7 STEPS TO GREAT 3D DESIGN

Essential tips to help make a beautiful and captivating experience

1 Why are you doing it?

Let’s start from the beginning. Everyone’s doing things for a reason. Would you like people to experience what you imagined? Play with it? Maybe surprise them and show them something they’ve never seen before? You just want to try it? There’s no wrong answer, and the reason will shape the result.

2 It should feel good

Whenever someone mentions the ‘look and feel’ of an experience, the look is easy to describe, and in most cases it’s a straightforward plan: make it pretty. The feel is more ephemeral – it’s somewhere between high frame rate (keep 60fps!), fluid animations (a lot of easing, follow rules of physics or break them on purpose) and general consistency of the experience. You’re making a small world, so it has to make sense.

3 Make it interactive

As you progress in creating your experience, you’ll notice it’s actually plenty of space once you have this one extra dimension. Fill it with a lot of different things. Let people look around and discover, let them be curious. And while you’re at it, you’ll see they have amazing ideas.

4 Let people create

Let them build, break, rearrange. Generate something new? It’s an interactive piece – through the interaction, in a way, they’re the makers. And they’re good at it. Let them create, let them save and share. There’s something great when they come back saying “look what I’ve made!”.

5 Work on all the platforms

Make it run fast and fluid – 60fps, all the time. Around 50 per cent of the work is making sure it runs and looks good everywhere. But it’s all worth it: there are a lot of people out there. While you test on diferent devices, you’ll notice they have diferent capabilities too – use them! Some have multi-touch, some have gyroscope, some have microphones. They can all meet in the same space, and they’ll all have diferent superpowers.

6 Work on all the people

Meet up with your least tech-savvy friends, show them what you’ve made, but don’t say anything about it. Let them click around, figure it out. Analytics are good, but seeing someone’s reactions can give you actual insight into what you’ve made, how it makes people feel. And you only have a couple of seconds to get people’s attention – make sure their first action is always ‘correct’.

7 Keep releasing

One of the biggest strengths of releasing projects on the web is the ease of changing and fixing it. You can even release it as experiments first, one by one; as you get better, they’ll form a more and more complete project. And once you’re done, you’ll already have people waiting for it.

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