For most, creating an interactive 3D world that is accessible, intuitive and user friendly is a monumental task. For us, it’s a regular Monday. In partnership with The Atlantic, L2D crafted a 3D walkable experience for Meta: Create Your Own Main Street. Our directive was to help visitors explore the social and economic benefits of personalized ads on Facebook and Instagram—easy stuff. Explore how we made the experience compelling.
Page views in the first 3 months
Average time on site. Seriously. Over 5 minutes.
To kick off the experience, you are presented with two multiple choice questions that customize the experience based on your preferences. Your information is the lifeblood of some small businesses who rely on personalized ads to get their products in front of the right folks. Sharing information can also wildly improve how you shop—kind of like a personal shopping assistant.
After answering the questions, you are welcomed to a cozy town square customized just for you. The Main Street is optimized for any device and any bandwidth. Stroll around town or interact with the businesses.
To give you the best experience every time, we designed new iterations that evolved over time. As the seasons changed, so did your Main Street—not without significant planning. From overhead street layouts to various geographical small town studies, we needed every detail to work in a variety of circumstances yet always feel relatable.
Our Meta Main Street is interactive and all, but it’s also pretty darn homey. We strategized, sketched and debated about how to encapsulate the tech world and a timeless human environment all in a 3D experience. and I think, in the end, we nailed it.
Another method of creating an engaging small-town feel while with an interactive tech based experience was to utilize color. Using Facebooks brand color book, we associated each selection and combination of selections with a unique, but beautiful color theme.
Could we have stopped with creative color combinations and great 3D? Sure. But Meta and The Atlantic needed the experience to be fast and usable for all visitors. To deliver speed, our team innovated a way to instance items that are reused throughout the scene.
We start with bare bones buildings and instance windows, doors, textures, etc so those items can be created in the scene once, and then reused so multiple assets of the same type don’t have to be recreated.