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Blog: layar creator

This Holiday Season, AR Christmas Cards Are Hot!

Chris Cameron December 17, 2012

It’s that time of year again - the holiday season - and while many still send the same old Christmas cards out to their families and loved ones, a few ambitious companies out there are taking the opportunity to create a more engaging print to digital experience with Layar.

We’ve noticed several Christmas Card campaigns being published, so here is a handful of some that caught our eye. Flip through the slideshow below to see the cards, which have all been augmented with Layar - some even with our new dynamic widgets

Click the thumbnails below to view larger versions of the images for scanning with Layar.

    

Christmas Cards are a great opportunity to add digital content to printed material, whether it’s company videos and slideshows like the ones above, or a personal message to someone special. Sign into the Layar Creator today to get started making your own AR Christmas Card!!

Special thanks to Mic-Media, Orange Barrel Media, Kennispunt Oost, Colour Tech, Drukkerij van Deventer and Reclamebureau REM for allowing us to feature their cards on the Layar blog!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/445

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Introducing: Dynamic Widgets for Layar Creator

Chris Cameron December 12, 2012

Some of you may have noticed some changes that went live in the Layar Creator yesterday. We’ve just launched three new dynamic widgets that bring even more interactivity to your print products.

Here’s a rundown of the new widgets that you can find today in the Layar Creator:

  1. Twitter Feed
    Now you can feature a live, interactive Twitter feed of either one account’s tweets or a hashtag search right on top of your print. Just enter an account or hashtag and drop in on your page. It’s great for featuring your brand’s tweets or curating tweets at an event on the event’s printed program.

  2. Image Carousel
    Want to place a nice slider of images to accompany products for sale in a catalog? Just choose your images and drop them onto your pages with this handy widget. You can upload up to 10 JPG or PNG files that users can swipe through right on your print. In our example, we show off different pictures and angles for a stylish briefcase, but there’s a lot of possibilities for slideshows out there!

  3. HTML Widget
    This one is completely up to you - make it anything you like! Just enter the URL of any piece of HTML and you can display live, dynamic HTML content right on top of your print. The possibilities are nearly endless: live updating news feeds, sports scores, weather and traffic information, commenting, polls, forms, shopping carts, price comparison - even animated GIFs.

With the introduction of these new widgets, we’ve also rearranged how buttons are organized in the right-hand menu. Now buttons and widgets are grouped into handy expandable and collapsible menus labeled Basic, Media, Social and Developer. We think this is a better way to organize the growing list of buttons.

Have a look at the video above to see the new widgets and button organization in action.

We’ll have more to share soon about how to make the best use of these widgets, especially the HTML widget which has a lot of possibilities. To learn more about what’s possible with the new widgets, check out our tutorial over on the Support page.

These changes are the product of research and feedback from you, the users. Keep sending us your comments and suggestions to devsupport@layar.com!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/444

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Making the Most of Calls-to-Action

Chris Cameron December 11, 2012

Not long ago we shared our Comprehensive Best Practices Guide for the Layar Creator - a detailed look at how to create the best and most effective interactive print campaigns.

In that guide we included tips for calls-to-action - the text and iconography you place in your print to prompt readers to scan with the Layar App. After some research, we’ve come up with even more tips for calls-to-action. Here’s what we’ve learned:

The most important elements of a call-to-action include:

  1. Smartphone icon
    The presence of a smartphone icon immediately makes readers think “mobile.” People these days instinctively reach for their smartphone when they see one, like when a friend they are with gets a text or call. Adding the icon in your print indicates how the reader can access the scannable content.

  2. Visual cues
    Using logos and visuals over text often conveys messages quicker and clearer. Including the Layar logo over simple text to direct readers to download the Layar app is key. We have also found that round shapes draw attention better than others. Color is also important, as it should compliment the content on the page while standing out to the reader.

  3. Brief description
    Users are more likely to scan your content if they know what to expect. If they like what they might find, they will be more interested in picking up their smartphone and scanning the page. Use a short, descriptive action phrase, such as “Scan to buy!” or “Scan to watch video!”

  4. Reference instructions
    Sometimes readers come across your calls-to-action without first encountering the instructions you included near the beginning of the magazine. In this case, it’s imperative to direct readers back to the instructions by including the page number (e.g., “See page 4 for instructions.”)

The image above is an ideal example of a call-to-action which includes all of these elements. It includes a smartphone icon, the Layar logo, a brief description and a reference to instructions.

