Immersive AR Experiences

Principles for Creating AR Experiences

To create an immersive user experience (UX) using augmented reality (AR) certain design principles should be considered.

  1. Responsive Design – AR technology uses real-time data to project 3D models and information onto a live environment. To ensure a seamless projection of information and models, sensors are used to scan the environment, this ensures that objects may be correctly placed and in an appropriate size. An example of this could be to scan a QR code to place a 3D object or information on the screen.
  2. Spatial Design – Users can place virtual objects in a physical environment to provide a sense of spatial design, for example, using AR to place virtual furniture in a physical room to create a visualization for the user of how objects may look at fit into a space in a room.
  3. Realism – AR sensors will ensure the virtual objects are placed to give an element of realism, for example, tracking and interpreting space will create realism and occlusion for objects placed in the physical world.
  4. Feedback and Responsiveness – Responsive design could highlight to the user when an object has been placed successfully by providing feedback, this could be a haptic vibrate response or a visual or audio response.

Unity WebGL

The Unity software will be the first step used when creating an AR experience. It will be used to create a scene for the assets, add cameras, add image tracking, and image target tracking.

Figure 1; The scene in Unity showing the image tracking preview target

Figure 2; An asset added to the image tracking target, this is the 3D model that will pop up when using Zapworks


Zapworks provides a platform for users to create interactive AR experiences by projecting virtual information and objects onto the physical environment. The software provides a library of tools and features, as well as the ability to import 3D models so that users can create their own custom 3D elements.

This technology can also be used for educational purposes, such as for interactive training and learning experiences for different organisations. Some examples include creating learning simulations by overlaying digital information over real-world objects, such as teaching the steps needed to change a tyre.

Figure 3; The information for the Zapworks scene, the QR code can be scanned to open the trigger image which will appear on the user’s phone or tablet.

The QR code created in Zapworks will act as a trigger for the VR model to appear via the user’s mobile device or tablet. After scanning the trigger QR code the 3D model will appear and will move according to its image tracking target.

Zapwork Examples

Figure 4; An example of how MotherCare uses AR to connect customers to their online store.

In the example above, Zapworks is used to enhance the user’s experience by overlaying 3D information onto the user’s device after scanning the code and directing them to the online store, this is useful in advertising as it is a more interactive method of selling and displaying products to the user.

Figure 5; An example of how Zapworks can be used to create interactive travel guides.


(Online) Peacock – How Mothercare Used AR to Connect Customers to Their Online Stores-Zappar ( (Published 25 Feb 2014) (Accessed 23/11/23)

(Online) ZapWorks User Showcase | Chelsa Anderton – Interactive Travel Guides ( (Published 25 Feb 2019) (Accessed 25/11/23)