Keywords: HoloLens 2 - MRTK - Hand gesture - Voice command - Optimization - Visualization - Interaction - Prototype - Shader- Unity - Interviews - Research - Design process - Problem solving - Branding - Wire Frames
Do you have a hard time measuring your frames and marking the distance between them on your wall before hanging them? Do you always have your frames not leveled even though you tried so hard? These are only some problems the Command AR prototype can help you with. 3M Command strip can attach your frames to walls, but the planning before hanging the frame can be better to improve the whole hanging frame experience. Command AR was the second HoloLens 2 app, along with the Post-it prototype app, that we worked on in the summer of 2021. I helped the team in the research, design, and prototyping process.
Command AR prototype 2021
We did our research in three main areas. First, understanding the hanging frame journey. Second, getting to know the product branding and, finally, looking for the most suitable interaction in the HoloLens. The primary goal of creating the first step was to create a product journey map to find the needs and events from when a customer initiated their thoughts for hanging a frame to after they hang their frames on a wall. This would help us to map out and connect the dots between the events and customers' needs in a bigger system. Here is how we gathered our data for the first step:
- Understanding the previous research from 3M.
- Reading Amazon's reviews for the 3M Command strip.
- User observation.
- And conducting interviews.
By gathering the data from above and analyzing it, we identified the customers' real needs that could shape the main features of our prototype. Here are some of the insights:
. It's hard to come up with a design for the frames on the wall.
. Measuring the space between the frames takes time.
. Command strip can fail after a while if not used properly.
. It's hard to level the frames.
Example of frame layouts
. Sometimes people measure a frame's size.
. Visualizing the final layout on the wall before installation helps with decision-making.
. Comparing different layouts would be nice before hanging on walls.
. Sharing the final work is satisfying.
Example of frames not being aligned or leveled.
We defined features that could address the needs based on our findings. Here are some of them:
- Automatic layout design.
- A/B design switching.
- A grid system with a snapping option to keep the right space between frames.
- A guideline to prevent misuse of the strip.
- A hand tape to measure existing frames.
Initial flow and concept
Although this was a prototype, we still wanted it to feel right. We wanted our design to match the Command Strip branding language. We looked at Command's fonts, colors, feelings, vibe, advertising, and its common customers to borrow their elements to design the features.
Showcasing how Command's color palate affected our button and menu color choice.
Making natural interactions in AR is a challenging task. I wrote an article about how our attention system can affect interaction design in an XR experience to be more natural and intuitive. While MRTK has many interaction examples, we tried to make new once that match our experience best when necessary. Here are some of my favorites:
The Gains and challenges
This project is an excellent example of using wearable AR to make performing a task easier, faster, more efficient, and enjoyable. The freedom of holding physical tools like measurement tapes or pencils, or not having the pain of laying the frames on the floor and making different layouts to see which one is best, is satisfying. There were many different research, design, and development challenges that we had to overcome. For instance, interviewing or user testing during the pandemic. Decision-making on the right gestures, visuals, and flow. Optimization, shaders, and communication were just some of our challenges. Overall, I enjoyed working on this project with a great team, and I'm happy with its outcome. We filled patents for this project, and it was showcased at the DIY Summit in 2022.
DIY Summit 2022