As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. This couldn’t be more true, than in AR projects, where planning and asking the right questions from the beginning can be the difference between AR disaster and AR success.
An important part of this planning phase is defining and setting objectives. Without clearly defined objectives, you or your client will have no goals with which to build your campaign around and, worse yet, have no way to measure its success.
Creating AR experiences should be no different to creating marketing or design experiences in this respect. First, define the problem then try and solve that problem in the most efficient way to meet the client's objectives.
In this post we’ll replicate a business use case for a fictional client called Felix to show you how the AR content creation process works - from client brief, to project completion. Felix has just opened a new self-titled pet shop and, like most business owners, Felix wants to drive footfall to the store, as well as traffic to his new website.
Let’s dive in.
Defining your goals and objectives
First, lets understand Felix’s objectives.
Through the lens of our ‘six key questions,’ we can understand how best to create an AR experience that delivers on Felix’s key business requirements while understanding the project budget, time-frame for delivery and the complexity of experience needed.
1. What are the key objectives?
Felix wants to drive footfall in-store, but also drive traffic to his website to coincide with the store opening. With this in mind, we’ll need to ensure there’s a killer call to action (CTA) on the card that links through to his site, as well as directions and a prompt to call the store to drive footfall.
2. What’s the budget?
For the purpose of this example, we’ve created three experiences in Widgets, Designer and Studio to show you how you can meet the different budgetary needs of different clients (or your marketing/design budget if you’re working in-house).
3. What is the physical target(s)?
Felix has an existing business card that can be improved upon and used as the target.
4. What assets exist or need to made to deliver the project?
Felix has been working with a design agency to create the look and feel for his store, as well his website. This means we already have fonts, colors and logos to work with makes the design phase a lot easier.
5. What’s the context of the activation?
With the target image being a business card, we can assume that the context in which the AR will be consumed will be quite varied. With this in mind, we’ll need to consider increasing the contrast of the tracking image to ensure better tracking.
6. What’s the launch schedule?
Using the correct tool based on your delivery schedule is crucial here. For the purpose of this post we’ll show you roughly how long each project will take to build so you can plan your AR projects accordingly.
Choosing the right ZapWorks tool
In this video, we'll show you how to prepare your assets as well as choose the right ZapWorks tool.
With all the key questions answered and a knowledge of the brand, we can begin thinking about the individual experiences, and utilize the strengths of each tool:
The Studio project will make the most of the animated 3D capabilities of the tool
The Designer project will feature video prominently
The Widgets project will focus on the links the user will click on
Let’s take a look at how we can deliver on Felix’s objectives using ZapWorks’ three content creation tools, Studio, Designer and Widgets.
Using the lens of our ‘six key questions’ we’ve defined three ways you could meet a specific brief that may vary in budget, complexity and delivery time.
Delivering a feature-rich AR experience using ZapWorks Studio
Tool used: Studio
Wow (AKA “Zappar Rush”) factor: 5/5
Build time: 2 days
Concepting & asset prep: 1 day
In this video, we’ll show you how to deliver on Felix’s objectives in the most feature-rich, customized way, using ZapWorks Studio. It’s important to note that a small amount of concepting and asset prep went into delivering the Studio project, before diving into the Studio tool itself. Be sure to factor in 3D asset preparation and concepting when you’re building AR experiences in ZapWorks Studio.
The experience starts with the individual digital assets overlaid as they appear on the physical tracking image. By overlaying the individual elements of the card, we have the ability to animate them in Studio.
An opening transition plays where the interactive buttons are highlighted, then they are re-positioned and a 3D model of a cat appears. A 2D animated hand appears above the cat indicating that it can be tapped on to trigger fur color changes and ‘meows’.
The buttons then become active as indicated by their own tap icon, one of them dialing a telephone number, another linking to a website, and the third linking to a Google Maps location.
The experience delivers on Felix’s objectives in an impressive, fun and engaging way. By adding additional functionality and flair to the business card, Felix can incorporate some of his existing brand values into the experience - adding a ‘surprise and delight’ factor.
Delivering a video-based AR experience using ZapWorks Designer
Tool used: Designer
Wow factor: 3/5
Asset prep: 1 hour
Build time: 2 hours
In this video, we’ll show you how to deliver on Felix’s objectives using our video-based tool, ZapWorks Designer.
In this project we’ve overlaid the physical tracking image with the digital assets and added a prompt for the user to tap to navigate to the following scene where we've included a video of a cat (insert dated comment about the internet and cats here) as well as some useful links to a website, phone number and location.
We’ve used transitions to add polish to the experience, as well as to draw the user’s attention to certain elements, such as the tap icon in the first scene. We’ve also included a background sound to add to the ambiance (don’t underestimate how important audio is in AR).
Taking much less time than the Studio experience, the Designer experience delivers on Felix’s objectives and also incorporates a degree of polish that any customer or potential customer would enjoy.
Using Designer is the preferred solution if you or your client have an existing video ready to use, or require something slick and don’t have the coding abilities to create the additional functionality from our first example.
Delivering a templated AR experience using ZapWorks Widgets
Tool used: Widgets
Wow factor: 2/5
Asset prep: N/A
Build time: 20 minutes
In this final video, we’ll show you how to deliver on Felix’s objectives using our super-simple tool, Widgets.
This experience consists of three elements rotating around a central image placed on top of the zapcode. You can tap on the icons to interact with them, one of them allowing you to save a contact, another linking to a website, and the third linking to a Google Maps location.
Taking less than 30 mins to build, the Widgets experience delivers on Felix’s objectives in the quickest and simplest way. Widgets is perfect for those with very little time to produce a simple, templated AR experience.
Once the experience has been delivered, and his business cards printed, Felix can analyze the success of his AR campaign in Zap-alytics. Having set his objectives at the start of the project, Felix will be able to more easily understand the success his campaign has driven.
Along with monitoring scans and dwell-time within his AR experience, Felix will also see how many times people have tapped the web and Google Maps link in Zap-alytics. Felix could take this one step further and use his favorite web analytics tool, e.g Google Analytics to measure the traffic to his website in more depth.
Putting plenty of thought into the project objectives (before you do anything else) should be a key component of any experience you build. Using the above breakdowns, you should be able to more clearly map your (or your client's) objectives, timeframe and level of expertise to the different ZapWorks tools available to you.
Understanding the capabilities of each of the tools will enable you to deliver a broad range of AR experiences as you look to expand your AR chops. Remember, if you’re working with a client, always ensure you ask the six key questions before starting any AR project. Once these questions have been answered, you can move forward and make a call on what tool to use to creatively deliver on the project.
If you’re not already using ZapWorks, you can start a free 30-day trial today.