Augmented Reality (AR) headsets are being used in different contexts (e.g., the oil industry, healthcare, military); however, there is a lack of research and design recommendations on how information should be presented in the AR headset displays, especially for aiding users’ situational awareness. We present two studies: one examining if existing findings on the perceptibility of three types of visual stimulus (color, text, shapes) can be applied to AR headsets for critical information, and one analyzing three different presentation styles (Display, Environment, Mixed Environment) for textual secondary information in AR headsets. Our study on secondary information is an extension of prior work. For critical information, we found that existing visual perception findings can be applied to AR headsets; there is a hierarchy of salient visual features. Understanding that we can utilize prior work on visual features helps in designing salient critical information for AR headset displays. For secondary information, we found that having the text in the Display and Environment presentation styles assisted in participants’ perception and comprehension when compared to the Mixed Environment presentation style. Based on our results, we provide design recommendations on how to present critical and secondary information in AR headset displays to aid in users’ situational awareness, which is essential in safety crucial domains such as the military.

Julia Woodward, Jesse Smith, Isaac Wang, Sofia Cuenca, Jamie Ruiz. 2023. Designing Critical and Secondary Information in Augmented Reality Headsets for Situational Awareness. Journal of Engineering Research and Sciences 2(3):01-15, 2023 doi: 10.55708/js0203001