Principles of Spatial Design

Jun 7, 2023 🔗
tl;dr: This post focuses on the principles of spatial design for a spatial operating system. It covers topics such as window design, size flexibility, multiple windows, human-centered design, dimensionality, immersion, and user comfort. The aim is to create familiar, authentic, and immersive experiences for users within the spatial environment.


  1. 🧭 Design spatial apps that balance familiarity and new possibilities. Use elements like sidebars and tabs to help users navigate and find what they’re looking for.
  2. 🪟 Windows in spatial design have a new visual language, with glass material for contrast and adaptability to different lighting conditions.
  3. 📏 Size and shape flexibility in windows allows for comfortable viewing and accommodation of different types of content. Use tab bars and toolbars to extend beyond the window.
  4. 📐 Points system is used to ensure scalable and legible interface elements at different distances. Design interfaces with points to adapt to various screen sizes.
  5. 👤 Human-centered design is essential in spatial apps. Consider the user’s field of view, design with ergonomics in mind, and place content relative to the user’s head and position.
  6. 🌌 Dimension and immersion are key in spatial design. Utilize the space around users, leverage depth and scale to create hierarchy and focus, and design immersive experiences beyond windows.
  7. 🔄 Immersive experiences can exist on a spectrum. Start in a window in the shared space, and provide clear ways in and out of immersive experiences.
  8. 🌍 Blend app content with the user’s physical surroundings for a more seamless experience. Soft edges help integrate virtual content smoothly. Add animation and sound to enhance realism.
  9. 🛋️ Ensure user comfort and control in immersive experiences. Avoid abrupt or fast movements, provide clear labels and symbols for guidance, and allow users to view their physical surroundings during motion.
  10. 🍎 Create authentic spatial apps that utilize the unique capabilities of the platform. Make the experience engaging, distinct, and memorable by using depth, scale, and audio effectively.


  • Spatial operating system: An operating system designed for spatial computing that provides an immersive, three-dimensional user experience.
  • Dimensionality: The quality of having depth and spatial characteristics in a virtual environment.
  • Human-centered design: Designing with a focus on the needs, capabilities, and comfort of the user.
  • Immersion spectrum: A range of experiences varying in their level of immersion and integration with the physical world.
  • Ergonomics: The study of designing and arranging objects and interfaces for optimal user comfort and efficiency.
  • Spatialized audio: Audio that is positioned in a virtual environment to create a sense of space and realism.
  • Field of view: The extent of the visible world or scene that a person can see at any given moment.
  • Hierarchy: Organizing elements based on their relative importance and visual prominence.
  • Points: A unit of measurement used to specify the size and scale of interface elements.
  • Authenticity: Creating experiences that are genuine, true to the spatial platform’s capabilities, and unique to the user’s context.