I’ve been doing research on Web3 as a senior UX designer for the past year. Here are the things newcomers and design colleges are complaining about online and in person.
Challenges for newcomers
Unclear value proposition. New users don’t see the upside of learning all those new concepts in order to join the early adopters.
Where to buy crypto? New users don’t know how to choose the right places to buy their first crypto.
What crypto to buy? New users don’t know how to choose the right crypto to buy.
Wallet? How to use a crypto wallet? Which one is the right one?
Managing private key. This is a security measure for your crypto wallet. It is seen as more of an inconvenience than a blocker. But it means more responsibility such that new users are not sure if they want to use it long term without a clear incentive.
KYC. Or know your customer. It’s a standard for verifying the user’s identity and is used by platforms like Coinbase. In this process, you need to provide documents for ID and address proof. After submitting your docs, approval might take a day or two. And that kills users’ momentum and excitement.
What is a gas fee? How does it work? Why is it levied?
Copywriting. Most writing on project websites sounds cool and clever but lacks clarity. For whom is this? The benefits of using it are often missing.
Transaction time. Why does a transaction take so much time — isn’t it supposed to be instant?
Off-tamp. How do I turn my crypto back into fiat currency? Where? How much will it cost me?
Tax. How do I pay tax on my investments or cashouts?
Design and industry challenges
User research. How do you do your research without compromising user privacy? Often most active users like to keep their anonymity. How do you design for someone you don’t know and who’s not willing to talk to you?
Protocol-first product. Currently, core product decisions are made way in advance at a protocol level and UX design needs to adjust for protocol first and human needs second.
Fast pace projects. Web3 project founders are rushing to ship the new product and features, pressured by FOMO and investors. This results in poor long term solutions, major hacks, and burned out dev teams.
User-research on protocol level. There is a lack of public data. What is the dev experience interacting with the protocol and the fidelity of tooling?
If there is one thing that the Web3 design community needs to focus on, it’s BUILDING TRUST at every step of the user journey. And trust is built over time by clear communication, bringing value, and keeping promises.