The current state of Web3 user experience is like driving a manual transmission car — there’s more control, but the majority of users will find it overly complicated, as several UX designers point out.
Over the years, conversations about mainstream adoption of Web3 have mainly focused on the need to enhance the user experience and make it easier to use.
However, 0xDesigner, a Web3 UI/UX designer, posted on Twitter on July 12 that certain characteristics of blockchain make it hard to craft Web2-like applications that are easy to use.
According to 0XDesigner, one of the main problems with cryptocurrency applications is that all actions are “irreversible” — there is no “undo button” on the blockchain and making mistakes can be costly. They said:
“It is like driving a manual transmission car — you have to understand the gears, the clutch, and keep an eye on the tachometer, otherwise you can damage the transmission or stall the car,” they added.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, 0xDesigner argued that the majority of the “broader population” may not even be interested in the sovereignty (control and ownership) that blockchain offers.
The Web3 UX paradox
Thomas Ling, a former UI designer for blockchain tech firm Immutable and Web2 gaming studio Riot Games, informed Cointelegraph that UI is typically more straightforward in Web2 since with Web3, users have ownership and control.
Although this makes Web3 distinctive, it also adds more complexities on the backend, Ling stated:
Because of this, Ling elucidated, Web3 UI/ UX designers are “limited” in the way that they can make “magic” happen in creating a user-friendly application.
Ling noted that product teams are often confronted with making design decisions with tradeoffs:
0xDesigner believes another issue lies in the lack of priority given to user experience in Web3 projects.
“From what I’ve seen, most product teams are engineering-driven. The designer to developer ratios are lower than in web2. That usually results in more technical solutions.”
This could be due to the high stakes in Web3, particularly concerning financial applications, meaning that more staff will be focused on security and error prevention.
0xDesigner believes mass adoption of Web3 will come when there’s a truly useful application of it, like gaming and music.
“The adoption problem is usefulness first, not usability. It needs to be a good game, or good music. I don’t think it will matter that it’s web3.”
Cryptocurrency applications should also “feel invisible,” they added.
In a contrasting view, Messari CEO Ryan Selkis downplayed the problem of UX/UI on adoption during a July 11 Twitter Spaces.
“The wallets are fine, there’s definitely some things to be desired […] but it’s really a lot of the off-chain, social and regulatory things that cloud long term adoption of web 3.0 meaning, the apple health application is a web 3.0 application, web3 vs web 3.0, what is web 3.0 explained, blockchain web 3.0, twitter crypto, harmony one crypto, web3 or web 3.0, web 3.0 social media, and web 3.0 design.”
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