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As the industry wrestles with what the Metaverse is and isn’t, companies are imagining what it means to them and how they can experiment now. Bloomberg Intelligence forecasts that the metaverse market could be an $800 billion market by 2024. To put that into perspective, another high-growth technology market – the public cloud – is expected to reach $716 billion in the same year.
Companies invest for various business reasons; the vast majority of them to improve digital experiences. Internally for employees, the metaverse leads to the creation of digital workplaces that enable distributed workforces. For shoppers, this means creating new, immersive experiences – whether at home or in a physical storefront – that raise the bar for customer experience even further.
And, while there are obvious advantages in sectors such as retail and gaming, there are also advantages in less obvious sectors. For example, metaverse-based technologies can benefit healthcare, where doctors and clinicians will have better ways to access information and interact with patients. Or, in the automotive industry, where metaverse technology can allow potential buyers to virtually test drive cars.
Before you can run, however, you must walk. No software is immune to the hurdles of testing, and in the Metaverse, it’s important to understand how to test Metaverse experiences and what determines success.
Some testing challenges will be familiar, such as dealing with different platforms, techniques, and considerations. To ensure customers have seamless, high-quality experiences on any device and with any payment source, testing with real people in real-world scenarios is crucial.
A new emerging challenge for metaverse testing is scale. The complexity of bringing together the technologies that create a metaverse experience, render it correctly, and deliver the appropriate content is vast enough on its own, but those experiences must also be continually validated and refined as the metaverse evolves.
If the metaverse experience includes payments, the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies that will be accepted will need to be verified and validated. This leads to transactional validation on a scale that enterprises have yet to experience.
While it’s hard to be ready for the scale challenges that currently exist, it’s important to keep in mind that the metaverse is the rise of seamless user experience. This will put businesses on the right track to deliver world-class experiences.
The Three Pillars of the Metaverse Experience
As companies adapt to the scale of the metaverse experiences they create and perform usability testing to understand how real users will interact with emerging digital experiences, three major themes surround the role testing will play. software in the metaverse, regardless of industry. .
- API testing. APIs are the backbone of metaverse experiences. Nearly 60% of developers report that they are directly involved in API testing – and this number will increase as the metaverse evolves. They are essential for operability, but new specifications for APIs are constantly coming to market before existing ones are obsolete, creating even more complexity for developers. APIs will be essential to support the interoperability, flexibility, and decentralization that are essential for metaverse experiences. But they must be tested to identify problems.
- Interactive and immersive tests. The success of the metaverse depends entirely on the users it impacts. Metaverse experiences should be interactive, accessible, and immersive, each requiring a holistic approach to testing. Companies should also ensure that metaverse experiences are inclusive for all users and should establish an accessibility testing program.
Over time, testing will be better done “in the wild,” where companies can better grasp the challenge of real users in real environments around the world. In-nature testing will become increasingly important as cross-app experiences become more widespread, interactions become less device-dependent, and elevated sensory experiences drive the demand for elevated sensory testing. What does this look like in practice? An example of cross-app experiences would be testing a user flow that takes you to one app to buy, another to buy, and a third to schedule delivery.
- cyber security. The scaling challenges and complexity of the metaverse mean there are more attack and propagation paths. Increase in cyberattacks on vulnerable networks 50% in 2021 – and this is likely to increase significantly as potential vulnerabilities increase. Because developer talent is paramount, many companies may not have the talent to support the complexity of a meta-experience architecture, let alone do so in a safe and secure manner. Security testing is already an essential part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), but will need to be advanced to keep up with evolving hacker tactics in the metaverse.
The metaverse presents the next big opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves and transform their digital user experiences. While most of us aren’t ready to capitalize on all of the business benefits that the Metaverse will eventually bring, we are in a place where we can experiment and be successful, provided we are thorough in our design testing.
Rob Mason is CTO at Applause.
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