Your 3-Step Guide For An AR App Breakthough
Here’s a look at three ways businesses can take their augmented reality apps to the next level.
by CMO.com Team
Posted on 12-14-2017
Augmented reality proponents have a lot to be excited about:
- The number of AR users in the United States is expected to grow from 30 million in 2016 to 40 million by the time the dust settles on 2017, according to eMarketer.
- Major platforms such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have unveiled tools to empower developers to build AR products. According to Apple’s Tim Cook, there were more than 1,000 AR apps in the App Store as of early November after Apple’s iOS 11 rollout gave newer-generation Apple devices access to AR apps developed with ARKit.
- Businesses have made major breakthroughs applying AR, such as IKEA’s Place app, which makes it possible for consumers to use their phones to envision how IKEA products look in their homes before making a purchase.
Still, consumer reviews of the most popular AR apps suggests that even the more popular ones are works in progress. How can businesses take their apps to the next level? Here are three ways.
Support Sustainable Growth
Businesses can create AR products that deliver real value to customers by focusing only on product ideas that support sustainable growth of the business. Only products that can be tied to the company’s strategic goals are worth creating. Tying a product to business outcomes forces the business to rule out AR for the sake of experimenting with AR.
For example, IKEA rolled out IKEA Place because the app supports a business need, which is making the purchase process easier and cutting down on the rate of product returns.
Meet Customers’ Needs
Going hand in hand with supporting business strategy is staying focused on meeting a customer need. AR will take hold when more businesses use it to help people perform tasks more effectively.
For example, Sephora offers augmented reality experiences through its mobile app that allow customers to test how products like makeup and lipstick look by scanning their faces and overlaying the products. The app offers tutorials on a variety of topics like how to achieve the ideal smoky eye and contour highlighting.
The Sephora app is lovable because it meets a customer need: experimenting with cosmetics before making a purchase. According to NDP Group, it’s not uncommon for female consumers to wear five or more makeup products a day, and younger consumers especially like to experiment with them before they buy.
Creators of apps such as those by IKEA and Sephora stay focused on meeting customer needs by asking a multitude of questions to ensure lovable outcomes. For example:
- What user problem are we solving or what need are we meeting?
- What kind of physical space requirements are we working with? What is the user’s environment like?
- How does AR solve that problem or meet that need more effectively than a 2D product could?
The core element underpinning these questions is empathy. Your development team that explores, designs, and delivers the app must possess strong customer empathy to create lovable products. Without empathy, it’s impossible to design a product that people will use over and over.
Employ A Test-And-Learn Approach
But customer empathy is just the start. Businesses need the right process to test potential ways to create lovable products with AR. Businesses also need an efficient test-and-learn approach to experiment with the design of breakthrough lovable products while minimizing risk and cost.
Many companies use techniques such as design thinking to rapidly develop prototypes for products—an approach that applies to AR products and apps. My company Moonshot combines the techniques of design thinking and lean innovation to create minimum lovable products for customers and then scales those products for commercial application.
Through design thinking, businesses identify the right problem to solve through empathetic research, create and consider many possible product options, refine selected directions, create realistic prototypes, and validate them with users. They employ tools such as customer personas and journey maps along the way. For instance, you might ask, “What kind of consumer problem am I trying to solve, and how do I think an AR app duct would solve it?” Then you can test possible solutions from there.
On the other hand, lean innovation is about developing an actual minimum lovable AR product based on the prototype you created during design thinking; and then creating a real product for commercial application.
With lean innovation, cross-functional teams collaborate on holistic product design in an iterative, agile fashion. Lean innovation employs a continuous process that requires product managers, experience designers, and engineers to collaborate from inception to completion.
The marriage of design thinking and lean innovation creates an ongoing process for discovery of ideas, creating products, and optimizing their value.
Applying AR to create lovable products is achievable now. Keeping focused on your business strategy and customer needs—and employing the right process—allows you to test AR apps, reject the ones that don’t pass the test, and then take to the market lovable products that people will never abandon.
Topics: Insights & Inspiration, 3D & AR, Experience Cloud, Digital Transformation, Insights Inspiration, Information Technology, Marketing, CMO by Adobe
Products: Experience Manager, Experience Cloud