AR/VR and UX

AR/VR and UX

AR integrates digital components into the real world, adding virtual data and images. This technology overlays virtual objects with real environments, enhancing daily experiences with engaging and intuitive interactions.

VR provides complete immersion into a digital world, offering limitless experiences and extending the scope of reality beyond imagination.

Both are changing UX at a rapid pace. Here's how.

New UX Interactions with AR/VR

First of all, key UX principles of prioritizing the user experience will still apply in virtual spaces. Designers must consider how AR/VR can enhance interactions.

For example, will users verbally control objects or learn new physical interaction methods? Designing for these technological changes will be crucial.

AR and VR interfaces have brought up several innovative methods of interaction to the field of UX:

  1. Hand gestures. In AR and VR settings, hand gestures are a new intuitive way of interaction. The process involves creating designs with distinct visual cues and feedback mechanisms that enable users to manipulate virtual elements or navigate through menus with ease.
  2. Gaze tracking. Gaze tracking enables AR/VR interfaces to detect the direction of the user's gaze and use it to navigate, select, or activate features within the virtual environment. The technique also requires accurate calibration to ensure that the user's intentions are interpreted correctly and unintended actions are avoided.
  3. Voice commands. Voice control is a highly efficient technique for hands-free interaction that proves especially useful in situations where manual operations are not practical. Incorporating voice recognition enables users to interact with the system using natural language commands, making the experience intuitive and easily accessible.

Current Contributions of AR and VR to UX Design

We’ve compiled a short list of the most notable contributions of AR and VR to UX so far:

  1. Enhanced engagement. AR and VR offer immersive experiences beyond what traditional interaction can provide. This creates more engaging interactions with products and services, leading to more meaningful experiences.
  2. Natural and intuitive interactions. As we’ve already mentioned, AR and VR can replicate real-world interactions using a three-dimensional interface design, providing a more natural and intuitive UX. Users can manipulate digital objects as if they were physical objects.
  3. Contextual information delivery. AR excels in overlaying digital data onto the real world, offering contextually relevant information that aids decision-making and enhances understanding.
  4. Simulation for usability testing. Designers now use VR to create virtual prototypes and conduct usability testing in controlled, simulated environments. They can now detect design flaws early and gather user feedback before market launch.
  5. Personalized UX. Utilizing sensors and AI, AR, and VR gather data on user preferences and behaviors to adapt content and interactions.
  6. Advanced data visualization and interaction. VR, in particular, offers powerful ways for users to engage with complex data sets in a fully immersive environment, facilitating better comprehension and manipulation of information.
  7. Accessibility and inclusivity. AR and VR are adaptable to various user needs, making digital content innovatively accessible.

There are several emerging trends in user experience design for augmented and virtual reality.


One of the most notable advancements is the use of gesture-based interactions. Using sensors and cameras, AR and VR enable users to interact with digital objects intuitively through natural hand and body motions rather than traditional input methods. The immersion is improved by creating a seamless connection between the digital and physical worlds.

3D interfaces

Another trend is three-dimensional interfaces, which provide richer, multilayered virtual environments. Depth, layers, and perspective can generate a heightened sense of realism, and 3D models enable simulations of spaces that users can navigate. Content is displayed vibrantly to maximize engagement, while simplicity remains to maintain usability.

Voice and audio UI

Voice and audio interfaces are also growing, thanks to technological advances like natural language processing and speech recognition. Designers now craft interfaces that respond to spoken commands and provide audio cues, making apps accessible even when visual interaction is limited.


Haptic feedback is another trend that enhances realism. Care needs to be taken not to overwhelm users, but haptics can make interactions more intuitive through tactile simulations of actions like button presses or task completions. Considering appropriate feedback creates even more satisfying experiences.

How to Design for AR/VR

AR and VR overlay digital information onto the real world or by creating entirely virtual worlds. High-quality visual design helps achieve this level of realism and fully engage users.

In VR, where the goal is often to replicate real-world experiences, elements such as textures, lighting, and spatial arrangements are needed to shape user perception and interaction with the virtual environment.

Let's check the main design considerations in a bit more detail.

Key Design Considerations in AR/VR

  1. Color usage. A careful selection of colors is important in AR/VR to ensure both visibility and user comfort. While high-contrast colors can effectively direct attention or signify interactivity, overly bright or saturated colors may lead to discomfort or distraction.
  2. Lighting and shadows. Realistic lighting and shadow effects significantly enhance the depth and realism of virtual environments. In AR, lighting should harmonize with the surroundings to sustain immersion.
  3. Depth perception. Designing for depth perception necessitates an understanding of how users perceive spatial relationships in a three-dimensional environment. Elements such as shadows, perspective, and parallax can be used to augment the sense of depth.
  4. Field of view. AR/VR experiences must accommodate the user's natural field of view. Essential information and interactive elements should be positioned within the user's gaze range, minimizing the need for excessive head movement or eye strain.
Key design considerations in AR/VR
Key design considerations in AR/VR

AR/VR and UX: Industries

AR/VR has expanded beyond gaming into other industries to create immersive experiences. Incorporating AR and VR results in highly engaging, personalized experiences through emotional and interactive fusion with user-centered design.

For example, real estate apps now offer virtual tours before property visits, while educational VR provides interactive learning environments. Tools like WebVR promote active learning and collaboration and help improve comprehension of complex topics.

In marketing, VR and AR enhance consumer engagement through immersive product simulations. Brands are able to transcend traditional engagement methods by providing customized and interactive content.

Professional training relies on VR and AR to simulate real-world scenarios for industries like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. Trainees can learn skills through immersive simulations while minimizing errors.

E-commerce has been transformed with VR and AR integration. Customers can virtually interact with products to better inform purchase decisions. VR and AR are also enhancing tourism experiences by allowing visitors to preview destinations in an immersive manner. Predictions indicate substantial market growth as adoption increases across various regional markets.

Traditional interaction methods will transition to more natural ones:

  • Voice commands may control AR/VR environments.
  • Gestures could manipulate virtual objects through hand motions.
  • Brain-computer interfaces could allow thinking to select VR items.

Future interfaces will become emotionally intelligent through AI:

  1. Fitness apps may adjust workouts based on perceptions.
  2. Horror games could dynamically use heart rate for scares.
  3. Medical training could use AR/VR simulations while AI analyzes patient data.
  4. Entertainment may involve attending virtual events anywhere through immersive detail.

Overall, AR/VR will remarkably shape the user experience both now and in the future.