User experience is a crucial aspect of every tool. Especially when it is a finance-related service. A poor UX can be misread as a red flag of potentially dangerous business. Many people can interpret it as “If they don’t spend their time to create an intuitively clear service, they are more likely to shut it down wherever they want.”
And in some cases, it can be partially true: tools with poor UX often lack security and some crucial features. So, even when developers don’t want to create a scammish service, it can become one due to the lack of security and developers' carelessness.
In this article, I want to provide you with a deep dive into blockchain UX. Today you will find the main signs of decent and poor crypto design, how it affects security, and how to protect yourself from fraudulent projects. If you want even more research from the Defiway team, leave a comment on our Twitter with a topic you want to see in our blog.
Understanding User Experience (UX)
As you can guess from its name, user experience (UX) is a user's overall experience interacting with a product. It covers all aspects of user interaction, from the initial impression to the final use. Here are four main elements of UX:
- Usability: it is the feeling of how easy to use a product. It should be intuitively clear. A usable product is easy to navigate even without step-by-step initial instructions.
- Design: the visual appeal of chosen product. It should have proportionate elements, combined colors, and the same aesthetic in every detail.
- Functionality: this term refers to the product features and capabilities. A properly functioning product should do everything that its developers promised in the description.
- Accessibility: a product should be accessible to different audiences: young and old, tech pioneers, and beginners. Service developers need to ensure that a product can be used by people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, and motor impairments.
If this experience is poor, there will be a low chance that users will come back. They will be confused and frustrated. However, fine UX can make a product more efficient and enjoyable. It can also maintain a sense of trust between the user and the product.
Good UX can increase sales and overall revenue, improving employee productivity and client loyalty. It can reduce customer support costs, giving businesses a competitive advantage.
Google search engine is a pinnacle example of great UX. Despite its office services can be tricky, a search engine interface has a simple and intuitive design. Another fine example is Amazon: despite being the largest marketplace with dozens of sub-services, it is still smooth, user-friendly, and efficient.
Current State of Crypto Wallets' UX
The crypto industry is still considered a place of tech pioneers. That’s why many early developers don’t bother about usability since most of the service audience was people who constantly work with tech.
Now, this industry attracts a more and more general audience that gets used to user-friendly apps. But some part of crypto services developers still lives in this old-fashioned world, where crypto service can look like a 90’s website.
At the same time, many services provide top-notch services and applications. Those services can mix multiple tools into one without overwhelming a user. So the current state of blockchain UX can be described as a teenager’s favorite Facebook marriage status: it's all complicated.
As of late 2023, many wallets provide advanced security features, while others like to keep it basic. Some services have great transaction management.
But in most cases, you still can’t send money from one network to another without third-party service usage. It happens because most services don’t have built-in exchanges, bridges, and other dApps integration. It’s hard to develop a service with these features while remaining user-friendly.
Main user pain points are tied to the fact that many crypto wallets still have that late-90s vibe. This complex interface with far too much terminology can be confusing even to experienced users with basic crypto knowledge.
Some wallets can be too complex to use but easy to hack, raising concerns inside the crypto enthusiast community. You should pick a wallet service scrupulously: check out its security features and find out more about the team. If they hide their crucial staff, it’s a red flag. They have something to hide.
If they openly share staff names, it’s a green flag. They made themselves more trackable, so you can always write a letter to the CEO, CMO, or CTO.
Unfortunately, many services still lack customer support. Users often have difficulties getting help from wallet providers. Read reviews on external sites and socials to find the actual situation with the support team.
Why UX is Crucial for Mass Adoption
User experience (UX) is crucial for the mass adoption of any product. If companies from breakthrough industries won’t make user-friendly interfaces, users will refuse to try their services, leading to losing interest in potentially great services.
According to AWS research, businesses lose 35% of sales due to bad UX. The same research tells us that 1 of 4 failed projects in the digital world happens because they don’t have a user-friendly interface.
Poor UX can lead to frustration, discouraging people from using the product or service. It also can lead to confusion, preventing people from getting a deep dive into chosen service. Moreover, poor crypto design and security can create fear, hindering people from using the service.
At the same time, easy-to-use products are more likely to be adopted. A positive experience improves willingness to use this service again by 14.4%. Nielsen Norman Group research shows that spending just 10% of a development budget on usability can improve conversion rates by 83%.
