This article is a Web3 designer’s guide written by a Web3 designer based on his own experience. The author introduces in detail the types of designers required by Web3, the importance of design work to the Web3 field, the difference between Web3 and Web2 design work, the benefits of designers working in Web3, and how to participate. A reference for designers who want to work on Web3.
Recently, some fellow design friends have been asking me what it is like to work in Web3 – for example, has the design work changed in Web3? Need to know a lot about technology? How to join?
For designers, there are many opportunities in the Web3 space, but also risks and uncertainties. To avoid answering the same question over and over again, I’ll just take a slack and provide a resource guide for up-and-coming designers who want to enter the field. The following topics are mainly outlined:
- What type of designer does Web3 need?
- Why does design matter in the Web3 world?
- What are the benefits of being a designer in the Web3 world?
- The benefits of working at Web3 as a designer
- “Freelancer/Community/Project” vs “Product” vs “Agency”
- How to get involved?
All content is based on my experience in this field over the past 6 months. I am a professional designer. In the morning, I mainly work as a product designer at Immutable, a company that focuses on NFT digital ownership; in the afternoon, I design for DAO Under; my work in the evening is/was to design an NFT tool suite, which has recently been Sell (no link for doxxing reasons). I have experience in product design, illustration and branding. But as always, it’s always right to listen to your mother, and we have to take everything seriously.
(Note: Doxing (also known as doxxing) is a type of online harassment that involves revealing someone’s personal information—such as their real name, address, job, or other identifying data—and exposing it publicly, usually occurring On the Internet.)
What is Web3?
I have written an article on this topic. It’s not the focus of this article, so I won’t go into that – essentially, Web3 is using blockchain to help solve problems related to centralization of power and asset ownership – all of which are surrounded by questions. I highly recommend a good article on Web3 by Cobie: ” Wtf is web3 “.
What type of designer does Web3 need?
“Digital” designers are more common than “physical” designers. This does not mean that “physical” designers such as artists, fashion designers, jewelry designers, etc. do not exist in the Web3 world. Most projects are digital, and there is not enough interconnection between them until Web3 becomes mainstream. At present, some NFT projects do have “physical” utility. For example, you may get artwork or clothing when you buy NFT. Regardless of the type of designer, the “necessity” depends on the type of Web3.
So what exactly am I designing?
Designing at Web3 is not as jumpy as you might think! No matter what type of designer you are, you’ll need core skills to do Web3 design work from start to finish. Your work environment may be slightly different, but design work has nothing to do with the environment, the design skills you develop in Web2 are important.
There is a real shortage of designers in this field
You know, designers are in demand in the Web3 space, and there’s a reason for that. It’s normal to have different requirements for different projects, from “essential” to “easily replaced”, but designers can make a huge difference in:
Create Art Selling Points:
Collectors or anyone who will buy NFTs because they “look good” will know what I mean. seerlight has an article that I absolutely love.
Establish legitimacy for a product to facilitate hype:
We can see some projects fail simply because their artistry is so bad. As far as NFTs are concerned, Pixelmon has raised $70 million but is considered a runaway project due to the varying quality of minted art. Hype has always been rampant in the Web3 space, and if something looks cool, it helps to hype and sell. But that doesn’t mean that your project will fail without artistry. For example mfers are not works of art, but then again, that’s what makes it so appealing.
In the case of a product, how good or bad it looks can change people’s perceptions of its legitimacy, which in turn affects its credibility. If the product has consistency and a certain aesthetic, it means that whether the team hires a designer or outsources the design, they have a certain commitment or investment in their product. This is extremely important in an environment where people are generally instinctively suspicious and wary out of fear of being deceived.
Products can fork, and it’s hard to achieve a truly enjoyable experience:
This is basically the “bread and butter” that designers live on. When a group of back-end developers are doing design/front-end implementation, there is a strong emphasis on functionality rather than intuitive feel. Blockchain means things can be easily forked or copied (like Uniswap’s dual domain swap mechanism), but this is likely to result in homogeneous products whose baselines all look the same, and products that are less defensible (unless are things that belong to the technology stack, such as speed and security, etc.). Sometimes little features, or things “you don’t even realize you need”, are the reason people stick with a product—that’s what designers need to help discover or design for.
