Design Guide for the Metaverse
What is the Metaverse? To put it in as simple words as possible, the Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds that can help people build connections, create avatars, the possibilities are endless. But since the Metaverse is still coming into existence, we can’t fully what the Metaverse is yet fully. The definition will continue to evolve as more layers get added to the Metaverse.
But one thing is for sure. The Metaverse will provide a brand new internet experience merges emerging new technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create a completely embodied and immersive experience for users.
The Metaverse will allow both our physical and digital lives to intersect and create expressions, avatars etc.
The Metaverse is definitely going to change a lot of things in terms of design and organisations will have to keep up with the ever-changing trends and technologies if they want to be successful. So it’s no surprise that there has been a surge of companies rushing to get inside the door, and get involved with the Metaverse.
Many big, successful global companies have already begun to immerse themselves into the Metaverse by implementing the technologies used to build it — AR and VR. Gucci, Nike, Disney, Snapchat, and Facebook are just some of the brands committed to creating virtual communities, content, assets, fashion, art, experiences, and worlds.
Design is everything in the Metaverse
The Metaverse requires integration with a lot of new technologies like AR and VR to create a completely immersive experience for users. But even with these most advanced technologies some essential senses like taste, smell and touch are missing.
Designing with all senses in mind
The Metaverse is a very sensorial platform. Thus both designers and marketers will need to consider all senses when they are creating, designing and marketing any brand.
Sensory branding is a method that a lot of organisations use to impact and resonate with their consumers by targeting at least one of their senses. Targeting the senses is a method that is used to evoke a cognitive, emotional, behavioural and memorable response from consumers.
3D Design and Animation
Commonly used 2D design tools that designers are used to work with like Sketch and Figma will not be that useful in designing the Metaverse. Designers will have to be able to create artefacts in 3D, in order to bring things to life in the Metaverse and make them appear tangible and as lifelike as possible to achieve a fully immersive experience. Several 3D modelling softwares exist such as Tvori and Gravity Sketch that designers should start practicing and experimenting with to learn the fundamentals of 3D designing, modelling and prototyping in the Metaverse.
It’s always better to be one step ahead of the game, rather than being left behind.
Consistency in design needs to be a key guiding principle
While designers should never design in isolation, it is even more important when designing for the Metaverse. Every stage and aspect of the design process must consider previous and future designs and marketing ideas. A key feature of the Metaverse is its focus on interoperability — which essentially means that it provides users with an easy and seamless transition across different virtual worlds. Therefore to ensure that users have this seamless experience, designers need to ensure that every user’s individual experience is consistent and uninterrupted.
Storytelling is not only necessary, it is essential
Especially when we talk about designing in the Metaverse, incorporating storytelling has to be at the forefront of everything that designers do. To create individual Metaverse experiences, designers will need to have a clear idea of how to build a compelling story and create a narrative. Since so many different experiences exist in the Metaverse, there will need to be a powerful storyline to connect them together and make the users feel like they are a part of a bigger experience.
In design, storytelling is all about trying to invoke a particular emotion. Your aim shouldn’t be to work on building characters and a plot, it should be to try to convey and elicit feelings through design work.
If you have clarity on the emotion you are trying to evoke through your storytelling, you will be able to better understand he audience who will engage with your designs, and you are direct and intentional with your approach, the storytelling will write itself.
As the Metaverse continues to grow and evolve, designers will have to seriously put a plan in place of how to create their own Metaverse experience. From designing NFT’s to cryptocurrency, to creating AR and VR experiences, there are lots of ways in which designers can dip their toes into the world of Metaverse. And it promises to be an exciting future for sure.
Originally published at https://www.onething.design on July 8, 2022.