The Metaverse and the Future of Product Design: What Will 2022 Bring?

Product design is still evolving. We saw some fascinating trends emerge in the last few years, and we don’t expect the rate of innovation to slow down just yet. For one, emerging Metaverse projects are likely to make motion design more important than ever.

2021 saw a form of realism take center stage for a while, with UI designs making use of elements that resemble real-life items. The application of toggles, dials, and switches became more pervasive. 

There was also a clear trend towards personalization. Finally, after a lot of talk and theory, customers were better equipped to customize and fine-tune the user experience by selecting the coloring or themes they preferred. 

Now, all these clever adaptations seem like a test run for a much larger upcoming breakthrough, and perhaps even a design revolution.

Minimalism, Sustainability, and Motion Design

At Shark Design, we expect the dominant product design trends of this year to involve minimalism, sustainability considerations, innovation centered around emotions, unusual fonts, animations that inspire the imagination, and much more.

There has been a great deal of publicity around the Metaverse (a concept first explored in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash), partly due to Facebook’s rebranding. Businesses are starting to focus more heavily on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). As a result, the shift towards motion design and animation is irreversible. 

Increasingly, the virtual world and the real world will integrate. We saw the beginning of this design trend last year with the stunning flame-engulfed trainer graphic conceived by Buffalo London and The Fabricant. This was the first virtual wearable made available for purchase on a major brand’s website alongside its standard, physical product line.

Similarly, the Paris-headquartered high-end luxury brand Balenciaga teamed up with the online game Fortnite to gain a dramatic role in the heart of the action. Here, Balenciaga’s restyled handbags appeared as gliders. Other accessories formed an ensemble of high-fashion weaponry that the Fortnite players could use to beef up their avatars.

It’s clear as day that the quest to build a whole new 3D world online will force a new era of creativity, with storytelling at the forefront. The meta designer will need a different mindset, new skills, and unorthodox methods. Today’s popular 2D sketching software tools, including Figma and Sketch, will gradually fall out of favor. After all, designing metaverse experiences means creating virtual artifacts in 3D. 

We expect tools like Tvori and Gravity Sketch to see rapid adoption.

You will be hearing a lot more about popular Metaverse coins like Decentraland, as they are certain to play a key role in the new virtual landscape.

As always, Shark Design works hard to stay on top of these trends. For example, if you’re curious about the prospect of running an NFT campaign and would like to learn more about how it can help your business, then you might be interested to know that we created Shark Digital for just that purpose.

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