When it comes to your shop build and design, I’ve got some tips that may seem a bit abstract:
- Think about your audience. Who do you expect will buy your product? (For example, if you sell women’s shoes, you expect adult female avatars to be your primary target. If you sell medieval weapons, you’d expect RPers with an interest in medieval things to be your primary target).
- Ask yourself what appeals to your target audience, and what won’t. (For example, and let’s stay with the medieval weapons example: cutesy rainbow-sparkly text isn’t what will appeal to your audience; images of castles and heraldic banners, on the other hand, probably will.)
- Ask yourself what feeling you want to create in your audience. Again, this can be a bit abstract. I sell food. So what I want people to feel when they come in my store is hungry! I want them to be thinking of food, so I make my store look and feel like a supermarket. If you sell shoes, you probably want your customers to feel sexy and confident. If you sell things for kids, you probably want them to feel happy, safe, and childlike.
- Now that you’ve addressed that, ask yourself what things–be it colors, images, fonts, etc–help to call up that feeling. Some examples:
- Fonts: Make them readable first, then fitting with your shop’s feel. A shoe shop might use a slender, sleek, trendy font to give a feeling of being modern, sexy, and confident. A kids’ shop might use a handwritten-looking font (JUST DON’T USE COMIC SANS OMG) to give a feeling of cuteness. A scripting shop might use a futuristic but formal-looking font to give a feeling of being professional and innovative. A medieval weapons shop might use an ancient-looking font, similar to runes, to give a feeling of being rustic and tough.
- Colors: Dark color on light background, light color on dark background. People need to be able to read your signage. Beyond that, think about what emotions can be brought with colors. For example, earth tones tend to be mellowing and “adult” feeling (not in the “adult content” sense; in the “bookshop or cafe” sense). Bright and pastel colors tend to be whimsical and inspiring. Cool colors (blues and purples) can be mystical and dreamlike; warm colors (reds and oranges) can be exciting and passionate.
- Imagery: What are some images/items that come to mind when you think of your audience? I mentioned the castle walls and banners with the medieval weapons example. For my shop, I’ve got shopping carts and a checkout counter (complete with moving conveyor!). Think about images that help convey what you want your target audience to feel/think about when they enter your shop.
- Music: Have you ever gone into a Chinese restaurant IRL and heard Celine Dion? I have. It takes away from the intended feel of the place. Whatever it is you’re selling, pipe in the appropriate music. I have 80s pop and soft rock in my shop, because that’s what I hear when I shop in local RL supermarkets.
This article is listed in the SL Business section of the Know-it-All Pages, where you can find even more useful information. Go now, and see for yourself!