For example, for NFT snipping tools (screenshot tools) where speed is the main concern of users, I have heard that the reason why people insist on choosing a certain product is that they allow users to customize the preset gas fee.
In short, this feature in the lower right corner of the image above is the reason to retain users.
Help and guide newcomers to:
Since Web3 technology is still very new (can’t help but think back to the days of the Internet), users new to the field may not know what’s going on, and there’s a huge opportunity for designers to help educate and guide users. For example, “rituals” such as creating wallets are still confusing to newcomers, and behaviors such as keeping physical copies of “passwords” (also known as “mnemonics”) are also very novel to them. Moreover, as blockchain technology becomes more and more complex, the role of the designer has gradually evolved into a “quasi-teacher” for novices.
Prevent loss of funds and ensure security and transparency:
If you can make a lot of money, you may also lose a lot of money. Security is very important for Web3 since there is no centralized company to help you through customer support and everything is done on your own. If you lose your details, it’s all over; if you’ve been scammed, your only option is to cry on Twitter, hoping that netizens will sympathize with you and help you track down the scammer. Human nature is paranoid, and Web3 users have seen the best and the worst. But for designers, that means helping to design features that are responsive and responsive, helping people to be aware of how much they spend, when they’ll get paid, what to expect, and how it all works Computational, and provide warnings to help users avoid mistakes, etc.
Key Differences in Web2 and Web3 Product Design
One of the questions I most wanted to answer in my previous articles was whether the work of design has changed in two areas. The answer is complicated: there are changes but not completely. So, I divided these changes (or changes that did not occur) into three main parts, including the scope of work, product design and design process.
scope of work
You better be a design know-how:
You need to be ready to do a whole set of designs and more. In addition to the usual research, content writing, design and workshops, you may also dabble in illustration, branding, motion design and more. Anything visually related will be included in your work. Designers with illustration skills or graphic design skills are in demand in this field, as visual assets play an important role in the Web3 space. From Twitter banners to Discord stickers and GIFs to website landing page images, everything matters.
Communication and reach:
Due to remote work and jet lag, the designer role also needs to be able to communicate well, with asynchronous updates to everything we do, requests to other teammates, etc. And now to take it a step further, your visual assets must be easily downloadable by everyone. This means that your Figma files can no longer be cluttered and your files can no longer be stored only in your own notebook as final_finals.png. Your teammates and the Discord community are constantly asking for visual assets like logos, images, banners, and the latest screen designs, so you need to organize and centralize them. I recommend playbook, it’s like Dropbox for designers and offers 1TB of free storage for all designers.
The importance of high responsiveness and detail:
At all times users need to know where their funds are, where they are going, what is the status of those funds, if there are any delays, etc. – no ambiguity anywhere, this information should be “at the fingertips” of the user . A user’s wallet is often their main channel of participation and access to the Web3 world, and a simple click error can result in a user losing large sums of money in a transaction that they don’t understand its impact; or sometimes when a user stakes a token, Not knowing that the tokens need to be used after the staking period is over, all of a sudden their funds are illiquid.
Learn to design within technical constraints:
Technology is limited to what it can do – something out of the designer’s control. From small user experiences, such as expensive gas fees or transaction speed, to the overall behavior of the protocol chosen based on the product, there are limits for Web3 designers to understand that you must learn and design around them . But it’s also important to understand how different protocols impact the user experience differently so you can have meaningful conversations with other stakeholders and think about more robust solutions.
It is important to maintain visual consistency to ensure that the product looks legitimate:
As much as I hate to say it, the truth is that a lot of people comment on projects just by looking at them on the surface, without dutifully investigating them in depth. Having something that “looks good” is sometimes more important than a godlike UX, your competitors are likely setting a low bar for UX, so sometimes if you’re just starting a project, it’s imperative to make sure you’re ahead of the curve to them, not to make everything perfect. This is a very classic MVP approach: make yourself look better. Designers, keep in mind that consistency is especially critical when it comes to visual appeal, as it shows how hard you go to keep it looking good.
