How TriggerXR designs for Mixed Reality

Case Study: TriggerXR

Designing mixed reality experiences is a great challenge further complicated by the need to adapt UI and UX to the physical world. The design team at TriggerXR embraced a fully spatial design approach using ShapesXR to shorten their early design phase and streamline communication and collaboration to accelerate their time to market.

Faster time to production

Early iterations in ShapesXR allowed us to go into the production phase in 1 week instead of 3.

Improved stakeholder communication

Being able to share design concepts early on lead to better communication within the team and with external clients saving 25% communication time

Better team collaboration

Despite the team being fully remote, ShapesXR allowed everyone to review and experience the design spatially

The challenge

One of the major use cases being explored right now in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  and developed on their Snapdragon Spaces platform, is the near-future application of XR through headsets for HOME COOKING. The goal is to identify how Mixed Reality could enable a more “hands-free” experience, while providing valuable and unique content to the users. A key challenge for the design team has been to create a very dynamic and spatial UI/UX systems which accommodates many different functions for users.

This HMD XR system takes the entire kitchen as canvas and locks UIs to different areas/surfaces, providing users much more expansive view. The tools we’ve relied on time and again in previous projects, such as Figma and Adobe XD, are great at defining 2D layouts and workflows, but the team really needed a way to rapidly prototype in 3D space, together as a collaborative team. Another challenge we faced was hardware availability. As we’re designing experiences for future-facing hardware, everyone needed to get their hands on it, even if they were working remotely. 

“With Shapes XR, our XR team can block out and test many variations of UI and UX in early stages that would be far too expensive or time consuming to try later with a full team of producers, 3D artists, designers and Unity developers involved.” — Jason Yim Founder & CEO, Trigger XR

About the process

The Trigger team developed a new spatial UX design workflow that connects the initial design phase with the production and development phase. The Spatial UX Design started with creating a 3D prototype in ShapesXR for each screen state. This is similar to what would be created in Figma during the wireframing phase, but has the advantage that everything was laid out in the 3D space. This process was done collaboratively bringing additional value to the remote team.

ShapesXR allowed to quickly create several UI design options and test them directly in AR using the Field of View simulation without writing a single line of code. Afterward the design team moved onto an interactive prototyping phase to validate the interaction design thinking. It was very important to validate whether the behavior of each UI panel made sense when users moves along the kitchen counter.

In order to better communicate the idea to the engineers, a 3D layout presentation was created in ShapesXR, along with an animated top down view to show how each panel should move based on users movement in the real world. This allowed our engineering team to build out a grey box prototypes and validate this foundational spatial interactivity on the actual HMD headset.

Value provided by ShapesXR

ShapesXR has led to a lot of production efficiency by providing code-free tools that our design teams find easy to use, highly collaborative, and make our prototyping faster. We’ve been able to fit more iterations into our early design process compared to other projects where we relied exclusively on 2D tools. Those pre-production iterations in ShapesXR lead us 3 weeks sooner than normal to enter the production phase. Externally when presenting designs to our clients, ShapesXR has made a big difference in terms of how we present, review and get feedback. Through screen-casting and shared VR experiences, our clients have expressed how much easier it has been to understand design directions, leading to more fruitful feedback sessions which in turn also speed up dramatically our processes and communication among designers, product owners and developers.

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About TriggerXR

As the world’s most experienced XR developer agency, Trigger XR’s team is a distinct group of developers, strategists, visual artists, gamers, musicians, foodies and bookworms who share a love for mixed reality. Over the last 14 years, the agency has won numerous awards for their AR experiences, and has partnered with some of the biggest brands and tech companies in the industry to explore the bleeding edge of this emerging tech. Trigger continues to collaborate with a key AR innovator, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. We are thrilled to have recently received funding from the Snapdragon™ Metaverse Fund, a fund designated for investment in innovative companies and developers that are building immersive experiences in XR.