Striking a balance of functionality, engagement and ROI in an app
MY POOL DESIGN
MY POOL DESIGN APP
You can literally see, right on your mobile device, exactly what the pool would look like in your backyard.
The My Pool Design app is a tool that visualises custom pools anywhere, at the tap of a finger. The My Pool Design App is Australia’s largest Swimming Pool aggregator app, bringing together the largest brands in Australia into one platform to simplify the buying process for consumers. Buyers can literally put pool models into their own backyards in 1:1 scale, create a list of favourites, take photos, try different sizes and colours – and finally shoot off an enquiry.
The app, developed by Viewport XR for My Pool Design Design, and now available on the App Store and Play Store, is a perfect use case of Augmented Reality (AR) to shorten sales cycles and improve buyer confidence.
Drawing from a catalogue size of 120+ models, and working with some of Australia’s largest brands, including Aquatechnics, Buccaneer and Sapphire, the app allows users to position a huge array of models at 1:1 scale in their own backyard, or at a miniature scale for tabletop viewing.
The user can then walk around the pool as though it were actually there. Zero imagination necessary. You can literally see, right on your mobile device, exactly what the pool would look like in your backyard. No other technology besides Augmented Reality (AR) has this ability – the ability to ‘Augment’ your world. And in the world of retail, where consumer choice plays a huge part in the sales cycle, this augmentation of their reality rapidly increases sales conversions.
Choosing their pool model, sizes and colour – buyers create their oasis then flick away a sales enquiry. Filtered by geolocation, these enquiries are automatically sent to the correct supplier nationally, integrating with Salesforce for a seamless customer-oriented sales experience.
Why Make an App with Analytics?
Data Informs Strategy
The backend analytics setup by Viewport XR also gathers data that distributors and suppliers can leverage over time to bolster business development capabilities. For example, the analytics dashboard provides region-specific statistics and graphing, which outlines what shapes, colours and sizes are most popular on the app, with date filtering to allow seasonal statistics.
With multiple national vendors on board, a comprehensive, high fidelity, high realism, 3D catalogue, highly intuitive user interface, geolocation filtering, automated Salesforce integration, and a complex backend analytics system to help build strategic business choices over time – a platform like the My Pool Design app has immediate ROI.
AR Industrial Problem Solving App
The app solves a common industrial problem: pools are physically large objects. So you can’t just pop one in the back of a car and take it home to see if it suits your space. Instead, potential customers have historically travelled to pool centres to see the available range and gauge the size. But, as everyone in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide know, these showrooms are often inconveniently located.
So, even if customers journey out to the showroom – they still will not be able to accurately visualise what their ideal pool will look like in their space. My Pool Design’s strategy was to take a bespoke angle that gives their customers confidence in their vision – and introduce them to My Pool Design’s entire catalogue of pools.
Well-Crafted Customer Journeys are Critical
- and important to user retention
A common oversight we see in the Australian industry – and worldwide – is insufficient focus on creating engaging experiences. Sure, your app can be helpful, but it will have difficulty retaining users if it is not something people want to use. At Viewport XR, we emphasise user experience (UX) – it was particularly critical to this project. We conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research into consumer behaviour when buying pools.
There is a delicate balance of functionality and an engaging experience. At the forefront, this is a sales tool that needs to cover a vast distribution network of different retailers while also providing a helpful interface for customers. Therefore, our developer interests focus on the entire journey–not just the end result, making an interesting and fun UX without sacrificing practicality.
Geopositioning Augmented Reality App
After our initial site visit, Viewport conducted several back and forths with the My Pool Design team, which served to inform the nature and scope of the app. They wanted the app to cater to many pool retailers over many geographic locations all around Australia. We achieved this using geopositioning.
In case you are asking
“What is geopositioning?”
Geopositioning is the process of determining or estimating the geographic position of an object, converting these GPS coordinates into a physical address.
The inverse of this (gaining GPS coordinates from a physical location) is reverse geolocation or geo-coding.