Many people wonder if the design process for Web3 is the same as for Web2, and in short, yes. Just like some Web2 startups, taking some detours is the only way to go. Some places are not suitable for research and exploration, just bring the product to market first, but some places need to strictly follow the double diamond design process. It depends in part on the maturity level of the organization and how oriented the design is, and while there is no “new” Web3 revolutionary approach (not yet), we’ll stick to the Web2 approach to discover, define, and build .
Translator’s Note: The Double Diamond Design Model is a system that designers can follow in their creative process, consisting of four phases: Discovery, Definition, Development, and Delivery.
Community is as important as your users:
In the Web2 era, designers only need to listen to end users in their designs. But now, the community has to be another big stakeholder group you consider. This means that it is important to involve the community in the design process, and you can take a variety of forms, such as product research and feedback, focusing on the overall mood of Discord. I have a project that works particularly well in public, and I’m often streaming on Figma, people commenting on the channel, etc. Being open and transparent and having positive interactions with your community can build strong advocates for you. Providing passive or active engagement mechanisms is the best way to develop these advocates.
Setting up templates can help teammates and future partners in the long run:
Many projects in the Web3 space collaborate with other projects for marketing purposes. So for visual designers, you need to put the reusability of visual assets (like templates) first. Because partners may change, you will most likely use the template multiple times. On the other hand, it is also important from an efficiency standpoint, with these templates you can deliver your content quickly.
An example of a collaborative post from my friend at OpenGuild .
The benefits of working in the Web3 space
Space for innovation, interesting questions
As a Web3 designer, you’re delivering designs for state-of-the-art technology. To design something good, you also need a solid understanding of the field. You can call it future-proof or challenging, call it what you want, but thinking about what blockchain can do really helps you rethink things about finance, markets, human psychology, and society and so on. Personally, I would think about the following questions:
“People like anonymity, so how do we get users to test?” “Will users understand our incentives? Is it ethical?” “Gamify, or not?” “What metaphors can we use to help users understand This new technology?” “How to better guide and educate users?”
Everything moves fast and people expect things to move fast. Sometimes almost unacceptably fast. For example, sometimes products are launched without research and understanding. Take a look at your competition and you’ll feel that getting in early is often more important than perfection. Sometimes you just want to say “fuck him”, just use the first plan, there is no time for the second plan. Sometimes, you have to resort to developer solutions because they know the technology well and you don’t have time to explore further. This may not be appealing to designers, but it helps you digest the discomfort of imperfection and half-finished products. Of course, this work rhythm will vary by location, and a mature company may be relatively slow compared to a small project with less than 10 core members. But anyway, in this field, things generally move fast because the people in the field you’re building for want that.
Collaborate across teams
You’ll have the opportunity to learn from an interesting group of people, and working at Web3 can fully hone your design skills, collaboration skills, improve your understanding of the field, and other soft skills. During the day I work with product managers, front-end developers, back-end developers, and project managers, in the afternoon, I work with many talented designers; at night, I work with data analysts, high-frequency traders, Web3 marketing People, community mods, motion designers, and artists work together.
Well, this is actually only half the story. I’ve been through all stages from “design as much as possible with our existing design components” to “anything goes, the world is yours”. Typically, the more “mature” a team and company is, the less freedom a designer has; but on those team projects where there isn’t even a brand, I’m solely responsible for branding and visual identity design (VI) and provide references for other designers . For motion designers/artists/3D designers, etc., your design space is basically unlimited, as long as you meet the brand guidelines. The good thing about being in a design-starved space is that a lot of people have a “anything can be done” mentality, so designers have a lot of freedom to use their imaginations.
If you’re looking to add something new to your portfolio – this field has a lot to offer you. From long-term to short-term projects to short-term assignments (also known as “bounty assignments”), all of these can help flesh out your portfolio. When the project is over, you will have a wealth of case experience related to collaboration and ownership.
