
  60. 60. Onboarding: For now, it’s a good idea for apps to show users what they will encounter At startup, or when first encountering the feature Onboarding / Initialization&Surface Detection 604. The UX of AR
  61. 61. Initialization & Surface Detection Indicates when the phone should move around and then when the surface is found Onboarding / Initialization&Surface Detection 614. The UX of AR
  62. 62. Placing/Manipulating Objects 624. The UX of AR Items enter the virtual environment from a catalog/list screen space Placement / Interaction • (A) Favor direct manipulation over separate onscreen controls • (A) Let people directly interact with virtual objects using standard, familiar gestures • (A) In general, keep interactions simple • Consider when proximity might snap an item to another (or to a drawn floor/wall edge) Feedback • (A) Respond appropriately (quickly) when the user places an object • (A) Create convincing illusions when placing realistic objects – plop down • (A) Use audio and haptic feedback to enhance the immersive experience (throughout) movement on 2 axes at a time 
 (across surface or up/down) rotate on 1 axis single-finger drag two-finger rotation —Primarily Apple AR guidelines
  63. 63. Use Case: Putting things right where you want them button to drop one finger move two to rotate slider to 
 raise/lower Placing/Manipulating Objects 63 movement on 2 axes at a time 
 (across surface or up/down) rotate on 1 axis 4. The UX of AR
  64. 64. For products that are “flat,” like tile or wallpaper, this step confines where on the flat planes the products will go Related: a full planner might have the user draw out a complete room with all walls and more Surfaces: Masking/Defining Boundaries 644. The UX of AR
  65. 65. Users can also be assisted in gathering other info about their space — in this case, measuring the size of a door to automatically filter for a replacement Objects: Measuring Space 654. The UX of AR —Hanson Internal Demo
  66. 66. Best: Begin AR when the user has some idea of what they want – with large catalogs, this is especially true Consider the complexity of the filtering while the user is holding their phone the whole time I recommend helping the user find items first, and try on items from a short list • Most solutions I’ve seen do not work this way, instead letting the user initialize and then use the catalog! Connecting with the catalog 664. The UX of AR
  67. 67. Assuming the user came from a catalog/list, 
 they will know some things about the item But while viewing the item, some data might be helpful – like actual size, or amount of product Providing Information and Details 674. The UX of AR
  68. 68. Use Case: Since AR is actual scale, encourage users to understand 
 size and relationship to other real and virtual products Details… 684. The UX of AR
  69. 69. Use Case: Since AR can be very high quality, encourage users to get up close and evaluate the design from any angle It probably won’t completely 
 replace images*, but AR 
 does not have to look fake Details… 69*But 3D modeling already has in lots of cases4. The UX of AR
  70. 70. Use Case: Since AR can be very high quality, encourage 
 users to get up close and evaluate the design from any angle Details… 704. The UX of AR
  71. 71. Use Case: With detailed models, AR can go beyond scale and aesthetics — users can be encouraged to check out construction details Details… 714. The UX of AR
  72. 72. Variations are presented in screen space in an appropriate way Changing Surfaces/Textures 724. The UX of AR
  73. 73. Variations should be presented in screen space in an appropriate way Changing Surfaces/Textures&Sizes 734. The UX of AR
  74. 74. Variations should be presented in screen space in an appropriate way Changing Size Variations 744. The UX of AR
  75. 75. Some products are custom-sized as well as custom configured. 
 Here user indicates specific measures and other options. Also has some interactions. Changing Physical Makeup (Parametric Objects) 754. The UX of AR —markilux with ViewAR platform
  76. 76. Changing Physical Makeup (Parametric Objects) 764. The UX of AR —markilux with ViewAR platform Some products are custom-sized as well as custom configured. 
 Here user indicates specific measures and other options. Also has some interactions.
  77. 77. Changing Physical Makeup (Parametric Objects) 774. The UX of AR —markilux with ViewAR platform Some products are custom-sized as well as custom configured. 
 Here user indicates specific measures and other options. Also has some interactions.
  78. 78. Changing Physical Makeup (Parametric Objects) 784. The UX of AR —markilux with ViewAR platform Some products are custom-sized as well as custom configured. 
 Here user indicates specific measures and other options. Also has some interactions.
