How to position your web design agency for Web 3.0 and the Metaverse

How to position your web design agency for Web 3.0 and the Metaverse

Dec 20, 2021

With the unveiling of the Metaverse, the continued adoption of blockchain, and the application of Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning on the web, we can all agree that the internet’s next evolution is happening.

Experts call the next era of the internet; web 3.0. There is no timeline to signal the start of this next era, but we can see the transformation happening before us.

The big question is, “how do you position your web design agency for this next change?”

Already the Metaverse is shaping conversations around communication and the future of the internet experience. By Wikipedia’s definition, the Metaverse is an iteration (version) of the internet, and that is correct. However, for those who understand web 3.0, the Metaverse is part of the internet’s much-discussed evolution. In many ways, the Metaverse is an offshoot of the web 3.0, which would rely heavily on AI, ML, AR, and VR.

Web 3.0 will reconstruct web success metrics and, by extension, web design success metrics. The success of a web design will be assessed based on the new incoming standards of the web, the web 3.0 standard.

To better understand web 3.0 and its implication on web design standards, we have to review the history of web transformation. At the end of the review, we will be able to identify the new or upcoming design standards that web 3.0 and Metaverse will introduce. Also, we will discuss simple steps to positioning your web agency for the web 3.0 and Metaverse era.

History of Web Evolution

So far, the web has had one recorded and recognized evolution, from web 1.0 to web 2.0.

In the web 1.0 era, the web was text-based - think of classified advert websites like Craigslist. Back then, websites were made of text, hyperlinks, and occasional gifs.

As the needs of consumers changed and website owners wanted to improve interaction and customer experience, web 2.0 was born. This evolution took place in the mid-2000s.

In the web 2.0 era, websites were built to give customers a unique browsing experience. Web designers combined technology, design, and media to deliver websites that were a digital representation of a business, individual, or group of people.

In typical natural progression order, web 2.0 is evolving to deliver an even better experience to users. This next evolution is called web 3.0. The term web 3.0, coined and publicized by John Markoff in his 2006 NY times article, refers to a new internet era. In this era, the web will be decentralized, super interactive, ubiquitous, and smart.

Web 3.0

Experts agree that web 3.0 will be powered by Artificial intelligence and machine learning while leveraging AR, VR, media, and design to deliver a rich experience.

Although there is no set definition for web 3.0 yet, we can agree that web 3.0 is an AI/machine learning-powered web that offers users contextually relevant search results. Also, web 3.0 is a decentralized web that reduces the data monopoly of big players like Google and protects user data better.

Another USP of web 3.0 is the visual experience that it promises. Multimedia, augmented and virtual reality are essential parts of web 3.0. So it follows that the Metaverse is an iteration of web 3.0.

Metaverse

In summary, the Metaverse is a version of the web, experienced in a 3D environment through a personal computer or augmented and virtual reality headsets. If you’re an avid gamer, you may have experienced the Metaverse in limited forms through games like Second Life.

Looking at the latest web technologies of the 21st century, blockchain and Metaverse, we can say that web 3.0 is here, although in bits. Soon the features of web 3.0 will be the standard for every website owner and, inadvertently, web developer.

What web 3.0 and the Metaverse means for a web design agency

Designing for an AI-powered web: To build a smart website in the smart web era, designers have to leverage AI frameworks to design websites optimized for customers. A customer-centric design allows smooth navigation and easy access to information.

Using AI frameworks, web designers and developers would better understand the end-users’ preferences. This information will influence design decisions on the look and feel of a web platform.

In summary, designing for an AI-powered web means using data to make design decisions.

Designing to meet a new customer experience standard: As more and more consumers embrace the Metaverse, businesses will have to offer AR/VR-powered customer service. That means business websites would support VR/AR product experiences or customer support. Some real estate companies have VR property tours in place already, but it is not the standard.

Over time, VR and AR will become an industry standard. Customers would prefer or seek AR/VR interaction, and businesses would have to provide it. That means websites have to evolve to suit this need.

In this case, a web designer and developer must have the skills and experience to deliver web platforms that offer AR/VR experience. Using images and videos won’t be enough. AR and VR will be required to deliver a personalized product or business experience.

Designing for a Ubiquitous web: Web 3.0 is a ubiquitous web, which means it is available everywhere and can be accessed via internet-enabled devices. Thanks to IoT devices, the web is somewhat ubiquitous. As IoT devices become popular and gain wider acceptance, the design standard for platforms will change to suit these devices.

When designing web platforms for IoT devices, web designers must find a way to create lightweight and optimized web designs. An IoT design must be lightweight and optimized because IoT devices like smart home hubs and wristwatches have limited processing power.

Before web 3.0, web designers usually factor desktop, tablet, and mobile screens in their designs.

The number of screens has to expand to accommodate other hand-held devices and smart tools that can access the web.

Designing for a semantic web: One of the standout features of web 3.0 is its semantic search. Using AI and Machine learning, web 3.0 will provide contextually relevant results to our search queries. It won’t present answers based on the keywords used in a query but based on the context of our questions. This is possible because of the AI/ML algorithm powering web 3.0.

The algorithm would be preloaded with data from the activities of users in the web 2.0 era. So the web 3.0 would be human smart, not learning to become smart.

Websites in the web 3.0 era would be required to meet semantic web standards. That means localized searches on a website are expected to turn up contextually relevant results. These websites must have the capacity to process human language in any form, text, audio, or image. This would require AI/ML-powered search tools that collect text, audio, and image input.

Again, web 3.0’s semantic features would disrupt website development and design standards. Websites will be deemed up-to-date if they can respond to queries with only contextually relevant results. Web developers have to integrate AI/ML-powered search tools and chatbots on websites to meet the semantic web standard. Also, the website content would be created using data from domain-specific AI.

3 steps to navigating web 3.0 and the Metaverse

  1. Experiment with the new tech – If you follow the news, you’d know that some big companies are already setting up shop on the Metaverse and making their website AR/VR supportive where possible. Soon, a VR/AR supporting website will become the standard. Businesses, your potential customers, would want to build their website or web platform to meet web 3.0’s standards.

  2. Build a portfolio – A portfolio is the best tool to demonstrate competence for a role or job. That means you have to build a web 3.0 platform - AR/VR enabled, smart search supportive, multimedia content, navigable, interactive, and display responsively.

  3. Create a buzz around your work – This step is obvious, but it bears repeating. It is not enough to create a portfolio. You have to let people know about the work you’re doing.

Conclusion

As the internet moves into the web 3.0 era, it is vital to be prepared and positioned to make the most of it. If you agree, you must adopt web 3.0 best practices in your web design and development today.

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