While AR and VR have largely made an impression in the mobile app industry so far, with apps like Pokémon GO and Google Lens, I believe there are numerous reasons why web designers should take these technologies more seriously in the coming years.
So, today, I’d want to look at some of the obstacles that may be preventing designers from embracing these trends, as well as some instances to demonstrate how successful they can be.
AR, or augmented reality, is a technology that allows us to insert a gadget between ourselves and the real environment in front of us. We only have the capacity to change what we see when we gaze through the gadget.
You’re probably most familiar with augmented reality because of applications like Instagram, where you can apply filters to change your appearance. You might remember the Pokémon GO frenzy from the summer of 2016.
VR, or virtual reality, is a technology that allows humans to engage with simulated experiences or things.
In contrast to AR, which works with ordinary devices such as smartphones and PCs, VR has typically required users to acquire specialist VR headsets.
Businesses who use AR and VR on their websites correctly might gain several benefits.
• Creating more immersive and engaging content, for example, increases engagement rates, which tends to raise conversion in tandem.
• AR and VR experiences are more memorable and can help a company stand out from the crowd.
• Consumers who can virtually examine a product or event may make more confident purchasing decisions. This decreases the number of returns, refunds, and customer complaints that a firm must deal with.
Here are four use scenarios and some examples of how AR and VR are improving website visitor experiences today:
1. Virtual try-on for cosmetics and clothing
If you’re in the industry of selling apparel, cosmetics, or accessories, you may be losing sales if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location. And for those of you who do, you may still be risking income loss by not allowing online consumers to “try on” your items (which can increase the number of returns and cancelled purchases).
This issue is addressed with augmented reality.
Garnier is another brand that uses augmented reality to assist buyers in selecting the perfect items from the comfort of their own homes. Only this tool may be accessible from any product page by clicking the “Try It On” button.
The try-on feature then allows customers to apply hair color products to themselves by using the camera on their device or by uploading a photo of themselves.
This enables users to experiment with new hair colors, something they would not be able to accomplish in the real world without the use of a wig or temporary dye.
2. Interactive 360-degree product overview for merchants
If the site sells tangible products, buyers will encounter the same problem as in the first use case. However, augmented or virtual fitting solutions do not solve this problem.
This is where interactive 360° views will be useful for sites that sell merchandise. Of course, in the past, uploading photos of every angle of a product was enough, but this particular solution allows shoppers to explore the product virtually, under their own control. It’s like looking around a store or showroom at your own pace.
There are many types of Web sites that offer this advantage.
For example, e-commerce companies can use this technology to help shoppers become more familiar with the look and feel of products.
3. Virtual and self-guided tours for the arts, entertainment and travel industries
There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to use this technology on arts, entertainment and travel websites.
Virtual self-guided tours are usually a good way to give visitors and travelers an idea of what to expect. It is also a good way to get visitors interested in the venue because they can see the program, exhibits, etc. up close.
There’s another reason to consider VR. It’s Covid-19.
People crave exploration and communication precisely because they have to be isolated or socially distant, and while VR doesn’t give them the latter, it definitely satisfies their need to wander and have fun, even when confined to their home.
Websites with interactive tours come in many varieties:
MatterPark is a set of technologies aimed at creating a digital twin of your park. It matches reality, has advanced information capabilities, and can be explored and moved with simple links wherever you are. A single tool for contemporary storytelling whose content consists of infographics and original documents, allowing you to modify the paths with a specific tone of voice and specific additional content according to the target audience (tourists, families with children, keen botanists, etc.). It collects unpublished stories related to the environment, history and culture and combines them with user-uploaded content. It organizes thematic or seasonal itineraries and creates interactive thematic panoramas that enrich the visible reality.
The future can allow us to interact in every digital place we leave our digital footprint: we are used to talking about “app” when we discuss “digital interaction”. Nowadays, this trend is taking a different turn: web designers’ outlook is always making a website interactive and fun. AR & VR give us the opportunity to engage more potential consumers. The game’s sphere can always be a good ally concept when we are about developing a website.