How poor UX is hindering the mass adoption of Web3

Have you ever wondered whether cryptocurrency will go mainstream or if it's just a fad for nerds? Can good product design help with the widespread adoption of Web3? As technology advances, one of the main challenges is addressing user experience issues so that it becomes more accessible to the general public, and not just a select group of enthusiasts.

Piotr Krężelewski
Homemade burgers

Web3 in a nutshell

Ah, the glorious evolution of the World Wide Web! Let me break it down for you in layman’s terms:

  1. Web1 was the early days of the Internet and it felt like going back to school, where websites were as exciting as a monotone history lecture. It was primarily a one-way street where users could only consume content. As a result, browsing felt as thrilling as watching paint dry.
  2. Then came Web2, the party animal of the Internet. It brought us social media, cat videos, and an endless stream of memes. It facilitated two-way communication, enabling users to share, create, and collaborate on a massive scale.
  3. And now we have Web3, the rebel with a cause, also known as the decentralized web. It is an emerging paradigm that aims to empower users with greater control over their online activities and data. It leverages blockchain technology and smart contracts to enable peer-to-peer interactions, digital ownership, and transparent governance.

So buckle up, my friend, and imagine a world where the Internet is transparent, secure, and cannot be censored.

Why you should care

Picture this: the world is becoming increasingly digital, and the way we interact with technology is evolving. Within the next 5 to 10 years, gaming, FinTech, digital identification, social media, and publishing will almost certainly be Web3-enabled. But here's the catch: to truly make a splash, Web3 needs to tackle its UX challenges head-on. By improving the user experience, we can unlock the full potential of Web3 and create a more inclusive and user-centric Internet.

Hold onto your shopping carts, because by 2023, online retail sales are going to hit a mind-boggling $6.169 trillion! That's like buying a private island every time you refresh your browser. We're talking about a whopping 22.3% of total retail sales. It has been discovered through trial and error that efficient UI design significantly impacts conversions and completed sales. The immense potential of Web3 is becoming increasingly evident, showcasing the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

User education and onboarding

Let's face it - Web3 can sometimes feel like an exclusive club with its own set of secret handshakes. Understanding blockchain, wallets, and decentralized applications (dApps) isn't a walk in the park. Currently, entering this world comes with a steep learning curve. Providing accessible educational resources and user-friendly onboarding processes is crucial to bridge this knowledge gap and make Web3 more approachable.

And here's the deal: you don't need to own Electronic Arts stocks, worry about how to safely create your account, or wonder which network you're playing on and if it's the right one, just to enjoy playing FIFA with friends and make occasional microtransactions.

The wallet is everything

In Web3, wallets play a central role in managing digital assets, interacting with dApps as well as securing private keys. And managing private keys can be a headache for everyday users especially when there are no features to assist in their recovery.

Here's the fact: if you forget or lose your keys, you will also permanently lose access to your funds! To make wallets more user-friendly, we need to simplify their interfaces, enhance security features, and explore alternative authentication methods. After all, a user-friendly wallet is the key to unlocking the potential of Web3.

It’s made by people but not for people

Web3 needs to prioritize simplicity and interoperability. We want Web3 apps to work seamlessly across different devices and blockchains. No more: ‘Sorry, this app only works on a specific chain.’ We also need better error handling to guide users when things go wrong. And let's not forget about reducing the mental gymnastics required to use decentralized applications. After all, Web3 should be a user-friendly playground, not an obstacle course.

Let's speak human

The complex terminology of the blockchain world can often leave users without a technical background feeling perplexed. Terms like ‘swap, gas, consensus mechanism, private key’, and more can be overwhelming.

However, early adopters of new technologies are often highly technical, contributing to an abundance of complex jargon. It is important to simplify the language associated with Web3 for everyday users.

The majority of Internet users have become accustomed to the seamless UX standards of Web2, where one-click payments, simple email verifications, and easy two-factor authentication make online transactions a breeze. Unfortunately, many dApps lack the convenience of session management, like cookies in Web2, requiring users to log in repeatedly.

Trust and verification

The final hurdle in Web3 design lies in the realm of blockchain explorers, which directly impact users' experiences in sending and receiving funds. These explorers serve as essential tools for decentralized networks in Web3, providing comprehensive information and details about user transactions on the blockchain. They enable real-time access to public data, including transaction information, wallet addresses, blocks, gas fees, smart contracts, and nodes specific to each blockchain network. However, this reliance on blockchain explorers also means that user transaction data is heavily dependent on their functionality.

Building trust becomes crucial in the decentralized Web3 world, and incorporating feedback, transparency, and visualizations into dApps can play a key role. By allowing users to peek under the hood, verify transaction reliability, and foster social interactions and reputation systems, we create a safer and more engaging user experience. In the end, understanding and navigating the decentralized ecosystem should be a breeze, not a headache.

Final thoughts

In the rising landscape of Web3 products, our mission is to prioritize user-centric design and drive the adoption of new technologies. As early adopters, designers, and creators we recognize the challenges that Web3 presents, including its technical language, the steep learning curve for average users, and subpar user experience. However, these challenges serve as motivation to shape a better Web3 UX for end customers, creators, and users alike. We are well-prepared to tackle these obstacles and create a consistent and comprehensive Web3 design.

Our primary goal is to ensure seamless onboarding for new users across any Web3 product and establish the highest level of trust by simply making Web3 design better. Web3 holds immense potential, and by focusing on user education, improving wallet usability, addressing privacy and security concerns, and prioritizing simplicity and compatibility, we can propel Web3 forward. Let's unite to make Web3 an inclusive, user-friendly revolution that empowers people. The future of the decentralized web is within our grasp.

Takeaways

On a quest to make Web3 a breeze for everyone. Full-time degen, part-time grill master, flipping coins and burgers with equal passion.

Piotr Krężelewski
Product Designer
Let's talk

tonik here — a design studio focused on early stage startups, helping founders define, design and build products.

Opinions are our own