Mixed Reality (MR) is a superior enhancement for which digital content will be experienced. The question remains of how this new flow of content will be controlled without comprising the experience itself. First most we need to discuss a better way for users to select apps and methods for navigating them.
It’s not good enough to just place a flat 2d screen full of apps and have to select one with an “air tap”. It’s counter-intuitive and relates to the old way of UI navigation. Instead, the new GUI of MR should truly take advantage of mixing the digital with the physical. Instead of just overlaying, content should connect and relate to real world objects. The interaction should be a seamless connection
that makes sense to the user. The control should relate to a form that we know of, or can be easily learned.
For instance, a connection we can make is that we’re used to having apps at our fingertips. So in mixed reality, the same concept can be applied by literally putting apps on your fingertips. Obviously, you can’t have all of your apps there because you only have 10 fingers. So your fingertips would have to relate to that of a dock found on a smartphone. Essentially a reserved spot for your most favorable/useful apps so you can access them with ease. The user can look at their hands and they’ll see the apps they use most. They can simply select one by tapping the desired icon to their thumb. Thus making it a more discrete method than waving your hands around to select apps.
Given that most future MR headsets will have built-in eye tracking it will allow for additional UI components. One addition is when a user looks at an icon with a notification badge. A banner can be displayed next to the app icon. The banner itself would display a general push notification from that app. This would provide the user with a quick glance of necessary info instead of having to open the app itself
The same method can be applied when navigating through the app itself, your hand can act as a navigation bar. The same icons you would see in a nav bar can be right on your fingertips. Pages of an app can be selected by yet again tapping the desired icon to your thumb.