Augmented Reality: Engagement Beyond Usability

July 18, 2014

Augmented reality describes the process of using technology to overlay virtual information onto the real world to ‘augment,’ or add value, to our experience. Augmented reality applications are unique in that because they project virtual information into a user’s physical environment, they effectively blend real and virtual. They are also increasingly mobile and social. These features amplify the level of impact and persuasive power of the user experience — when done right.

All kinds of things go into success. And you might argue that usability is the key. But at the highest level, success depends on more than usability; it depends upon user experience. User experience is more than all those things combined. Of course, you still need to follow best practices for good usability because if people can’t do something they can’t be persuaded by it. But usability is no longer a key differentiator. It’s not enough.

Pamela Rutledge, Media Psychologist, Social Media and Transmedia Storytelling Strategist at the Media Psychology Research Center, gave the following presentation on these topics recently at WorldComp12 EEE.

Presentation overview:
1. Defining engagement
2. The need for a holistic evaluation of user and customer experience to achieve engagement.
3.  The role of the of the brain in achieving psychological engagement and outline the 3-brain model that you can use as a rule of thumb in your design and marketing decisions
4. Mapping brain behavior on to two theories of optimal engagement: Flow and Narrative Transportation.   Flow is optimal engagement for task-based activities.  Using story or narrative is an equally powerful way to achieve optimal engagement in narrative-based products and properties where the goal is experiential rather than task-based.
7. The similarities and differences between Flow and Narrative immersion as goals are critical to designing, developing and evaluating mobile and immersive technologies like AR.
8. Introduces the Positive Engagement Evaluation model