If you ask anyone in web3 what the biggest obstacle to mainstream adoption is, the user experience might be the most likely answer.
In a recent survey, 78% of web3 users say they dislike the overall web3 experience.
So let’s take a look at why web3 has such a poor user experience and how we can improve it.
What is wrong with the user experience on web3?
Web3 is complicated and confusing. Here’s the onboarding process of an average user:
- learn the basic terms;
- install a wallet;
- add a password;
- write down your seed phrase;
- keep your seed phrase off your computer;
- don’t you dare to lose it because then all your money is gone;
- find projects that you’re interested in;
- engage with those projects across different channels;
- try to stay updated so that you don’t miss anything important!
This was just the first step. Then the user has to learn how to buy crypto, how to bridge it, stake, join liquidity pools, buy an NFT, etc, all while not getting scammed along the way.
These multiple layers of complexity illustrate just how high the barriers to entry are for moving into web3 fully, and until they can all be addressed or abstracted away, we’re unlikely to see the widespread adoption that we are all waiting to happen.
Millennials and Gen Zs are generations who literally grew up online. These people have high expectations when it comes to user experience. And now web3 can’t meet these expectations.
The problem with most web3 startups is that they are built with a developer mindset and are not consumer-friendly enough.
They are not focusing enough on user experience because they are built with experimentation in mind, playing around with the technical aspects, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
To onboard more people in web3, we need to take a different approach. So let’s see how we can fix the user experience in crypto.
How can we change that?
User experience is not just about how the product looks. It’s also about how it works: how smooth the onboarding is, how easy it is to use, how scalable the solution is, how practical the gas fees are, and how fast the transactions are, etc.
Web3 projects need to keep all these aspects in mind when creating their products.
4 major things people expect from web3 projects:
A clear, real-world use case
The problem is that right now there is no killer use case for 99% of the world.
Why do people need to buy ETH? How does this NFT make their lives better?
Startups should provide this use case and make it simple and clear for the users. For example, NFTs can act as a membership card and a status symbol.
Then the holders can be provided with certain perks such as early access to the newest product, free merch, or an event invite. And this asset can be tradeable on a secondary market in case someone wants to sell their membership.
The problem now is that many NFT projects only care about making money rather than providing real value for their communities.
However, there are also a lot of projects that are solving real problems in various fields – environment, finance, data ownership, art, travel, charity, fashion & more.
Intuitive user interface
Web3’s user interface can be confusing, to say the least. Whether you try to select the right network in your wallet or use the correct bridge for your tokens a user can easily be confused and disrupted by the process.
These uncertainties push away people because they hate to hesitate and spend time on research before making another step. It will never work if you have to spend a Saturday researching crypto. There’s got to be an easier way to do this.
There have been some positive steps made in this direction. The recent update from MetaMask now emphasises highlighting transactions that request “set approval for all” of your MetaMask. With this update, MetaMask reminds its users to be more aware when making transactions.
Another example of the products that will help crypto to be a much safer and better place is Wallet Guardian’s “X-ray”. It’s an AI tool that provides real-time smart contract scanning and uses a simple traffic light system to help users make informed decisions before signing a transaction.
Such simple, explanatory elements are a great help for many users.
Seamless mobile experience
One of the biggest obstacles for web3 to become mainstream is the terrible, often broken mobile experience. Most web3 apps such as Metamask, and OpenSea, etc work badly on mobiles. Web3 currently can’t compete with the seamless and smooth web2 apps.
Recently Solana introduced Solana Mobile Stack which provides a new set of libraries for wallets and apps, allowing developers to create mobile experiences on the Solana blockchain. They also launched Saga, a flagship Android mobile phone with unique functionality and features tightly integrated with Solana.
This is a big step forward forweb3 development, but it most likely wont bring more adoption because a few people will buy new gadgets just because it’s built specially for web3.
There must be a better way to make a web3 apps user-friendly without creating a special device just for that.
Clear and simple language
Web3 brands need to do a better job at delivering their messages to communities. We need to step away from technical explanations to something that is clear and digestible for a person who hasn’t been in crypto since 2013.
Web3 projects should be clear about what they do, what is the real value of their products / services, the security measures taken, and how to get onboarded.
This can be achieved by guiding users along their journey in a given Web3 product using step-by-step instructions, guides, educational content, and clarifying the complicated technical language.
As blockchain becomes more mainstream, education will be less important. But for now, it is essential to provide users with simple and understandable content.
Another thing that is vital for web3 users is DYOR (doing your own research) across different resources before investing in a project. It takes a lot of time and effort to find high-quality and relevant information about the project you’re interested in.
Soon we’ll be sharing some of the best research channels that will help to keep-up-to-date in crypto. So stay tuned for the upcoming blogs.
- Web3 adoption is not here yet and poor user experience is one of the reasons why people are sticking with web2 solutions.
- To promote mass adoption, crypto projects need to focus on delivering a smooth user experience.
- In order for Web3 to grow and expand beyond digital wallets and financial platforms,decentalised apps need to be more intuitive and consistent.
- More transparent real-world use cases will go a long way to assuage people’s concerns and convince them to embrace web3.
- To help newcomers gain familiarity with the new features and interactions found on Web3 platforms, they need to offer simpler user education.
- There is already evidence that UX is evolving in web3 and more projects are focusing on user experience.