Traditional multimedia designs have worked in the same basic manner for quite some time, although there have been significant changes in the online world. In both cases, marketing still essentially depends on two-dimensional graphics, be it through mobile phones, televisions, or print. All this is set to change once the metaverse becomes a part of everyday life, when designers will have no option but to cross new frontiers.
Not everyone is waiting to see how the multi-dimensional metaverse unfolds. Some of the top namesalready developing metaverse technology include Meta, NVIDIA, Epic Games, Microsoft, Apple, Decentraland, Benetton, Gucci /Roblox, and Shopify. According to Statista, 6.1 million virtual reality (VR) headsets were sold globally in 2021, with a cumulative installed base of 16.44 million units. By 2024, these numbers are expected to increase to 14.31 million and 34.03 million, respectively.
While numbers surrounding the metaverse look promising, there are various aspects that leave considerable room for improvement. Consequently, it is upon designers to start exploring these avenues and add to their existing skills.
Making the Case for Ethical Design
People who become part of the metaverse will do so based on their specific needs, which could be meeting new people, socializing with friends, or exploring business opportunities. It is then up to designers to create comfortable spaces that promote interactions. Given the toxicity that the internet is now home to, this is one path the metaverse will do well by avoiding.
From the multimedia design perspective, here are the main factors that need designers’ attention.
- Give due importance to promoting mental wellbeing.
- Steer clear of using dark patterns that work as forceful decision drivers.
- Create designs that are accessible by all, their disabilities notwithstanding.
From UX to the Unreal
The move to user experience (UX) based design marked a shift from computers being external elements to ones that have become intrinsic parts of our lives. Enter the metaverse – where internet-enabled devices will serve as portals to entirely different worlds, and the design will no longer revolve around the user. Instead, it will need to reorient itself to the user’s avatar that makes its way into the metaverse.
While good multimedia design in this day and age needs to be aesthetic, intuitive, and easy to use, it will also need to be completely immersive in the metaverse. Within the metaverse, designs will no longer focus on whether audiences take desired actions, but on ensuring that environments are conducive enough for people to want to be there in the first place. For instance, a designer might have to focus on getting consumers to a metaverse marketplace in a bid to drive them away from online shopping platforms or brick-and-mortar stores.
With the line between pixels and physicality drawing ever closer than before, businesses that spread their virtual wings in this direction first might be the ones to benefit most. However, they’ll need to stay on top of aspects such as design, branding, and security.
Technically speaking, the metaverse is set out to be the most complicated digital platform yet. The effect this has on multimedia design may be more pronounced than what desktop publishing did in the not-too-distant past. The fact that the top marketing and branding agencies are already updating their skills to meet a newfound demand is all too indicative that the metaverse is in the coming, and hopping on board might be in your best interest.