• Zack Lee

Week3 - Case study

This week, I was asked to choose an AR-related art piece, app, company, design, or research paper to examine and spend some time reflecting/writing about how AR is used in the experience.

I chose a mobile app called Just a Line by Google which lets users draw lines in augmented reality.

I used this app for the first time last year when I was brainstorming ideas for a group presentation with my team members for the Applications class.

Unlike other AR apps I've used, Just a Line allowed us to have a shared AR experience by enabling us to draw lines and share them in real-time with other people who are in the same place. I think it is a compelling use of AR technology because digital technologies have been commonly used to provide an isolated experience and what makes AR unique is the ability to share the experience within the physical domain. I believe such an aspect of AR would be very useful for helping people more socially and emotionally connected.

When four of our team members tried this app together, we struggled a bit to make us all be connected to the same AR room so we can share the drawings in real-time. Although the UI of the app was straightforward, I think the accuracy of the feature could be improved.

In terms of experience, since I had to draw the lines by touching on my phone screen, I thought it was pretty difficult to draw lines at the exact location(the Z depth) I wanted to. I think it would be much more intuitive if users could draw lines using their fingertips. Also, I think it would be nice to have more styling options for lines such as color, stroke type, and so on. Currently, the app allows the user to only change the thickness of the white line.

I liked the video recording feature except that the video length is limited to something like 20 seconds which is quite short. I personally wish there was a feature to save and load the previous drawings so the users can always revisit the place and check the drawings later. I think the intended experience of the creators is to simply enjoy the moment of drawing with other people and share the video through Instagram. I think the saving and loading feature would make the app much more useful since it can be then used to leave notes at specific locations that many people can share. (e.g. idea sketches in the meeting room)

Overall, I think the app is pretty well-designed for entertainment purpose and I would like to see more apps like this. (Hopefully more practical ones)

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Software Engineer | UX Designer | Creative Technologist