The opportunities within the metaverse are truly vast, with entertainment, gaming, publishing and even fast food and luxury brands experimenting to get a piece of the expected $800 billion market. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what can occur in Web3, as concerts in Fortnite and Roblox become more common and consumers spend very real money on dressing their avatar in Gucci. While the possibilities of what we can do in the metaverse are endless, the way the metaverse is designed from a UX perspective needs to be a key focus on making the metaverse a place for all to feel comfortable and accessible.
The metaverse carries some unique challenges from a design, content and UX perspective that does not exist anywhere else. Designers working in this nascent industry have the opportunity to create benchmarks for how the metaverse is designed and accessed going forward. Here are some of the main design challenges of creating content and access in the metaverse.
The metaverse brings the unique challenge of needing to communicate using voice commands and physical gestures, including eye tracking. Our current experience using voice through Siri and Alexa is just a small part of what UX can and should be in the metaverse. Currently, we don’t have any day-to-day experience that lives in a VR world where you can interact with both gestures and voice. I predict the industry will need to standardize voice and hand gestures early on; otherwise, the usability of the different experiences will be extremely hard. For context, when we first began working with mobile phones and the early days of apps, gestures and hand movements were first introduced. Today in 2022, we all know how to ‘scroll to refresh’ and ‘pinch to zoom’ thanks to the standardization of mobile gestures which provides a common ground for all apps, and acts as an anchor for the user. Without this standard common ground, using each app would require the user to learn not only its structure but also how to interact with it.