March 15, 2022

Web3 Mindset For UX Designers

Sara Riaz

Chief Growth Officer

Web3 is a word that is the talk of the town these days. With new technologies and progress, web3 stands out as the next big thing. But how does UX design fit into this equation? What do these two terms mean? And can one exist without the other?
Well, wonder no more! I’ll explain in this article the relationship between web3 and UX and how a designer can start thinking in a web3 way!

Firstly, it’s important to understand what actually is web3, Chris Dixon defined it in really easy words:
“Web3 is the internet that is owned by builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.”

Web3 is the place where users will be incentivized on contributing to the platform, and things will work in a decentralized manner, rather than only big giant companies owning everything.

Now the point is, how UX design will be contributing to the web3 world, and what is the mindset that a UX designer should have in the web3 world, the things that we as designers need to prepare beforehand the world takes the paradigm shift. 

1. Don’t let yourself forget the noobs 👶

The newer the technology, the difficult it is for people to adopt it. Most of the users are typically new to this space and being new means less familiarity and understanding of what basically the technology is. This is the part where the crucial role of UX comes in, to literate the user and guide them through their journey of performing any action.

When there’s the case of instructing users there are high chances that you may be overwhelmed with lots of information that results in a poor user experience. The actual art is to convey the right amount of information at the right time! This will help in developing the confidence of people who are trying to adopt this new technology. Since the technology is new and complex and is full of technical jargon that an average user might not be able to understand, there is a dire need to put the creatives' minds in action to find creative ways of making the technology easier for people. Although the change is huge, with proper UX design you can make it look like nothing really changed. You see, that’s the power of UX Design. And as a web3 designer, you have to keep the noobs in mind. 

2. You have to build trust through transparency

When something is new in the market, it's comparatively difficult for people to trust it, and guess what, if it somehow involves the finances part, then all the best bro cu's the case is worse now! 🤒 Wait, don’t lose all the hope, UX is still there!

Gone are the days when big giant companies used to show only the data that they wanted to show. The world is going to be more honest and transparent in the upcoming times, it’s time to build relationships based on transparency. To build the trust of the users, it is highly important to be transparent, especially when it comes to DeFi products where people are trusting the application with their assets. UX can definitely help in building trust in products by going with the transparent design approach. By transparent, we mean to show them enough of the details of the transaction, their asset details, clarifying the actions that are not reversible, clarifying actions that involve risk, providing a history of all the transactions, the delay it could take in the completion on any action, or anything that would want to see. The more transparent you are about these things, the better you can build trust with your users. As a user, when you get this feeling that you can access all your information or everything that is going on in front of you, this definitely levels up the trust, all because of the transparency. 

You see the depth of details that Uniswap is providing to the user when interacting with the dApp. That’s one way to build the trust of the user! 

3. There’s no way going back 🤐

Being immutable means the action once performed can’t be changed, and this tells there is very little tolerance for mistakes, one wrong action can lead to disastrous results. This is the part where UX comes in when technology is so crucial, you must give users enough understanding about the action they are going to take, and give the margin to cross-check the action being performed. Double confirmations, warnings/alerts can help reduce the mistakes. Let’s consider an example of wallet account creation, if you lose the seed phrase, all your money is gone and there are zero chances of recovering your account. Do you see how crucial it can be? A huge amount of losses can be prevented just by putting thoughts while designing the user experience of the product!

Some examples of double confirmations, and warnings even if one has to compromise on the UX because the real assets of people are involved! 

4. There’s no such thing as “perfect” processes, don’t be too rigid

Web3 is coming faster than anyanyone of us can think. The transition from web2 to web3 is HUGE, and when the transition is huge, how can we assume to go with the same UX processes assumptions in the world of web3? It’s time to rethink and reconsider everything from scratch and design the processes that are in the best interest of the web3 products.

As Expedite Design is working on the designs of web3 applications for quite a time now, we realized the need to redefine the processes of design. One of the most important factors in the success of web3 products is the SPEED. The speed of executing your idea and launching it in the market. And if we talk about the most-followed sequence of UX design, it can now be obsolete for web3 products.

What we can do is, design the minimum viable products with basic functionalities after conducting user interviews about their pain products, wants, frustrations, and launch the product in the market. After launching, gather the real data with the help of heatmaps or surveys and then reconsider your UX decisions based on real facts and figures! Iteration is the key. I know it will take time, but eventually, we will be able to achieve the mass adoption of this new technology with the help of UX design.

5. Developers, Product Managers & Designers can do wonders together 🤝

UX design in web3 is beyond just design. In fact, even in web2, UX designers cannot solve the problems of the users alone through design, they need a collaboration of a developer to produce a product that a user loves.

In web3, the center of attention will be the user, because the user will actually be a part of the product, hence what will matter the most is the actual incentives a platform is providing, for example, Lower gas fees, high transaction speeds, more return on investments, etc. If we actually want to make this technology easier to understand and increase its adoption, then the designers, product managers, and developers must work together so that they can be on the same page if the thing that a designer is designing is technically possible or not, and if it’s not possible then how can we find the middle-ground? In the end, it’s about making combined efforts in one direction. 

6. Communities and community members are IMPORTANT:

Communities are the beating heart of the web3 world. They're what drives and encourages new people to join and participate! Communities aren't just the force driving growth in web3. They're what allows it to stand out and become remarkable. Now the point is, as a UX designer how can you get the maximum benefit from these communities? Communities mean like-minded and focused-in-one-direction people on one platform, the people who you are designing for. Involve them in the process, ask for their feedback, look out for their frustrations and try to solve problems through UX design. Feels the communities are GOD SENT for designers, no?

Also, there are now many communities for web3 designers, you can join those and share your experiences, learnings with each other, build relations with designers, help them solve different UX problems, play your part even if you think this won’t create a difference. Believe me, it WILL.

Let’s sum it up
The days are not too far when most of the applications that we use in our daily lives might be shifted to web3. More value will be provided to the users for the contribution. There is so much going on in the world of web3 and people might not be ready to adopt the changes that are on their way. User experience design can play a huge role in making people ready for this change, by not making the changes look so huge through design. We have a good example of Polygon, which launched Finity a user-first interconnected system of design elements that allows teams to quickly prototype, launch and scale their products without compromising on aesthetics and usability.  (Read more here) You see, how people have started thinking about the web3 design world? Not too late, it’s a good time to start thinking the web3 way! 😉

We are at the early stages of a truly decentralized internet. There are more and more decentralized services, tools, and technologies that are appearing on the horizon. I believe that UX Design will play a pivotal role in bridging this gap between our centralized internet and new decentralized web3 technologies. Let’s see how the journey goes!

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