And all those facts have an easy explanation. People are more likely to use products that they find easy to use. Nobody likes to overthink. So the easier your product to use, the more chances to succeed you got. If a product is difficult to use, people are more likely to give up and try something else.
Products with good UX are more likely to be adopted by a wider range of people. Good blockchain UX can be accessed by people in any demographic and even people with disabilities. Those projects are more likely to be adopted by people not familiar with the technology.
To show you how UX differences can affect similar projects, I want to provide you with a small yet illustrative case study where I compare two popular wallets. It will be two Ethereum wallets: Coinbase and MyEtherWallet.
Coinbase is an example of a user-friendly wallet with an intuitive interface. It’s divided into three tabs: Home, Portfolio, and Send/Receive. The Home tab shows a basic summary of your balance and recent transactions. The Portfolio tab shows all cryptocurrencies in the wallet and their current value. The Send/Receive tab allows you to send and receive cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase provides you with multiple security features to protect your money. All private keys are stored on your device. So, no one can transfer money from your account remotely. You can also enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security. This service even supports dozens of decentralized applications (dApps).
On the other hand, MyEtherWallet is a crypto wallet with adoption issues due to a lack of intuitive UX. The interface is cluttered and confusing, and the documentation is sparse.
It doesn’t have an initial tutorial, so potential users need to search for third-party guidelines from random bloggers. It can lead to fatal mistakes, such as sending funds to the wrong address or exposing your private keys.
MyEtherWallet has also been criticized for its security features. It still does not offer 2FA or other advanced security features, which makes it vulnerable to hacking. In 2017, hackers stole over $50 million worth of Ethereum from MyEtherWallet users.
The combination of poor blockchain UX and security flaws has made MyEtherWallet a not-so-common choice. However, it still has its fans.
Designing for the Next Billion: Key Considerations
Developers should understand that their tools will be used by different people. They will have different backgrounds, regions and with various technical literacy.
People from different regions have different technology behaviors and perceptions of what can be considered a beautiful crypto design. People from emerging economies get used to mobile device usage so much that they don’t need a desktop version of a service.
At the same time, people from developed countries used to work only with desktop versions of finance services. They often think that mobile finance apps can be a scam. So, fine crypto services should have mobile and desktop versions to fit all audiences.
Developers should keep in mind that people have different levels of technological literacy. Some users will be tech-savvy, wanting as many features in a block. The other half will be crypto noobs looking for the interface with the “least possible amount of buttons” in it.
So, developers should find some middle ground: provide multiple services in one app, ensuring they will be easy to use. Even for people with disabilities: some can have poor eyesight, some can have hand tremors, etc. Developers need to create services that will be accessible to everyone.
Defiway's Approach to UX
We, at Defiway, value UX as a key component of our services. We believe that great UX can change people’s lives since it supports their tech journey, leading to increased adoption in all audiences. That’s why we provide you with a clean and clutter-free interface for all our tools.
This is especially noticeable in emerging communities where people just get access to modern tools: people who start their journey with user-friendly tools end up as advanced users in less than a year.
That’s why we’ve built a secure ecosystem where you can have any needed crypto tool in a few clicks: wallet, built-in exchange, bridge, pay services, and even payroll systems. Businesses can integrate our service into their work tools and enjoy automated tax compliance. General users can store, send and exchange crypto and NFTs between multiple networks.
We care about your safety, so all our tools have enhanced security features. You can enable two-factor authorization wherever you need. Our wallet is non-custodial. We don’t store your private keys, so no one can hack your account remotely.
Our bridge smart contract streamlines exchange processes while providing more security. While most crypto services with built-in bridges ask you to sign both Approve and Send contracts. However, we ask you to sign only the Send one.
Here is the reason why we are doing it: after you send the Approve contract and before signing Send one, hackers have a few minutes to hack your account and withdraw funds from it. We boost your wallet security by eliminating unneeded steps in our crypto bridge.
User experience is a crucial aspect of any service. Especially when it comes to digital tools in innovative industries like crypto. As of late 2023, crypto finally becomes a space for a general audience that just started their journey in finance services.
So, if crypto-related businesses desire to build their ecosystem, they should create user-friendly tools with high-security levels. Designers, developers, and companies need to prioritize crypto wallet UX. Otherwise, they won’t create secure and reliable services.
They also need to ensure that their products are accessible to people of all levels of technical expertise. I recommend they create multiple focus groups with different people in them.
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