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The pandemic has propelled the application of cutting-edge technologies across a variety of different sectors to drive user engagement and business efficiency. According to KPMG, nearly 60% of executives agree that COVID-19 has created an impetus to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.
This also applies to individual habits and behaviors which have changed significantly post-pandemic as online and virtual experiences are now commonplace. Signs of changing behaviors across the market have encouraged our experience design company to create experiences that enhance different aspects of culture, heritage, tourism, sports and entertainment through partnerships with firms in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Europe and the Far East. As the concept and design of the metaverse continue to evolve, people will seek more engaging, impactful experiences in the virtual realm and this will present new opportunities for the experience design and immersive events sector.
What is experience design?
Experience design means establishing emotional and inspirational connections between people and brands. An experience designer leverages the right balance of immersive touchpoints & technologies to offer flexible and smart solutions across multiple platforms. The key to experience design is to implement interactive technology to transform immersive experiences into unforgettable memories. Emotional journey mapping, in combination with AI and immersive technology, will be crucial in redefining how audiences interact with diverse events and how they engage with the online world.
When creating an experience, in collaboration with the institution or brand, a creative team of architects, designers, engineers, developers, coders and content providers combine their talents to turn ideas for human-centric experiential journeys into reality.
There are three types of user experience in the industry that will drive engagement and interaction. This includes permanent exhibitions & experiences; i.e., transforming permanent spaces, such as engagement centers or museums, into multi-sensory experiences that take guests on an out-of-this-world adventure. The second type of experience includes pop-up/temporary events which may require more artistic flare, storytelling and production such as festivals, shows and exhibitions. Finally, there are also virtual experiences, where experience design must immerse audiences in a hyper-realistic, fully interactive environment via virtual platforms.
Brands will need to keep up and constantly innovate in order to drive user engagement. One of the next challenges will be adapting new cutting-edge ways of interacting with users in the metaverse. Virtual experiences will therefore offer a new window of opportunity as technology continues to rapidly develop.
What is next for design and the metaverse?
According to a recent report by Reports and Data, the global metaverse market size is expected to reach USD $872.35 billion in 2028 and register a revenue CAGR of 44.1% during the forecast period. The metaverse is set to revolutionize how products and brands interact with their audiences and technologies such as AR and VR, as well as a team of experience designers, could help bring co-creation to the metaverse. This disruptive approach can already be seen in the arts sector where headsets and controllers can simulate virtual art utensils and enable people to engage and interact as artists.
Experience design offers many different opportunities for co-creation in the metaverse, brand innovation as well as providing jobs for young, tech-savvy individuals. In order to thrive in the virtual world, it will be necessary for companies to adapt their business model and leverage experience design to become a co-creating partner in the emerging metaverse.
Khalid Al Muawad is the CEO of Midwam.