Web3, or the “decentralized web,” has an ambitious mission to free the internet from the control of tech giants like Google, Meta, or Twitter. It aims to let users interact directly and openly, without corporations’ and governments’ interference.
It all sounds enchanting until you actually encounter smart contracts, dozens of crypto wallets, NFT ratings and trying to figure out who has access to your financial data. And no bank assistant or technical support can explain this puzzle.
So what instruments and principles do designers use to answer people's questions about blockchain and help them make informed decisions? Arounda team has found solutions while developing UI/UX design for the MintySwap NFT marketplace. In this article, we share our insights and research results on Web3 design trends.
To make Web3 more widely known, the designers should consistently support users' trust in code, data, smart contracts, and transactions. In other words, the goal of UX design in Web3 is to answer the following users' questions:
Is it safe to send the data that dApp asks for?
What happens to them next?
What does this strange crypto word mean, exactly?
What happens if the transaction fails?
Where is the code executed?
Rather than giving an academic definition for the Web3 design, let's imagine it as a lifeboat that prevents users from drowning in the ocean of the decentralized web’s new concepts and technical challenges.
Web3 blockchain technology relies on robust protocols ensuring transparency, trustlessness, immutability, and more. If we go on with the ocean metaphor, the tech background of server interaction and data flow within the decentralized network lies deep under the water surface. Users deal with Decentralized Applications (dApps) and Decentralized Financial Applications (DeFi apps). And that’s the level where Web3 product design comes into play.
DeFi apps currently dominate because they introduce new ways to trade and earn money. So let’s have a glance at the main DeFi app types:
Borrowing / Lending solutions
Decentralized Crypto Exchanges (DEX)
DeFi Crowdfunding Platforms
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
The Web3 graphic design methods vary depending on the app’s type. So if you want to learn more about each DeFi type, read our post on this topic. However, there are general UX principles that a designer should follow.
Now, let’s come straight to the point and see how UX design in Web3 supports blockchain philosophy.
Designers should make the navigation through the DeFi clear. Thus, users will know where they are and how they return to the previous page.
Here is what designers can do to achieve this purpose:
Reduce the number of elements to a minimum and get rid of clutter.
Apply Jakob’s UX law and use familiar patterns from Web2. Users already know how to deal with them. For example, a crypto wallet should resemble a traditional banking app.
Educate users with precise and short definitions of blockchain concepts and terms. The Ethereum platform is one of the best Web3 design examples to learn from.
Use animated highlighting in the text explanation to help users stay tuned.
Design in Web3 has several specifics to consider. As you create visuals for decentralized apps, stick to blockchain colors like aqua, turquoise, navy, blue, or orchid. Another typical crypto sign is the grid-based design. This uniformity across DeFi products serves for brand recognition and customer trust.
Blockchain is about the community sharing transparency, openness, and freedom values. As designers, we anticipate and emphasize the community presence in Web3 products. So first, it’s critical to answer several questions:
What kind of people will use and distribute the DeFi?
What is their mission?
Is the community categorized?
What is the voting mechanism?
The UX task is to find short and exact words and images to explain the power and logic of the community to newcomers.
It’s not a secret that the blooming crypto economy attracts scammers and fraudsters. Therefore, users worry about the data they send and store. Who can see this information, and how will they use it? Designers can defeat this anxiety by answering the following frequent questions:
Which data originates from blockchain, and which comes from oracles?
What is the exact contact’s address?
Will this particular piece of data be stored in the blockchain?
Another wave of fear and uncertainty rises when users start trading. Will money be at risk if they make a mistake? Is it safe to do this transaction? The thoughtful UX design in Web3 should indicate and explain clearly all financial turning points, including the following ones:
Actions that involve value or currency
Steps that may cause user identification
Activities leading to new contract generation.
Events are programmers' tools that indicate a particular condition or action. Blockchain developers use them in smart contracts to specify a new deposit, token purchase, user requests for oracle information, and many other changes.
Blockchain automatically stores smart contract events as a part of technical data. But it’s also vital to communicate these internal signals to the end users. Multiple events show that a DeFi app has nothing to hide and guarantees transparency. On the contrary, few events unmask sloppy smart contracts.
Here are the two essential recommendations for designers in this regard:
1. Clarify all smart contract events to the user.
2. Allow users to subscribe, unsubscribe, or mute certain events.
It’s a good idea to provide DeFi app users with their complete interaction history. Similarly, you can check out the history in Google browser or see all previous transactions in usual banking apps. Crypto wallets already store the transaction history. Here’s how a designer can improve Web3 design for other DeFi app types:
Enable access to all transaction history.
Clarify where users can view their history.
Provide tools to navigate and manage the history.
Allow users to delete their history.
Instant feedback is another Web3 design trend. Users trust an app when it communicates what is happening in blockchain, what happened a few seconds ago, and what will happen next. Motion and animation are good tools for providing user-friendly feedback.
The blockchain ecosystem grows and develops swiftly. Small teams and software engineers are creating many dAaps and DeFi apps. Sometimes developers turn to designers to create a specific crypto app. As a rule, it’s preferable to find professionals who have prior background in Web3 product design to reduce the development time and eliminate potential issues.
The Arounda team has evolved with every new project for startups and SME clients we have completed for five years. Our portfolio includes UX design for FinTech apps, HR SaaS platforms, crypto cases, branding, and business analysis.
If you want to create a dazzling project for the Web3 blue ocean but have doubts about diving alone, just drop us a line!
It’s a design approach that aims to ensure users’ trust in the code and technology of blockchain via specific design tools.
Web3 development involves programmers, content creators, and all kinds of users and communities sharing the values of a decentralized, transparent, and open web.
Here are some examples of dApps' practical usage: enabling self-executing financial contracts, tracking healthcare records, creating decentralized educational platforms, Building multi-user game environments, facilitating peer-to-peer deals in the real estate market.
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