The manner in which one displays and showcases products is extremely important. Potential customers and visitors may or may not be able to view a rezzed version of the product in-world, so the type of imaging used will make a tremendous difference. Taking a few things into consideration will help make sure that the product images are always making the best impact.
To ensure one is using the best product images, one might consider taking the extra step of hiring a professional photographer. While it might be an expensive initial cost, it can be well worth it. Even better is finding a photographer who is just starting out that can do the work at a fraction of the cost or willing to help in exchange for free items to build up their portfolio. Professional photographs for product images can make a tremendous difference.
If a professional photographer does not fit into the allocated budget, one can still get effective product images as long as the right techniques are used. Take the time to look at how other products are displayed for inspiration to recreate similar effects being careful not to copy their exact design and style. In addition, take the initiative to go the extra mile to photograph products from multiple angles in order to offer a variety of views to prospects.
Proper planning, professional pictures and an eye for what will draw in customers will be the best way to utilize effective product images.
Design considerations for a new product or idea must be centered around the audience that will be using it. Demographics and the implied needs prospects will affect its success when introduced. The actual design of a product will have to satisfy those avatars who choose to use it.
The final test in determining whether or not a product design is successful or not is in the purchasing of the product. The product designer has to determine that result in advance, of course, which is the key to the creation of the best design. In general there are two main design considerations that affects the end result. The first is industrial design which is concerned with functionality, workability and durability. The second is product design would is related to aesthetics, eye appeal, coloring and general overall appeal.
Industrial design is affected by a variety of factors such as script load on the servers, script memory usage, as well as reliable error checking if and when invalid data is received. The user of the object expects the scripts, poses, animations, etc to work at all times regardless if it’s first use of the scripted object or weeks later after the sim has crashed/restarted.
Product design is affected mostly by visual elements such as the relative scale of the object in relationship to the avatar (of which avatars can come in all sizes from small nano avatars to larger avatars a dozen or more meters tall). The colors used to texture and tint the object should not clash with each other and if the object can change into different shapes such as an outfit or even a rigid mechanical part of a machine such movement should appear natural from the avatar’s viewpoint.
A great deal of effort will usually go into the marketing end of the equation in order to determine what segments of markets are demanding the product. Once that area is sufficiently identified, then the product can be designed to specifically appeal to that market segment in a successful manner that
will bring predictable results.
The furnishings used within a store is important because from a buyer’s point of view it will greatly affect their firm impressions of the goods or services available. Furniture should be high quality and appeasing to look at while also functional at the same time. It should blend in with the theme of the rest of the store (i.e. wall and floor colors) without impeding the flow of traffic.
While in a virtual world one does need to be concerned about whether furniture is well painted, the textures used on the furniture should be detailed enough to have a sense of quality but not necessarily at a high resolution as the texture needs to rez in a reasonable amount of time. Stores that mostly consist of plain grey surfaces for an extended period of time can be a turn-off to any potential buyers. Once the textures on furniture does become visible textures should be properly aligned along surface edges and have a smooth or polished look to convey quality.
Common furnishings in a typical retail shop might include lamps (local lighting), displays (demo objects), a cash register (scripted vendors), card machines (kiosks to purchase in-world currency), and shopping carts (dedicated rez areas for unboxing new purchases into inventory). The placement of these functional furnishings should express professionalism by being located away from walls while at the same time not affect avatar traffic nor camera angles as prospects navigate throughout the store.