  79. 79. Use Case: Seeing how something is put together – interacting and learning with animations helps people get comfortable with purchase In this demo, it’s just showing a few steps with animations Also great for 
 customer support Interactions 79 —Hanson Mobile Vision (download in app store) 4. The UX of AR https://apple.co/2sz49zl
  80. 80. Amazon anti-patterns teach people AR is “basic” 804. The UX of AR AR accessed at bottom of search (camera) Catalog has no information except picture 
 (top picks by who?) (related how?) Getting details = going to product page 
 (no going back) Tray hides screenshot/camera button ♥ adds to wishlist (but can’t add from list) One item at a time No history
  81. 81. People deserve more out of these experiences! Where are these features? • Help make recommendations, whether one product or recommended combinations • Help people easily compare a smaller set of items in their room to decide which they like better • Use human filters like style, and setting fixed anchors (like size) to limit options • What about swapping a set of products for another –maybe a little less expensive? • What about recommending items that are popular with each other? • Or suggest items that are similar in smart ways Summary thoughts on the UX of AR up to now… 814. The UX of AR
  82. 82. What’s coming next A bunch of really cool features are in the works 5
  83. 83. AsAugmentedRealitycombineswithother
 intelligencetechnologies,youcancallit ~XRforeXtendedReality ~orMRforMixedReality Themainpoint: You’llbeabletomakeevenbetterexperiencesastimegoeson Physical Reality Digital Reality Extended or Mixed Reality
  84. 84. What comes next? 5 – What’s coming next 84 For more realistic experiences • Diminished Reality • Occlusion with real world objects • Collision and Physics with real world objects For more helpful and engaging experiences • Better space recognition and auto-masking • Object and context identification/awareness • Co-creation and shared experiences • Big products and large-scale surfaces, especially outside Expect change! Here are some features that will make AR even more immersive when shopping for complex products Some are coming soon, some are big problems to solve
  85. 85. Where AR giveth, “diminished reality” taketh away. Affects things like rugs, window treatments, furniture, faucets Future: Diminished Reality 855 – What’s coming next
  86. 86. You might know of this as “content aware fill” in Photoshop Future: Diminished Reality 865 – What’s coming next —yokoyalab on YouTube (2013)
  87. 87. AR looks great, until things get in the way The big thing to solve: occluding virtual objects with real world Future: Handling Occlusion 87 AR always sits on top 5 – What’s coming next
  88. 88. AR looks great, until things get in the way Future: Handling Occlusion 885 – What’s coming next
  89. 89. Future: Collision, Physics, Interaction 895 – What’s coming next —Demo from 6D.ai ~ 6D Reality platform
  90. 90. People Occlusion– ARKit3 + latest hardware 905 – What’s coming next
  91. 91. The ability to detect and recognize the 3D pattern of physical objects and align virtual elements Allows us to “see inside” and opens the door to more immersive pre-sale and support experiences Future: Object recognition and alignment 91 —Demo from PTC Vuforia platform https://www.ptc.com/en/products/augmented-reality5 – What’s coming next
  92. 92. With machine learning and intelligent features we can build on object recognition and make preparation easier and add guidance Ideas: Placing objects smarter • Place AR chairs next to a real couch • Setting AR table items at each real seat • Applying AR drapes to real windows Automatically, accurately masking entire floors and walls, cutting out openings Future: Intelligence to help with decisions 925 – What’s coming next —Stanford Computational Vision & Geometry Lab cvgl.stanford.edu/projects/objectnet3d/
  93. 93. Apple, Google, and others are working on persistence — retaining the 3D map at close resolution This can one day allow: • Accurately positioning objects for multiple people with their own devices • The ability to pick up where you 
 left off, or have others peer into your world and make suggestions • Take your project to the store or vice versa — have experts guide and make changes — see in a higher- resolution “holodeck” Future: Co-creation and shared experiences 935 – What’s coming next
  94. 94. Discussion6 @mikeosswald Please connect and follow :)
  95. 95. AR’s future will build on current UX solutions
 for complex purchases Help people get to a smaller decision set, 
 then use AR to help them evaluate • Use for up close details, actual scale, assembly • Recommendations: help people choose what fits their needs • Comparisons: good, better, or however people want to make a choice • Calculations of materials, suites of products • Smart ways to connect with and filter the catalog Think about future features that will make the 
 experience even more immersive and helpful Final Summary, Q&A 6 – Discussion 95 @mikeosswald Session Hashtag #UXAR19
  96. 96. Thank you! 96 @mikeosswald Please connect and follow :) Session Hashtag #UXAR19

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