Ten principles for businesses designing a metaverse

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Ten principles for businesses designing a metaverse

When organisations are envisioning their own metaverse, there are 10 principles they should have in mind, according to Forrester.

David Truog, VP principal analyst at Forrester breaks down the 10 principles for extended reality (XR) design businesses should focus on when imagining human-centred design experiences for their customers in the metaverse.

The principles are as follows:

  1. Designing virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality experiences spans a continuum.
  2. 3D experience design can target many devices, from smartphones to headsets.
  3. Not all XR experiences should be immersive; many should be ambient instead.
  4. XR design requires expanding from two degrees of user movement to six.
  5. XR requires architecting how users will traverse from place to place.
  6. Designing XR UIs requires complex decisions about mechanics still in flux.
  7. XR design requires graduating from users as cursors to users as avatars.
  8. Access control for private spaces is essential to XR experience design.
  9. XR lets designers equip users with virtual superpowers.
  10. Designing XR experiences requires experiencing XR.

Fusion

Virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) trick the human brain into fusing stimuli from the physical environment with stimuli that are artificially generated. Troug said designers need to keep this in mind when building a metaverse. 

Depth

Truog explained that creating XR experiences requires a slew of talent to provide those 3D visuals. 

He uses an example, “If a user listens to a presenter facing them at an event in AltspaceVR but then turns their head to the left, the presenter’s voice will instantly seem to be coming from their right instead of in front of them.”

Attention

When planning a metaverse or XR, designers should decide whether the experience is immersive or not. 

Freedom

XR experiences give users six degrees of freedom, which means they require designing metaverses that factor in the way users move and gaze virtually. 

Locomotion

XR experiences also let users move instantly from one place to another, this can be equivalent to clicking on a web page to go to another page. 

Interaction

XR experiences, navigating spaces and manipulating objects require new behaviours like gliding, raycasting, gazing and dwelling, pinching to select, and using wrist rotation to summon a menu, these are unfamiliar to users and furthermore can differ depending on the XR experience.

Presence

In XR, position and movement are in virtual spaces instead of virtual documents, and presence is often indicated by an animated character — or an avatar.

Permission

XR spaces can be either private or completely public.

Magic

When designing XR experiences, designers usually need to strike a balance when deciding on the physics.

Empiricism

XR experiences are very different from familiar digital experiences. 

“Gather solid evidence about the XR experiences you design by testing them with real users — you don’t need to bring people into a lab to do this,” Truog added.

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