How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Designers are natural experimenters, but many of us are still intimidated and overwhelmed by Web3. The “exclusivity” of the topic makes some people uncomfortable and embarrassed to ask questions if they realize they don’t know enough about the topic. I’ve collected some common confusions that Web2 designers have when trying to get into Web3, in my opinion.

Web3 has no traditional schema (yet)

Like any new technology, Web3 is in a phase of diversification. Right after the invention of the automobile, car designers began experimenting with various shapes. Today, after a century of constant iteration, cars in the same field of use look remarkably similar. The same goes for cell phones. The same is true for Web2 design patterns. It is certain that Web3 will go down this path.

How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Diversity in form factor as technology evolves

We live in exciting times, and the Web3 paradigm has not yet taken shape. While the lack of clear guidance is a bit scary, it’s also exciting, making it easier and faster for designers to make a personal impact “to make the world a better place.”

However, in my opinion, the situation is not as dramatic as it seems. While Web3 is new from a technical point of view, when it comes to user experience, 95% of user experience can be built on top of Web2. For example, transactions on the blockchain are conceptually very different from those in traditional banks. However, there is rarely any significant difference in the way we display transaction history to users. Another example is Dapps using non-custodial wallets: for many Dapps, users may not even realize they are using a blockchain, thinking they are Web2 products.

As our world moves faster and faster, Web3 traditions and patterns are taking shape at a frantic rate. For example, the exchange pages of DEXs (decentralized exchanges) already look like copies of each other. I feel the terminology is still very diverse, but soon we will reach a certain standard and DEX will become indistinguishable.

How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Swap pages for most DEXs look similar

Users in Web3 are not always people

The fact that all interactions on Web3 don’t necessarily happen between real people, but between wallets, still strikes me as odd. While on Web2 no one can guarantee that all your users will be unique, in most Web2 products one should create unique accounts, the friction is so high that people don’t have a lot of incentive to switch from different Mail or IP to create a large number of accounts.

In Web3, a person can have multiple wallets, usually with DApps, the only thing you need to do is to connect the wallets with a few clicks. Also, in Web3, people may have multiple wallets for good reasons, such as executing certain trading strategies. Many traders are using bots to automate. For example, in one of my projects, we estimated the proportion of robots to be around 70%. Therefore, users on Web3 are not just people, but also organizations and bots.

In addition to creating an odd feeling, bot design also presents challenges for analyzing user behavioral data. You can use tools like Google Analytics to measure user interactions with the interface, but once users connect their wallets, everything starts happening on the blockchain and becomes hard to track. The good news is that this makes it possible to track it on the blockchain.

How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Displaying the number of transactions per time period for top wallets is impossible for humans, but achievable for bots.

So far, there is no perfect way to connect interface data and blockchain data. For example, you can see where and which users clicked, plus you can see how much money the wallet spent. But it’s hard to see demographic data on consumers, and it’s hard to know how much time they spend before making a transaction. Bots also make things worse because in many cases they don’t even interact with the interface, but go directly to the backend.

Ethical Dilemmas in Web3

Take the simplest DEX revenue model: DEXs make money from exchange fees. People are hesitant to exchange illiquid currency pairs because the lower the liquidity, the greater the price volatility. Liquidity providers are also making money from exchange fees. Therefore, to encourage liquidity providers to lock up funds in liquidity pools, the pair should have a certain amount of swap so they can earn fees from it. We are facing a chicken-and-egg problem in this regard.

As a UX designer, you might be thinking: “I need to do something to encourage users to lock their funds in a liquidity pool so the system starts to have a ripple effect.” But then you learn that because of impermanence Loss, individuals locking up funds in liquidity are often very risky, so encouraging users to do so is ethically questionable.

How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Pancakeswap warns liquidity providers of impermanent losses

This is just a very simple example, but blockchains are full of such situations.

While the business model of a Dapp is usually outside the purview of a UX designer, we need to understand these nuances. The designers of Web2 knew a lot of “dark UX” patterns and could consciously choose a side, and unlike Web2, Web3 is still a developing field, and the contours of good and evil are still unclear.

Influenced by the crypto market

The crypto market is super emotionally driven, and its volatility can create a huge amount of background noise on the analytics data you collect for your product. In traditional niches, the impact is rarely so large. If you come from Web2 and see crazy random jumps in DApp usage, TVL, transaction volume, etc., you might get exhausted pretty quickly. Sometimes it correlates with the market price of the coin, but not directly.

The impact of market volatility can often outweigh the impact of any other factor in product development (user experience, marketing, etc.), making it difficult to precisely explain the results of its disruption.

Even if your product has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies (e.g., digital identity), the crypto market can hit you in another way: investing. Many blockchain startups are experiencing difficulty investing this crypto winter. We are experiencing our fourth winter since 2015. Compared to the traditional field, the entire blockchain industry feels like a very unstable place. So for those coming out of Web2, it’s going to be unbearable.

How is Web3 different from Web2 in design?

Funding for crypto startups


Although many patterns can be borrowed from Web3 in the design of Web3, there are still quite a few Web3-specific aspects that can be challenging for designers.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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