With Metaverse becoming the next big thing in, a lot of focus is presently being paid on designing this virtual space. From web developers, UI/UX designers to product designers, everyone is involved in shaping this world and along with the rapid growth in the tech space, the way we design today is only bound to change with Metaverse taking center stage. With technology ready to support the evolution into the way we interact and connect, an immersive experience space for human interaction via their avatars is what we are moving towards.
Metaverse design will need designers to bring more immersive experience to the forefront and this requires for them to also broaden their skills. A few areas where designers will need to focus their attention on:
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-Designing for augmented and virtual reality: Moving completely from 2D to 3D design
Metaverse is essential for designing a 3D reality world. AR/ VR are known to be crucial for the virtual world, while AR is the first step towards it, VR is what will reveal the true potential of the metaverse. Not to forget, all this is possible to explore, experiment and experience only with the help of carefully curated design.
To bring a realistic experience into the metaverse, designers will work more carefully on:
A. Understanding the context: Making note of what the physical environment of the user is. Here depth and perspective are vital properties of the physical environment. VR headsets with sensors will map the users physical environment and further help the designers to design and craft curated experiences so that the users are safe while they immerse into the virtual world.
B. Realistic design of human facial expressions: For designers, a large part of their design will involve the reactions, emotions and facial expressions that their virtual avatars will showcase. Since most of these are non-verbal in nature, design focussed on human emotions as they interact with people for avatars will be an essential component for designers.
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C. Gesture standardization: Designing a standardized pattern for gestures of head, hands and body movements will allow users to learn easily and quickly on how to work with and use a product built in the metaverse world.
D. Voice Interactions: Voice integration in design has been making waves for a few years, however with metaverse, voice based interaction is a huge opportunity and will be one of the core experiences of the virtual world. Designing experiences that will help users easily communicate with voice will become an essential part of designers job profile.
While these will be key design based changes coming our way, here are a few others to consider as well –
-Designing for accessibility
One key property of good design is accessibility. An inclusive and accessible immersive metaverse experience will be a challenge for many designers. From managing differently abled people’s experiences in metaverse to taking note of tech based motion sickness that VR users may suffer from, designers will be problem solvers that will design for comfortable immersive experiences and optimize systems for inclusivity.
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-Designing curated content
With metaverse changing user expectations, designers will need to build engaging content in metaverse platforms. Users will still interact with similar types of content like text, visual, gifs, music, movies and more- however the way they consume this content will be different. From stepping out to watch movies, users will have their VR headsets to experience graphic motions of a movie from anywhere in the world. Designers here will need to work with formats that work best for metaverse. They will need to explore and experiment with various content formats to find what works best with users, reactions, engagement and immersion.
-Designing virtual closets/ digital goods
In the digital world, people will have the opportunity to build their own avatars and interact with others. This brings in designing digital goods and virtual closets all the more essential. These goods can offer a new revenue stream for many retail brands, and will need curated design spaces to showcase their virtual goods for users to have access and buy. Their placement, product design, content – all are essential for a designer to work on so the user is tempted in making a purchase and will also be able to showcase what they own.
Other key components will include:
-design for a new digital economy that largely works with cryptocurrency, NFT’s and new digital payment modes. Making the user experience a smooth one with all integrated payment gateways.
-designing with a strong focus on ethics and privacy.
-design to prevent digital bullying and trolling, and prioritize mental well-being.
-designing more user-friendly color palettes and avoiding dark patterns. Avoiding patterns that force users to make decisions they would otherwise not.
-design to encourage long term participation and make the virtual world feel like a real place.
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