Improving New User Onboarding with Digital Twins: The Nemesis

The Milano Digital Week is currently taking place and is Europe’s largest event dedicated to education, culture and digital innovation. As part of the event, Web3 virtual world The Nemesis has recreated a digital twin of Milan city centre.

Whilst this campaign has been created on a tactical basis in promotion of the Milan event, it has a deeper and more important role in the context of new user onboarding and it's a really smart move from The Nemesis.

Importantly, for the Metaverse to appeal to a much wider consumer demographic audience (and by this we mean adults) virtual world platforms have to think carefully about the initial experience inside their platforms for new users.

Sure, whilst building futuristic experiences and brand-new environments is cool, for many, entering the Metaverse can initially be a daunting experience. To address this challenge, developers have to find ways to ease new users into virtual worlds, and one such method is recreating real-world places (digital twins).

The key reason for taking this approach is that it creates a sense of familiarity.

The benefits are as follows:

Reducing Cognitive Load

Stepping into the Metaverse for the first time can be a bewildering experience. New users grapple with the complexities of an entirely digital world, where the rules are different, and the terrain is unfamiliar. However, developers and creators should recognise that there is a solution to this challenge: recreating real-world locations.

One of the fundamental ways this approach improves new user onboarding is by reducing cognitive load. The Metaverse can be a vast and intricate place and new users often feel overwhelmed by its sheer unfamiliarity. By incorporating real-world places, a bridge is built between the virtual and real, offering users a comforting anchor.

This familiarity is grounded in the fact that users inherently possess a mental map of these real-world locations. Whether it's a favourite cafe, a bustling city street, or an iconic landmark, these places are etched into our memories. As a result, navigating the virtual space becomes more intuitive and less daunting.

The reduction of cognitive load has a profound impact. It lessens the anxiety associated with the unknown, making the Metaverse a more inviting and approachable environment. Instead of feeling like a bewildered newcomer, users can step into the Metaverse with a sense of recognition and comfort, ready to explore and engage confidently.

Incorporating real-world locations into the Metaverse is a powerful tool that enhances new user onboarding. By tapping into users' preexisting knowledge and mental maps, it transforms the Metaverse from an intimidating digital world into a welcoming space where they can embark on their virtual adventures with ease. Knowing 'what's around the corner' is a good thing!

Emotional Connection

One of the keys to enhancing the onboarding experience for newcomers in virtual worlds lies in the establishment of an emotional connection. This connection is deeply rooted in the concept of familiarity, as it brings forth a sense of nostalgia and comfort.

Familiar settings within the Metaverse have the remarkable ability to evoke powerful emotions. Imagine stepping into a virtual representation of your favourite childhood park or the café where you met with friends for coffee. The moment you encounter these places, a rush of memories and emotions floods in. It's as though you've stumbled upon a long-lost treasure.

This emotional connection serves as a powerful magnet, pulling users deeper into the Metaverse. The sense of attachment to these virtual worlds grows, enticing users to return and explore further. It's akin to rekindling a cherished childhood haunt, where every visit feels like coming home.

In essence, by recreating real-world places within the virtual world, platforms can enable users to forge these emotional bonds. These bonds not only make the Metaverse a more inviting space but also ensure that users keep coming back, eager to embark on new adventures and create fresh memories. The Metaverse becomes a place where nostalgia meets innovation, and where emotional connections flourish, welcoming users with open arms into its digital embrace.

Social Facilitation

The Metaverse has emerged as a new frontier. However, for those taking their first steps into this immersive landscape, the idea of meeting people in a virtual environment can be a daunting prospect. This is where the concept of social facilitation steps in, offering an effective solution to bridge the gap between real and virtual worlds.

In the Metaverse, solitary experiences are the exception rather than the rule. It's a vibrant community bustling with individuals hailing from diverse corners of the globe. Yet, for newcomers, the fear of the unknown can cast a shadow on their initial experiences. This is where the importance of social facilitation becomes evident.

By crafting virtual spaces that closely resemble familiar real-world places, new users are greeted with a sense of comfort and recognition. These familiar environments serve as the perfect backdrop for social interactions, making the prospect of meeting others in the metaverse considerably less intimidating.

Shared experiences within these recreated real-world spaces foster a sense of camaraderie among users. As individuals come together to explore, converse, or collaborate, bonds are formed, and connections are established. These interactions create a bridge between the real and virtual worlds, making the Metaverse a more inviting and accessible place for newcomers.

Learning Curve Reduction

Entering a virtual world for the first time can be a bewildering experience. The unfamiliar terrain, strange interfaces, and the daunting prospect of learning new skills can easily discourage newcomers. However, there's a powerful solution to this challenge: replicating real-world places within the virtual environment.

The process of learning to navigate a new digital landscape can indeed be frustrating, but this frustration can be significantly reduced when users encounter settings they recognise. When developers recreate real-world places, they tap into the user's existing knowledge. Users instinctively know where to find information, how to interact with objects, and where to seek assistance, mirroring their experiences in the physical world. This familiarity acts as a guiding light in the Metaverse, expediting the learning curve.

By empowering users with this sense of familiarity, they're given the confidence and ease to traverse the Metaverse with greater comfort. They are no longer mere explorers in a new place, but instead find themselves in a world that feels strangely like home. In turn, this encourages more users to take the plunge into virtual worlds and enriches their overall experience. In the Metaverse, familiarity truly is the key to a smoother, more welcoming onboarding process.

In conclusion

Recreating real-world places in the Metaverse serves as an intelligent tactic for welcoming and nurturing new users. By mitigating cognitive load, fostering emotional connections, facilitating social interactions and reducing the learning curve, this approach enhances the overall onboarding experience.

It transforms the Metaverse from an intimidating unknown into a welcoming, inviting environment where users can embark on new adventures with confidence and enthusiasm. This can only be a good thing for the onboarding of the next one billion Metaverse users.

Here's a video of the Milan digital twin in The Nemesis.

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