Design patterns for Immersive Tech

Augmented Reality patterns

Direct manipulation resize

User goals

  • Increase or decrease the size of a 3D object
  • Complete the interaction without using controllers or accessing any hidden menus to improve efficiency and ease of use
  • Provide fine control over size changes


The Hololens 2 has introduced the ability of directly interacting with 3D objects using just the user’s hands, all thanks to the introduction of fully articulated hand tracking.

For the 2 handed interaction the user:

  • Brings both hands up to the corners of the 3D object (or even anywhere on the sides of the object)
  • Pinches the to grab hold of the object and initiate the resizing mode
  • Pulls their hands away from the centre in opposite directions to increase
  • Pushes the arms in closer to the middle to reduce the size
  • Let’s go of the pinch to step out of the resizing mode
  • It’s very similar to how you would naturally stretch an elastic band

For the 1 handed interaction the user:

  • Brings their preferred hand to the edge of the object or bounding box (if visible)
  • Pinched the edge
  • Pulls their hand out or in to resize the object
  • Releases the pinch when desired size is achieved

Linked to: AR Hand Menus


This interaction paradigm is a huge jump forward in terms of usability and intuitive interaction. Allowing full use of such a fine tuned control system such as the hands has only previously been available in some VR applications with the help of Leap Motion.

This solves learning issues around correct use of hand held controllers or needing access menu options or interact with UI widgets to launch the resizing mode. Specifically with Hololens it has overcome the need to use a gaze cursor combined with the air tap gesture, which as a complicated way to initiate this type of interaction.


Hololens 2: Two handed resize with bounding box

Hololens 2: Two handed resize without bounding box

Hololens 2: Two handed resize by stretching outwards

Hololens 2: One handed resize with bounding box

Hololens 2: One handed pinch to resize