A key requirement for My Pool Design was curating pools based on availability and location. Of course, there’s no use in presenting a suite of options unavailable in the intended area. So, we linked the user’s geo-location to the client’s database and distribution network so that each user’s range of pools will consist only of what’s available.
Ultra-real Augmented Reality AR Visualisations
To ensure that the visualisations are highly accurate, we made all assets just like the real thing by creating hyper-real digital twins and handcrafting each unique texture. To ensure delighted customers, My Pool Design has a surplus of noteworthy features – like our beloved flamingo – that inject a touch of whimsy into the experience, complementing the visual quality of the pools themselves and bringing a playfulness evoking the ideal poolside atmosphere.
Replicating their catalogue with precision, users can immediately place the new pool in their backyard without any pre-requisites or user configuration, encouraging increased usage while retaining the intuitive nature and functionality. In addition, the app collects valuable analytics that the client can use for business development.
The intuitive nature of the app significantly contributes to its success. That is not to discount the world-class quality of graphics – or the playfulness. However, it’s no secret that the best apps are easy to use, so much so – that anybody should be able to make sense of its function when they first put their hand to it.
Comprehensive Catalogue in Context
Databasing My Pool Design’s expansive catalogue was no mean feat. With 128 unique pool designs and catering to a selection of 24 different materials, our dev team used Unity’s advanced features to ensure the app could run on mobile devices smoothly, without sacrificing the visual quality. Unity is a cross-platform game engine used by the industry elite – in case you didn’t know.
We developed the app to be intuitive and easy to understand; we did this by catering to the different situations and layouts users might encounter. By offering three different sizes for each pool model, we extended the app’s purpose. When making initial decisions around style and colour, one may be using it while they are on the couch or at a table. So users do not have to be in the actual location where they want the pool, deciding in comfort before trying it in situ.
Companies with giant products or catalogues are early adopters of these visualisation and configuration technologies – at least the smart ones are!
Just like our work for global engineering manufacturer Austin Engineering, the ability to place big things in otherwise impossible (or hugely impractical) places for trialling and experimenting is unique to augmented reality. In this case, users get the best of both worlds, as they can view a pool at a small size, all the way through to 1:1 scale. As accurate and detailed as possible.
Customisable & Visualised in Augmented Reality AR
The goal for the My Pool Design app was to deliver a better pool buying experience to new and existing pool buyers. Achieving increased sales is just one of the happy perks of creating a future proof sales pipeline and creating remote touchpoints in your customer journey. The ability to leverage the data learnings and inform the manufacturing and production process is equally important here.
Viewport XR ensures a client’s confidence in our delivery pipeline with the knowledge that all of our quality checks are done to the highest standards to ensure that their users and customers get the best experience possible.
Textures & Materials
My Pool Design wanted to showcase their products in a virtual space to allow for easier viewing portable online virtual experience, bridging the distance barrier they have to get people in-store, where people could create their ideal pool. Enabling users to configure their paradise in one software experience, where all digital assets look like the real thing.
Viewport has captured dozens of materials for this project, providing the digital twins in ultra-high detail, supplying their entire marketing chain with usable assets. Smaller, more optimised versions of the texture assets we created can now be used in their print catalogues, their website, and socials.
By creating the highest resolution asset possible, we future proof the digital twin. Thereby removing the need for multiple iterations of production of the same type of asset, eliminating photography costs, reducing sales costs and downtime for when a model is released.
A one-stop-shop for product capture that starts at the highest level of quality possible means the product is also represented at the same fidelity all the way through the marketing chain.
Julius & the Viewport team were fantasticat understanding our priorities and were just amazing to work with.
Flexible, accommodating & always offering full support/confidence to make our AR app come to life. Software integration to our existing systems was also key to success and their understanding and problem solving around this was impressive.
Our app My Pool Design is something we are very proud and we are getting great feedback from the users.
Great job team. We are now working together on the next project.
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