Augmented Reality Design Resources

Many people have asked how I design for augmented reality. This is still a very new area and future experts will come from very diverse backgrounds bringing something unique from their perspective.

My professional background is a colourful mix of psychology, anthropology, copywriting, marketing, digital content production, international aid work, and general sci-fi geekiness. In other words, I’m a self-taught Augmented Reality Designer.

I’ve listed below some references that I have personally found valuable. I’ll revisit this page from time to time and update with new resources. If you know of any other useful material, let me know.


Apple. Human Interface Guidelines.

Apple. Human Interface Guidelines for Augmented Reality.

Google. Best Practices for Mobile AR Design.

Leap Motion. Designing Intuitive Interactions.

Microsoft. Windows Mixed Reality Design.


Very few of the titles I have listed below, refer explicitly to AR/MR/VR/XR.

Most topics are around general design or technology design because I believe that fundamental design principles are still applicable even for emerging technology. Moreover, it’s important to at least revisit and consider existing paradigms, before attempting to redesign the future (or reinvent the wheel).

I’ve also listed a few other seemingly random topics because they’re actually very relevant:

  • Game design principles for understanding user behaviour, game mechanics and reward systems as well as navigating and displaying complex structures of information.
  • Mapping and cartography, especially navigation, exploration and location based content.


Brathwaite, Brenda and Schreiber, Ian. (2008). Challenges for Game Designers. Cengage Learning.


Coates, Nigel. (2003) Ecstacity. Laurence King Publishing.


Follett, Jonathan (editor). (2014) Designing for Emerging Technologies. O’Reilly Media.


Fullerton, Tracy. (2010) Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. Taylor & Francis Ltd.


Hartson, Rex. (2012) The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Elsevier Science & Technology.


Hessler, John. (2015) Map: Exploring the World. Phaidon Press.


Kadavy, David. (2011) Design for Hackers. John Wiley & Sons.


Koster, Ray. (2014). A Theory of Fun. O’Reilly Media.


Krug, Steve. (2014) Don’t Make Me Think. Pearson Education.


Norman, Don. (2013) The Design of Everyday Things. The Perseus Books Group.


O’Connell, Kharis. (2016) Designing for Mixed Reality. O’Reilly Media. (Free ebook.)


Pearl, Cathy. (2016) Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences. O’Reilly Media.


Schell, Jesse. (2008) The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. Taylor & Francis Inc.


Scoble, Robert and Israel, Shel. (2016) The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything. Patrick Brewster Press.


Tidwell, Jennifer (2015). Designing Interfaces. O’Reilly Media.


Last but definitely not least, if you’re going to design the future I strongly recommend that you learn about visions of the future from people who have already imagined it: science fiction authors. Novels are so much better than movies because writers aren’t restricted by special effects and CGI – they build worlds with words. And the very best imagine not only future technology but how people will use it and it’s impact on society. These are some of my favourite authors.

  • Douglas Adams
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Philip K Dick
  • Cory Doctorow
  • William Gibson
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Richard Morgan
  • George Orwell
  • Alistair Reynolds
  • Mary Shelley
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Charles Stross
  • Tad Williams

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