Software visualization involves creation and display of graphical representations of software characteristics or behavior, often to assist in the discovery of software problems or unanticipated behavior. This paper presents a new approach for threedimensional (3D) visualization (including extraction and display) of design phase object-oriented software metrics. The visualizations are designed to foster developers’ intuitive understanding of the metrics and to aid in the early understanding of structural characteristics of design components. The approach utilizes the extensibility interface of a popular computer aided software engineering tool to access and automatically extract eight key design metrics from Unified Modeling Language class diagrams. Following metric extraction, 3D visualizations of these metrics are generated for each class using perceptually meaningful glyphs. The approach has been implemented by a tool that emits and displays Virtual Reality Modeling Language representations of a design’s glyphs.