Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will ship with a mixed reality world. This world starts for the user inside a virtual house on a cliff surrounded by mountains and water. Within the space of this dwelling, a user is free to arrange and organize the 3D objects and apps that they care about any way they want. A 3D app launcher is a “physical” object in the user’s mixed reality house that they can select to launch an app.
There are 3 steps to creating a 3D app launcher.
The Windows Mixed Reality world your app launcher lives in is part familiar, part fantastical/sci-fi. The best launchers follow the rules of this world. Think of how you can take a familiar, representative object from your app, but bend some of the rules of actual reality. Magic will result.
When you look at your app launcher, its purpose - to launch your app - should be obvious and shouldn’t cause any confusion. For example, be sure your launcher is an obvious-enough representative of your app that it won’t be confused for a piece of decor in the Cliff House. Your app launcher should invite people to touch/select it.
Fantastic yet familiar, intuitive example (this is a fictional app).
3D app launchers live in the Cliff House and their default size should make sense with the other “physical” objects in the space. If you place your launcher beside, say, a house plant or some furniture, it should feel at home, size-wise. A good starting point is to see how it looks at 30 cubic centimeters, but remember that users can scale it up or down if they like.
The app launcher should feel like an object a person would be excited to have in their space. They’ll be virtually surrounding themselves with these things, so the launcher should feel like something the user thought was desirable enough to seek out and keep nearby.
Home scale and own-able example (this is a fictional app).
Your 3D app launcher should instantly express “your app’s brand” to people who see it. If you have a star character or an especially identifiable object in your app, we recommend using that as a big part of your design. In a mixed reality world, an object will draw more interest from users than just a logo alone. Recognizable objects communicate brand quickly and clearly.
Your app deserves more than just putting your logo on a flat plane and calling it a day. Your launcher should feel like an exciting, 3D, physical object in the user’s space. A good approach is to imagine your app was going to have a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ask yourself, what would really wow people as it came down the street? What would look great from all viewing angles?
Model with subtle details in the texture
What to avoid
Avoid high-contrast, small busy patterns
Type colors that work
Type colors that work.
What to avoid - type colors that cause trouble
Type colors that cause trouble.
The lighting for your app launcher comes from the Cliff House environment. Be sure to test your launcher in several places throughout the house so it looks good in both light and shadows. The good news is, if you’ve followed the other design guidance in this document, your launcher should be in pretty good shape for most lighting in the Cliff House.
Good places to test how your launcher looks in the various lights in the environment are the Studio, the Media Room, anywhere outside and on the Back Patio (the concrete area with the lawn). Another good test is to put it in half light and half shadow and see what it looks like.
Make sure your launcher looks good in both light and shadows.
Authoring your textures
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