Witness the evolution and creation of traditional roles
Speaking of which, the roles of Product Manager, Marketer, and Community Manager come to my mind. Web3 has impacted how designers work with these roles and expanded our ability to deal with change and different communication styles, and it feels like we’re in the middle of a career turning point – super exciting.
Get in early
When it comes to “big tech,” the trend I’ve observed is — technology comes first, design comes second. For example, before you start thinking about web design, you have the ability to design HTML; or, before you think about how to let people actually enter numbers, you already have the ability to “beep beep bobo” on the phone. This often means that there is a sweet “early adopter” phase at the beginning of a huge technological revolution, the perfect time for designers to “get in” early – to push things forward before something really goes mainstream. Best practices for outstanding results.
Not to mention economic incentives is not realistic. Although this article was written in a bear market, and the price of ETH fell to the point of crying, there is still a lot of money pouring into the Web3 field. The bear market is the best time to lay out construction. Companies are well funded, VCs are pouring money in, and how much money you can make depends on your involvement, who you work for, the success of the project, the type of project, and so on. There are no hard and fast rules, and the payment method can be traditional wages or tokens.
Multiple ways of participation
As a designer, you have four main ways to get involved, each with pros and cons.
More and more agencies are focusing on designing for Web3 companies. Similar to Web2, it tends to take on one-off projects, mostly to redesign the brand/visual identity or help build the tool base. The advantages of working in an agency are the ability to serve different types of clients, good communication with external stakeholders, and a broad expertise base. The disadvantage is that there is no in-depth understanding of specific products.
2. Contract workers/freelancers:
Similar to an agency, but you are the only designer and are responsible for everything. Unless you work for a more established company, a lot of jobs actually require senior designers because basically, they need you to be good at everything from collaboration, design, project advancement to communication. The advantages of such a job include a relatively high level of pay, the ability to really integrate into the team and potentially become a permanent role, and adapt to the breadth of the project, if the current project is going well, it will also be easy to Find work on other projects and perform work on your own schedule. Disadvantages include limited payment options (like paying in tokens), no one to come up with ideas, and yours may experience a low work season.
Another option is that the company you are currently working for is working on Web3. It can range from Web3-native (extremely decentralized, remote-friendly, and paid in native tokens), to not-so Web3-native (works like a Web2 company, but the product itself is Web3-style – I’ll call these affectionately for Web2.5 companies).
4. Community members:
If you join a DAO and become a member, you will find that there is also some design work to be involved in. For DAOs with deep pockets, you may also need to go through an interview process to join the design team, but for more other DAOs, you can directly start assisting with their design work. They usually work like regular product teams – think of it as tackling college assignments with a bunch of cool people. The advantage of this is that you can be closer to those who are already in the field, your engagement time is relatively flexible, there are many good projects to choose from, and there is a lot of room for you to make an impact, and if Your work at DAO is a good sign for people in this field. The downside is that you may have to work unpaid for a while before the DAO has enough money.
There are also new models that combine the above types, such as Deepwork, which operates as a DAO (in terms of governance and decentralization), but they are a design agency with a core team and still have room for people to participate, to become their contract workers or freelancers.
What do I need to know about technology?
In short…you don’t need to know technology, but you better know some. A good designer will take the time to become familiar with how the blockchain works. This makes it easier and smoother to communicate with others without overwhelming you and your design proposals less far-fetched. Having said that, design work still follows the principle of irrelevance – if you don’t know anything about Web3, it makes perfect sense to leverage the communication, facilitation, collaboration, and design skills you have in Web2.
How can I get involved?
- Use DAOlicious to find DAOs you are interested in (PS If you are a designer from Asia Pacific, come say hello).
- Connect with designers already involved in the field – Jeremy Goldberg, Yangyou, and those involved in vectorDAO.
- Check out Web3’s career site, try this (https://jobs.paradigm.xyz/jobs) or this (https://web3.career/)
- Reach out to projects that lack designers, like Twitter’s “rabbit hole”
- Join the design discord or DAO, try web3designerz and deepwork
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/how-does-the-web3-designer-work/
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