08.30.22

How to Humanize the Digital Experience

Summary:

  • To humanize the digital experience in web3 and the metaverse, it can’t look overtly programmed or synthetic 
  • Humanized digital experiences have a better chance of outshining competitors and making lasting connections with consumers
  • Some ways to humanize digital experiences in web3 and the metaverse include the use of AI voice and avatars

With the advent of web3, brands continuously leverage as many digital channels as possible to reach consumers. The metaverse, for instance, is only one aspect of web3 development that opens highly immersive environments for brands to engage with their target audience—or expand into new audiences. Given how decentralized the space is today, there are many avenues brands can leverage in just the metaverse alone.

However, while digital channels have made it even easier for brands and consumers to connect with each other, it’s imperative that these experiences remain human at their core. Ironically, that is what people still want in a digital world. From stay-at-home orders to remote work and the digitization of entertainment, maintaining that human touch across experiences will enable deeper relationships with consumers.

What does it mean to humanize? 

The word humanize itself first appeared around the turn of the 15th century. It was originally meant to “make or render human.” It evolved during the century to mean “civilize or make human.” While the essence of the word has not changed—to make something human—the meaning in the digital world boils down to the experience. 

To “humanize” something today in the digital sense means to make it feel humanlike and not programmed or fake. It’s usually intuitive and easy to use, but at the same time, it also connects with the user on an emotional level. From the text they read on a webpage to the visual and audible interactions they engage with through an experience, humans are quite good at recognizing when something seems canned, robotic, and lifeless. 

Why does humanizing the digital experience matter?

While the digital world has made us even more connected and constantly engaged with content, that has presented more noise for brands to break through to customers. And on top of that, with consumers facing a record-high bombardment of digital content, they don’t have patience for experiences that are not easy and disjointed. 

In fact, 84% of consumers stated that when they are treated like a person rather than a number is critical in winning their business. Think about the last time you tried to receive customer service, and you kept going down preprogrammed phone system paths. Maybe it puts you on hold or redirects you again. Either way, we usually think I just want to speak to a human. Brands should approach their digital experiences with that sentiment in mind. 

A study from the Univerity of Flordia conducted by the College of Journalism and Communications found that when the surveyed perceived their engagement as humanlike, there was greater trust in the companies. Tom Kelleher, professor of advertising at the university, surmised that if people felt like their interaction was human, consumers identify that as a relationship investment by the organization. In other words, they were valued as more than a number but as someone, the brand wanted to take time to build a rapport with. 

While the human element has always been part of product UX and website design, the advancement of web3 and the metaverse makes this an even more important consideration for brands. 

How to humanize the digital worlds of the metaverse 

Many brands have already started to enter the metaverse in different ways. Some have taken the NFT route, while others are building entire experiences on one of the metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and Sandbox. But many companies overlook the importance of building their brand identity authentically in the metaverse. 

One approach brands have just started to explore involves creating digital humans with lifelike AI voices. This technology leverages AI to create humanlike representations of people such as brand ambassadors that users can engage with for various purposes. No matter its application, they all aim to make digital experiences more like a conversation rather than a programmed path. It adds that the human element of engagement many lost during the pandemic lockdowns. 

To make the digital more lifelike, artificial intelligence (AI) has the ability to process the required data humans need to render interactive avatars with real-sounding voices. Veritone Voice and Veritone Avatar, part of the Veriverse portfolio of metaverse-ready solutions for the enterprise, offer this capability to content creators of all sizes. From individual podcasters to large organizations, the solutions provide the capabilities brands need to not only humanize experiences today but to activate anyone’s metaverse strategy so that they never become a megaphone speaking a one-way conversation. 

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