Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation. Its efforts to consistently push the boundaries of technology to redefine user experiences have grown a step further. The spatial design capabilities of Apple Vision Pro allow developers to create exceptional sensory experiences. In this article, we will discuss the incredible spatial design elements of Apple Vision Pro in detail.

Understanding Spatial Design of Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro opens up an unlimited 3D space for you to explore and play with. You can redesign your experience in a whole new way. Users can interact with your app while still being aware of what’s around them, or they can dive fully into a world you’ve created. Your experiences can flow smoothly—begin in a window, add 3D content, switch to a fully immersive scene, and return whenever you want.

If you want to design apps and games for VisionOS, you must start by understanding the fundamental design characteristics. Once you comprehend them, make your design decisions to create a truly immersive experience for users. 


With Apple VisionPro, you get to experience an endless space where you can check out virtual stuff like windows, volumes, and 3D objects. You can even dive deep into immersive experiences that transport you to different places.


In the VisionOS app, you can smoothly make a transition between different levels of immersion. It has a Shared Space where multiple apps can run side by side. You can open, close, and move windows around. Alternatively, you have a Full Space where it’s the only one running. In a Full Space app, you can see 3D content mixed with your surroundings, open a portal to view another place, or step into a whole new world.


Passthrough shows live video from the device’s external cameras, letting you interact with virtual content while seeing what’s actually around you. You can control how much of your surroundings you want to see using the Digital Crown.

Spatial Audio

Apple VisionPro uses sound and visual-sensing technology to mimic the sound of the place you’re in, making audio sound natural. When an app gets your permission to know about your surroundings, it can fine-tune Spatial Audio for custom experiences.

Design Principles of Visio Pro Spatial UI

These are the core design principles of Apple Vision Pro

App Icons

Starting with the basics, Apple places a strong emphasis on app icons. These icons are not only familiar but also take on a realistic 3D effect, expanding when viewed. The use of multiple layers and transparent foregrounds contributes to this captivating visual depth.


Materials play a crucial role in creating an interface that seamlessly fits into the user’s space. Apple introduced the Glass material, giving users a sense of what might be behind a window and making the overall experience lightweight and engaging.


When designing windows, the choice of materials is key. Glass windows set the foundation, while darker or lighter materials can be strategically employed to guide attention and enhance contrast. Apple advises against stacking lighter materials on top of each other to maintain legibility.


Typography undergoes modifications to ensure readability against vibrant materials. Font weight is adjusted, and system fonts are recommended for optimized legibility, especially in larger window sizes.


Vibrancy is a crucial aspect of Apple’s spatial design, brightening foreground content and dynamically adapting to changing backgrounds. This not only maintains legibility but also indicates hierarchy for text, symbols, and fills.

Layout and Ergonomics

Ergonomics takes center stage in Apple’s spatial design philosophy. Recognizing that users primarily interact with their eyes and hands, Apple emphasizes the importance of intentional content placement to avoid eye or neck fatigue. Considering the range of neck motion, Apple suggests designing with a focus on right and left movements rather than placing UI elements too high or low.


Sizing matters in creating an accessible interface. Interactive elements should have a tap target area with at least 60 points of space, promoting ease of selection. Focus feedback, which is represented by a subtle visual brightening or hover effect, helps you identify interactive elements at a glance.

Moving From Screen to Spatial?

Moving from screens to spatial design involves understanding the core structure of an iOS app. 

  • Windows has an opaque material that forms the canvas for all elements.
  • Tab bars are placed vertically on the left side for easy access. 
  • Ornaments are strategically placed slightly in front of the window, utilizing depth to create a hierarchy. They offer persistent controls that are easily accessible.
  • Menus and popovers can expand outside the window, centered by default, for an intuitive user experience. 
  • Sheets, presented as modal views, appear at the center of the app, preventing interactions with the parent view until dismissed.

Some Suggestions for Designers

Here are some great suggestions to ensure an engaging user experience in Vision Pro:

Find a Balance in the Range of Immersion

Consider the full spectrum of immersion when designing distinctive moments in your app. However, not every moment needs to be completely immersive, so set the level of immersion to suit each key aspect of your app.

Use Windows for UI-centric Experiences

Opt for standard windows that act as planes in space, containing familiar controls to assist users in completing regular tasks. In visionOS, users can relocate windows wherever they want, and the system’s dynamic scaling ensures content remains clear, whether it’s nearby or far.

Keep Comfort a Top Priority

Here are some basic principles to ensure users can interact with your app or game comfortably and without strain:

  • Display content within the user’s field of view, aligning it with their head to avoid unnecessary head movements.
  • Avoid jarring motion, excessively fast transitions, or missing a stable frame of reference.
  • Support indirect gestures that allow users to interact with the app with their hands at rest.
  • If direct gestures are supported, ensure the interactive content is within a reasonable distance.

Take Away

Apple Vision Pro offers an expansive canvas designed for crafting immersive digital experiences. When developing apps and games for VisionOS, it’s crucial to grasp the spatial design principles intrinsic to Vision Pro. Besides, consider partnering with cutting-edge app solutions to meet your Apple Vision Pro development requirements for a seamless and innovative journey.

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