My Tutor set me a new brief to design an app that could be used to help other students which had to include either a Virtual Reality or an Augmented Reality feature. I decided to work with Augmented Reality (AR), and to create a social media app to help students feel more comfortable moving to a new city. I was praised by my Tutor and fellow students about this idea which included sharing notes about living in your local area. My Tutor asked me to develop this further, using the solid feedback I received from the students. “This is a really fun new interaction that a lot of students moving to a new city would find extremely useful!”
Problem: How can I combine an AR feature with a social media platform so that students will find it exciting? And how will it compare to the already popular tech giants of today like Facebook, Instagram & SnapChat?
Solution: I designed a new information sharing app based in the users local area. Using Augmented Reality, students who move to a new city will be able to find exciting places to visit, or perhaps read about the history of the city, viewing digital notes scattered around the area. These notes can be anything from a review of a restaurant, information about the importance of a location, or asking other users to come to an event that's happening in the city there and then.
The first screen you load is the map of your current location. The user will see different note icons placed around the map. Users will naturally look down at their phones but by raising the phone up, the user is looking through a window into AR mode where they will be able to see the digital notes placed by other students. The user can then expand the note to view more details and check out what others are saying in the comments below.
This to me felt like a real-time social media experience. The overwhelming feedback from everyone was very positive and I felt I was really onto something here. The AR feature was most popular, although some people found it slightly confusing to use. Therefore, I revisited the design process and sketched out a new way for users to easily access the AR mode and view/create notes really simply. This is my favourite idea for an app and hope to continue developing it and releasing it onto the App Store in the future.