Friday Five: Reality is getting a makeover

3 min readApr 28, 2023

Zone’s Mark Sylvester handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Reality is getting a makeover

Beauty is about to prove it’s way more than skin deep as some of the world’s biggest beauty brands put their game faces on for the first-ever Metaverse Beauty Week.

Scheduled for June in London and New York, the week will feature three days of Metaverse activity, with in-person activities and virtual experiences, based on the Roblox, Decentraland and Spatial platforms. From treasure hunts to try-ons and virtual triggers for the senses, it’s aimed at planting the beauty industry’s flag in the Web3 landscape.

2. All hail the homegrown AI

While the UK is a world leader in tech and digital innovation, it’s been a bit slow out of the blocks in the development of emerging artificial intelligence (AI). But that is all about to change as the UK Government invests £100m in a sovereign AI model that will rival the likes of ChatGPT.

The cash will fund a Foundation Model Task Force based on the Covid-19 unit that operated at the height of the pandemic. The plan is to make the UK globally competitive in the field while making the technology safe and reliable. It also aims to iron out glitches like bots being rude to customers, which seems like a good place to start.

3. Put personalisation first

Anxiety has been described as the dizziness of freedom, and with ever-increasing amounts of choice available to consumers, keeping them calm and satisfied is crucial. According to Genesys’ ‘The State of Customer Experience’ report, a gateway to successful digital transformation is putting personalised experiences across every touchpoint of a user’s journey.

Customers demand fast and effective responses in the right place and at the right time. Get it right in the ‘experience economy’, and you have cracked the holy grail of empathy in action.

4. Tackling the online tricksters

With the concept of fake news almost ingrained in the psyche of modern consumers, it’s surprising that we can still fall foul of unscrupulous online offers and information. But now the UK Government is stepping in to stamp out fake reviews and subscription traps while challenging the dominance of the biggest tech companies.

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill aims to end compensation for giving glowing reviews while forcing companies to be clear as to when free subscriptions end. It’s an effort to protect consumers and help build confidence in brands while increasing competition. ‘Honesty is the best policy’ could soon become digital law.

5. Resizing your website’s footprint

Nowadays, the first response to almost all business needs, problems and desires is a digital solution, which means that the world’s online real estate is growing at breakneck speed. However, as Zone’s Lead Content Designer, Turi Henderson-Palmer, points out, the tsunami of digital solutions is also an environmental issue, with energy being sucked up by user journeys.

She believes we all need to view our digital presence through an eco lens and to help us on our way, Henderson-Palmer has five tips for online experiences that are better for the planet and the user and may help your bottom line too.




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