An interview done by Anett Gläsel-Maslov
With the introduction of a new Junaio interface, we decided to take a moment and sit down with Anton Fedosov, Senior User Experience Designer, and see if we could get any information about the redesign.
What is Junaio for you?
Anton Fedosov: For me, Junaio is an Augmented Reality Laboratory, in a sense that is a window-to-the-world with the latest technology developed by our company. It has the top-notch detection and tracking technologies, advanced sensors and localization services in the consumer space. it is an important platform to test our ideas with our users ad to verify our concepts.
I believe one of the strongest advantages of Junaio is that you are able to identify any object in front of you and the app gives you, instantaneously, information about it. For searching visually is very helpful.
What problems did you face with the old design of Junaio?
AF: We tried to bring a new look to the location-based channels. Through our statics we see that our customers use Junaio as a tool to recognize different objects and to scan something. At the same time, every modern phone or tablet has embedded sensors like GPS, gyroscope and compass, whose use was lagging a bit behind. We wanted to bring location-based experiences closer to users and this was the idea behind redesigning Junaio.
First of all, we tried to define problems in the former version. For instance, it was hard to read the points of interest (POIs) that were really far away. They were occluded and cluttered and in the majority of cases there was an information overload. It was also hard to interact with the POIs which were not in the first line. Human factors should be explored more in Augmented Reality scenarios. When you look through wearables like Google Glass it is almost impossible to read. With the redesign, we are trying to treat our data equally and improve the discoverability of POIs.
What are the advantages of the new design?
AF: The idea was to update the Junaio interface to make it flatter, lighter and easier for the users to understand possible interactions. The first important part was to change the hand posture, which was often a very unnatrual experience while holding a tablet or smartphone in mid-air. We improved on usability goals, making the Junaio interface easier to learn and more efficient to use. Now you see the annotated information about POI on the bottom of the screen and the board acts as a signifier to discover interactions with POIs. For tablets this means that the thumbs remain the main trigger in the lower corners and for smartphones the experience is now even more natural.
AR browsers often suffer from a lack of focus and our brains are overloaded with information. With the redesign of Junaio we now only show up to five POIs at once. We have integrated a seamless discover mechanism for POIs. While moving the tablet or smartphone to the left or to the right, the POIs change. From now on we differentiate between the POIs that are focused or unfocused by the user. We tried different color variations and decided on a light color scheme for focused POIs and dark, translucent for unfocused ones. Also the pin itself takes the color of the icon associated with the given POI. E.g. we use color to define different categories. We also use the database of Foursquare to visualize venues where you can check in.
The new Junaio is also optimized for wearables. At InsideAR we presented the first AR browser called “Junaio Mirage” which seamlessly integrates the new POI visualization (“Natural POI”). Depth-perception, the visual ability to perceive a world in three dimensions, is often used by artists and makes it possible to identify relative distance to an object. The POIs now have different sizes: the bigger the POI, the closer the object. We also use monocular cues such as lighting and shading and emphasize occlusion to provide depth information. We try to align the POIs to the shape of the earth and simulate the horizon. Parallax effect is also very important to mention: POIs rotate slightly based on your view angle and the models motion changes depending on the viewport. This makes the experience much more natural.
How does the redesign of Juanio affect developers?
AF: The redesign will affect location-based channels and therefore we prepared guidelines to make sure to accommodate the new POI representation scheme. These guidelines are now available in our developer portal and provide all the necessary information.
There you have it folks. For more information about the redesign head over to the Junaio Blog and to see the guidelines check out the developer portal. Junaio is free to download from Google Play and the iTunes store.