An additional tip for calls-to-action deals with positioning. Logically, it’s best to place calls-to-action near the relevant printed content. As an example, if you’re offering the ability to listen to a song, it makes sense to place a call-to-action near a photo of the artist or the album artwork. The call-to-action works in tandem with the visuals of the content to encourage the reader to scan.

This also applies to spreads of content in a magazine. One might be inclined to only insert one call-to-action for two adjacent pages with digital content, but our research shows that elements on the page without the call-to-action are less likely to be viewed. To ensure all of your content is viewed, place calls-to-action on each page with content, even if they are next to each other in a magazine spread.

Despite all of these tips, there are still challenges. Right now it’s still too early and AR is still too young for readers to recognize the Layar logo alone. Including the text and icons mentioned above helps, but sometimes it’s not enough. For example, you can also add extra information about the digital content in the form of a short list placed near the call-to-action, depending on your page format and layout.

If you’d like more information on calls-to-action and other tips for making the best of your Creator campaigns, check out our Best Practices Guide.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/443

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Making Calendars Interactive with Stockmans and Randstad

Chris Cameron November 30, 2012

Stockmans Kalenders, a Belgian calendar printer, has worked together Dutch human resources consulting firm Randstad to create a truly unique calendar for 2013.

Randstad’s 2013 calendar has been enhanced with Layar’s interactive print, allowing users to access quick links, watch videos and jump to content on the Randstad website instantaneously by scanning the calendar with their mobile device. It’s a unique use of interactive print and features some really beautiful buttons and enhancements, as you can see in the video above.

We caught up with Stockmans Managing Director Bruno Devos to chat about how Stockmans is using Layar to create unique, interactive calendars.

“As a calendar company and being part of an innovative printing group we were looking for interactive content for an ‘old’ product: our calendars,” says Devos. “We want customers to highlight actual and interactive communication via our calendar projects. We also use print as a communication tool to go a step further via print-to-web.”

“The Group De Bie – Stockmans, located in Duffel, Belgium, launched just 10 days ago ‘Proppolis,’ a bridge for communication agencies to make print interactive,” says Devos. “In January I started a screening project to use AR in our printed products. After this analysis we decided to go for Layar as our AR engine.” 

According to Devos, the decision to use Layar was based on several different criteria, including cost, user friendliness, front- and back-end stability, community, prior use cases, learning curve, easy-to-use result analysis, availability on different platforms, and more. As for using the Creator, Devos says his team had a very positive experience.

“Our people in design were very happy with the Layar Creator,” he said.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/441

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ANWB’s Kampioen Brings Interactive Print to 5.3M Readers

Chris Cameron November 28, 2012

Europe’s 4th largest magazine has gone interactive with Layar. Kampioen, the 127-year-old magazine of ANWB, the Royal Dutch Touring Club (think AAA but in the Netherlands), is bringing the digital engagement and excitement of interactive print to its 3.5 million subscribers and 5.3 million readers.

The magazine, whose name means “Champion” in Dutch, has been publishing 10 times a year for over a century and boasts one of the biggest magazine circulations in all of Europe. It’s 3.5 million subscribers is equal to that of Top 10 magazines in the United States. In the latest issue, readers can explore the magazine digitally by scanning the pages with the Layar app.

 

“Layar provides us with new posibilities to strengthen the cosy feeling that Kampioen traditionally generates for its readers,” said Bert Gorissen, Editor in Chief of Kampioen. “From the beginning, the Layar team has assisted us in making our magazine interactive. It is very refreshing to work together so closely with clear goals and a lot of enthusiasm.”

Readers can see the cover come to life with an augmented video interview with Dutch singer and actor Erik van Muiswinkel, and explore worldly travel options through extra content sprinkled into the pages. 

A video tour takes readers to exotic South African locations, links bring them to deals on European cruises, and much more, including a chance to win one of 5 gift packages worth €79. While browsing advertisements, including one for the Nokia Lumia 800 from Vodafone, readers can quickly tap a button to instantaneously add items to their online shopping cart.

Check out more photos of the magazine below.

 

 

Notable in this magazine is ANWB’s masterful use of calls-to-action in the print to its digital campaign. On any page with interactive content, an intuitively placed mobile phone icon appears with instructions for what to scan (see example below).

Also, each call-to-action directs readers back to a formal set of instructions on page 7 of the magazine. This is important for any reader that misses the instructions page prior to seeing the call-to-action.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/440

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