Color and Iconography

Pick colors that catch users’ attention. Leverage existing public signage patterns.

As you create your proprietary street-smart AR patterns, your aim is to develop patterns that can instantly and effectively catch your user’s eye and raise their level of awareness. Color is an important tool to do so.

Pick a color that stands out amongst the other elements within your AR experience. If the general color palette of your app is red, a red alert will not catch your user’s eye. It can help to keep safety patterns in mind from the start as you begin developing the designs for your app.

Use a consistent color to highlight hazards. Your user will generally not devote attention to learning the vocabulary of your safety patterns, and not have the time in a risky situation to interpret the meaning of the patterns. Keep things simple and universal to ensure complete understanding of their situation.


Leveraging local colors and icons

Your users are familiar with the public signs and symbols that they encounter out in the physical world. How can we build upon this understanding to capture users’ attention? One way to do so would be to follow local icons and general colors that are already imbued with particular meaning.

This approach also ensures that the street-smart AR patterns you design do not clash with existing signage that it may be overlaid upon.

Examples of these colors include:

  • Yellow: street curbs, subway platforms edges, curb cuts
  • Green: bicycle lanes
  • Red: bus lanes

Please refer to the NYC DOT manual for the full range of existing color schemes.


Leveraging the green of the bike lane and adding the recognized bike lane symbol


Leveraging the existing "LOOK" signage at crossings


Highlighting existing yellow band on street curb

Subway color

Combining existing yellow buffer on subway platform with red highlight of sunken tracks