'On mobile augmented reality and user experience: A reflection and future research agenda
Authors: Ana Faria, Célia Pinto, Emanuel Sousa
Abstract: The ubiquity of mobile phones and the advancement of their computational capabilities is making Augmented Reality more accessible to the general public. Being actively used in diverse domains (retail, mapping and navigation, education, maintenance and industry, entertainment, social media, etc.) Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) can bring value to companies and provide enhanced user experience, when compared with traditional interfaces. Consequently, designers have been exploring the potential of this technology to assist people with their daily life activities and create meaningful experiences.When it comes to designing MAR experiences, what concepts should be considered? What are the best practices? What skills need to be mastered? In order to answer these questions a literature review on user studies that measure the User Experience of MAR applications was conducted. User studies were purposefully targeted because a user centered design approach has consistently shown that understanding peoples’ needs and expectations can improve existing products or assist the development of new ones. The aim of this study is to report a set of well rounded recommendations to help future researchers and practitioners to design better MAR solutions, present research gaps, and provide further avenues for research.Taking the objectives of the study into account, various search strings were constructed with key search terms (e.g. “augmented reality” AND “evaluation” AND “interface design” AND “mobile”). Based on the title and abstract, the search was conducted in September 2021 in Scopus, Web of Science and IEEE Xplore databases for peer review papers from journals between 2011 and 2021. Publications in small formats, literature reviews and technology-centric performance evaluations of algorithms were excluded. The initial research retrieved 62 papers — the abstract of each paper was analyzed. After removing duplicates, and applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 38 documents were excluded. Hence, 24 papers were eligible for analysis.After being assembled, the articles were read in full and reviewed in terms of their scope, research methods, procedures and outcomes. 29% of the publications dedicate a considerable amount of the document to report issues related to how the applications were built from a technological standpoint, and in some cases (37.5%) the sections that focus on the user studies lack detail. Therefore, it was not possible to draw elaborate conclusions from these papers in terms of the design process and evaluation. In contrast, few papers present highly detailed descriptions regarding methodological procedures. This information resulted in a list to support measuring MAR experiences. The role of emotions in MAR has captured the interest of researchers. Moreover, topics such as audio-augmented reality, affordances, storytelling and design principles are beginning to emerge in the literature. A critical reflection on these themes and the findings from the studies altogether led to setting out guidelines to create better MAR experiences. To conclude, this literature review shows that researchers are making efforts to measure the user experience of MAR applications. However, the design process is still often disregarded. Future work should therefore explore how to design useful and usable MAR interfaces.
Keywords: Mobile Augmented Reality, User Experience, Design
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