Interactive User Manual
In this exploratory project, I created an interactive user manual for the Metaverse using Figma.
This case study will discuss my design process, and why UX is crucial to the blossoming virtual reality industry.
I completed my masters in UX Design at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in December of 2022.
My work as a UX designer has been at the intersection of entertainment and Web3.
Earlier in my career, I worked as a sound engineer and visual artist in the entertainment industry.
What kind of product combines user-centered audiovisual entertainment experiences and emerging, innovative Web3 tech?
The answer lies in virtual reality (VR) and the Metaverse.
This is why I'm interested in VR, and why I chose to explore VR in this user manual.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE METAVERSE
The term 'metaverse' was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.
The book describes an immersive digital world that real-life users interact with using VR headsets.
Stephenson describes different types of digital avatars, virtual theme parks, virtual combat and other activities that take place in the metaverse.
The main character, Hero Protagonist, explores complex unfolding mysteries taking place IRL and within the VR universe generated by ones and zeros.
Tech giant Meta (formerly Facebook) describes the Metaverse this way:
“The Metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.”
Meta has good reason to describe the Metaverse in such idealistic terms- they have the largest stake in the virtual reality industry, grabbing upwards of 80% of the VR headset market in 2021.
The Metaverse describes a state of future technology where social interactions and a variety of digital behavior occur virtually, in immersive digital environments.
We are rapidly approaching this future, where art galleries, concerts, and social events will be attended virtually by international participants, in environments artfully designed by 3D architects.
However, in today's world, most people are wary of, or confused by VR.