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Published on August 21, 2023

The Future of UX Research is in the Metaverse

Have you ever wondered about the future of UX research, and how you’ll unravel the mysteries of user behaviour when the digital world will become as real as the physical one?


Picture a world where digital existence isn’t confined to screens, but stretches across the boundless metaverse, blurring the lines between real and virtual. 


Whether you're a tech whiz or just curious, envisioning how UI UX designers or those involved in creating digital experiences will study user behaviour in this vast digital expanse is mind-boggling.


Join ZeeFrames, as we embark on a journey into the future of UX research and decipher the innovative ways we’ll study user behaviour within the Metaverse. 


Speaking of the metaverse, have you ever come across the term and its true significance?


Rest assured if this is new to you, ZeeFrames is here to fill you in!


What is the metaverse?


You can interpret the metaverse as a sprawling digital universe where physical and virtual realities meet, creating an interconnected world of shared experiences and spaces. Imagine a space, where you can seamlessly interact, work, play, or socialize with others without being physically present there. Indeed, a place where you can’t tell between what’s real and what’s virtual. 


Metaverse is like stepping into a sci-fi world where technology intertwines with our daily life opening up endless possibilities for communication and creativity. However, it’s important to note that the metaverse is currently in its early stages of development and we’re yet to discover the full potential of this vast digital world. 



Why is UX research in the metaverse so important?


Digital experiences are meant to be built on three crucial factors, these are;




So, therefore, ensuring the metaverse delivers the optimal user experiences, hinges on the importance of UX research. 


In a report by Bloomberg Intelligence conducted in February 2023, growth projections for the metaverse market were highlighted. The report predicts that the metaverse is poised to become an $800 billion market by the year 2024.


The above research proves that there is a lot of potential for businesses to reach new customers and generate revenue in the metaverse. However, to attract and retain users, businesses will need to ensure their metaverse platforms are user-friendly, engaging, and accessible to everyone.


A study by Nelson Norman revealed that 70% of users will leave a website if it serves a bad experience. This means if the metaverse neglected UX research and got it wrong, users will simply move on to any other platform. 


Conversely, when your platform will effectively engage users with a positive experience, they'll be more likely to retain information and accomplish their goals. So, investing in good UX research will help improve user retention and engagement in the metaverse. 


Besides, the metaverse is a new and emerging technology, and there are a lot of things that we need to discover on how users will interact with it. UX research will help us to understand user needs and preferences in the metaverse to design platforms that users will enjoy using.


Similarly, the metaverse should be a place where every user can feel welcomed and included, regardless of their age, ability, or background.  UX research will highlight the issues that are stopping the metaverse from reaching its desired audience. 


Overall, UX research can make the metaverse a great place for everyone to hang out and shouldn’t be neglected. 


What are the challenges of UX research in the metaverse?


While the metaverse brings forth opportunities, it also presents challenges when it comes to studying user behaviour in the metaverse, such as;





  • Metaverse is new: It's difficult to design user research studies relevant to the metaverse because it’s still need to be explored.  it is in the development stage and we’re unsure how users will interact with the metaverse. We don’t know what software or hardware the user will be using to access the metaverse and what will be their reaction to it like physical movements or gestures.


  • Lack of standardized methods: Metaverse is a complex and immersive world and it’s difficult to study user behaviour and conduct UX research using traditional methods like surveys, and usability testing. UX researchers will need to develop and design their methods and tools tailored to the specific need of the study or research. 


  • Ethical Considerations and implications: Metaverse is a global platform so it’s essential to be mindful of cultural differences while studying user behaviour. The research should be inclusive and accessible to a global audience. Moreover, we need to be concerned as the metaverse is a social space. UX research should be carefully conducted without invading someone’s privacy or causing any harm to personal data. 


  • Hardware and software costs: The metaverse requires specialized hardware and software, which can be expensive. This may limit the number of users who can participate in user research studies. For example a VR headset can cost around $200 or $1000. It’s a huge investment and UX researchers can find it difficult to have a diverse sample of users in their research. 


Despite these challenges, UX research remains pivotal for the successful development of metaverse platforms. Without it, the metaverse risks devolving into a chaotic array of undesirable digital products and platforms. 


How to conduct UX research in the Metaverse?


Building on our discussion about developing innovative methods for studying user behaviour, here are some emerging UX research methods tailored for the metaverse. 


Emotion recognition:



You can use facial expressions, body language, and voice tone to recognize user emotions. This method will evaluate how a user is feeling while interacting with the metaverse. You’ll also be able to pick on areas that are causing discomfort and frustration for users. 


Emotion recognition can be useful in several ways. For example, a UX researcher can use it to see if users are feeling stressed or anxious while navigating a complex virtual environment. Similarly, you can see if users are feeling bored or disengaged while interacting with the virtual product. 


Brain imaging: 



In this method, you can use brain scans to measure user engagement and attention. It will help you to understand how your users are processing information and interacting with the metaverse. 


You might be wondering how this is possible and how it will help in UX research. Well a UX researcher can use brain imaging to find out if the user is paying attention to important information while browsing through the virtual environment. Moreover, you can see if the user is getting distracted by irrelevant stimuli.


By irregular stimuli we mean things that are not related to the task at hand, but that can still be attention-grabbing such as a bright light or loud noise. 


Mixed Reality:



Mixed reality is the combination of the real world with the virtual one, creating a more immersive experience for users to conduct UX research in a natural setting. 


A UX researcher can use mixed reality to see how users interact with a virtual product in their own home. This approach is useful because the user will be interacting with the virtual product in their own environment, which is similar to how they would interact with the product in real life. 


Doesn't mixed reality technique seem more feasible? What do you say?


Other methods that you can use in the metaverse include eye tracking, heat maps, user dairies and interviews. 


These were just a few examples of innovative UX research methods being developed for the metaverse. As the metaverse evolves, we can anticipate the emergence of  even more astonishing methods of user research that will revolutionize how we perceive and engage with technology.


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