BZAAR is an immersive Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace aimed at leveraging emerging technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality (AR), and geolocation to transform the digital shopping experience. Our goal was to create a more inclusive and accessible platform for buying and selling NFTs, incorporating elements of popular games for user engagement.
My Role and Responsibilities
As the project's lead designer, I was responsible for designing the entire application for both mobile and web platforms. I leveraged my knowledge in basic game design, gained through self-learning and playing video games, to incorporate gaming elements into the NFT marketplace.
With the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the accessibility and inclusion for NFT transactions became a significant issue that needed to be addressed. Our challenge was to design an NFT marketplace that was not only user-friendly but also engaging and inclusive for all types of users.
We started to look at the history of games with collectability and caring features. The idea of integrating game-like interactions came from popular games like Tamagotchi, Digimon, and Pokémon.
Compared to most of my colleagues, I had extensive experience playing Pokémon and Digimon, where you collect awesome creatures, care for them, and fight with them. I knew both those franchises stand on the shoulders of Tamagotchi so I had some reading to do.
At this point, we had only been talking about this project. I decided to create a prototype on Figma in one day to show my colleagues a visual representation of what was going on in my head. They were also pet owners, I was not. Creating a Pokémon or Digimon clone was not going to cut it and so our game had to have some sort of realism to it.
A great starting point
I focused on feeding, cleaning, and playing with your pet in the concept design. It was simple and simple helps. Think Tic Tac Toe, Rock Paper Scissors or all the Need For Speed games.
We wanted to bring Pokémon Go functionalities as well, but tied with NFTs. This allowed us to bring the fitness/wellness component to our project combining it with Web3 to create something really unique.
Branding and Interface Design
Max Batt, a close friend of our agency, led our branding process. I expanded on these concepts to create all the screens, taking certain design liberties to shape the final UI. We iterated on the designs based on feedback from the team, improving and discarding ideas as needed.
The ideation phase led us to create a more fleshed-out prototype integrating game-like features into the digital collectibles. We tested the prototype with our team, receiving positive feedback and the encouragement we needed to move forward.
A fun introduction to Web3
With BZAAR, we had built an NFT marketplace that offered a virtual shopping experience, in addition to a Tamagotchi-style gameplay. Taking inspiration from Pokémon Go, we integrated geolocation, where movement was necessary to buy certain digital pets. We also included NFT Art to broaden the appeal of our platform.
This project represented a new frontier for me, challenging me to combine my knowledge of game design and user experience in a novel context - a web3 application. This project reinforced the importance of effective teamwork, user feedback, and the iterative design process. I am eager to apply these learnings to future projects.