By Alex Nicholls, CEO at SWALLOW

One emerging truth about Web3 is that it won’t reach mass adoption unless and until it looks great. We already know this, having heard abundant criticism of the aesthetic appeal – or lack thereof – of metaverse spaces. Meta’s initial metaverse posts, for instance, were widely mocked, and all the commotion goes to show that design and aesthetics are a crucial part of Web3.

Design doesn’t dictate that everything has to look one particular way. On the contrary; design is instrumental in communicating the essence of the company and engaging users, particularly for Web3 startups. Therefore, design approaches must be as varied as the companies and online spaces being represented. It’s a major investment that will be well worthwhile, as there are multiple ways design can make or break a Web3 project.

An emphasis on design will create better teams

Quality design and mass funding don’t necessarily go hand in hand for a couple of reasons. First, the person or company with the most money doesn’t always have the best taste. Second, the person or company with the most money doesn’t always have an in-depth understanding of both the historic and current gaming environments, or an eye toward the future of Web3’s digital economy or creator economy.

Businesses of all sizes, especially in an industry still in its infancy like Web3, need to be able to accept criticism from talented creative directors. Some (though by no means all) companies focus heavily on the tech behind their product, to the detriment of the design. A hugely visual medium like the metaverse should place design at the forefront of everything being built. The ultimate recipe for success in future digital spaces will be a good UX and overall design plus powerful marketing and a clear solution to a problem.

Opinions differ on who should actually be tasked with designing metaverse and game spaces. There’s a strong case to be made that it’s a group endeavor: creators will develop a visual design based on the company’s vision and specify how it should be displayed, in-house specialists will build the infrastructure to make that display possible, and users will assess overall interactivity. Gamers, for example, are seasoned in immersive digital experiences and can provide a great deal of insight into functionality and engagement. All of the above components are necessary to designing any Web3 space with integrity.

Good design makes for greater utility, longevity and fun

When we reach a point where everyday users begin designing their own metaverse spaces, they’ll provide insights into and updates on their lives in the same way they do on current Web2 social media platforms. It will also be important for them to maintain some control over what they display and how they communicate. Users have grown used to the ability to customize their profiles and pages in Web2, and they’ll expect it when moving to Web3. Additionally, because of the immersive element of Web3 spaces, solid design will allow a metaverse community to interact in a far more human way than what takes place on current social media platforms. 

As for Web3 games, visual appeal – futuristic, nostalgic, or somewhere in between – is often what piques players’ interest in the first place. Gameplay, interactivity and the resulting enjoyment make them stick around. 

Above all, everything in production has to have an eye toward the future. If companies are not talking to Generations Z and Alpha (i.e., the creators and users of the future) while building their metaverses, they’re doing themselves a disservice.

Metaverse design is coming into its own as an art form

The rise of metaverse-as-a-service (MaaS) products has seen design tools shift out of the hands of Unity, UE5 or other game engine developers and into the hands of creators. Using a drag-and-drop UI, people with a good eye for space design are now able to bring their virtual ideas to life in a way that historically hasn’t been possible. 

In this new frontier, everyone from individual creators to entire business teams can work solely to design spaces for themselves and others, creating additional opportunities for the right people with the right vision and eye for detail. Now is the time for Web3 businesses to locate and connect with those people.

A big investment will yield big returns

High-quality design by a high-quality designer is expensive and with good reason. The best designers have often spent decades refining their art and by rights deserve to be compensated accordingly. Web3 companies that invest heavily in tech, infrastructure, scaling, and so on would do well to apply the same principle to design and budget it in alongside everything else. 

A significant step a company can take to refine its approach to digital design is during the recruiting process. Examine prospective hires’ portfolios. How long have they been a designer? What are their standout projects? Each designer should have a visible portfolio and be able to showcase their best work relative to the task at hand. Together, Web3 businesses and designers can craft visuals tailored specifically to appeal to a business’s target audiences.

A simple upgrade to design habits will produce results

There’s more to be gained from investing in design than just a good-looking product. Users will see that a company cares about its virtual appearance and gravitate toward that. Engaging users has long been key to successful online businesses in their current formats, and that won’t change with the continued rise of metaverses or games. If a Web3 business can capture the attention of users, create a distinctive experience and deliver on that experience consistently, the opportunities are endless.

Design factors into the visible components of any customer-facing business, metaverses and gaming included. It’s the first impression, and first impressions last. Companies that prioritize design in their Web3 activities – by hiring mindfully, budgeting intentionally, and putting aesthetics and ease of use at the forefront of everything they do – will reap the rewards.

About the author:  

Alex Nicholls, CEO of SWALLOW, is a crypto and financial tech professional as well as a sales, marketing, and communications expert with experience across multiple startups in various industries. In 2021, he joined SWALLOW, a company that collaborates with the world’s best tattoo artists to bring a global digital distribution network to the tattoo industry, from product branding to video games. SWALLOW underscores the inherent artistic and cultural value of the tattoo by creating a space in the metaverse designed for artists, tattoo lovers, and gamers to gather, interact, and transact, facilitating communal familiarity with Web3 and NFT spaces while retaining the atmosphere of the existing real-world community.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here