As the world enters financial uncertainty amid the looming recession, people are less likely to take leaps of faith and venture into what is still unknown to many. Despite crypto’s promising future in sharing a system for recording data and availability for generations to come, its complex design and relatively new technologies still scare away potential investors. There are obvious flaws in the world of crypto in the eye of a designer.
However, even during economic downturns, cryptocurrencies and several other blockchain industries have shown resilience in the past. The blockchain gaming industry, for example, has attracted leading venture firms such as Andreesen Horowitz, reflected on the firm launching $600 million Games Fund One, solely to blockchain gaming. And as the process of using crypto to make purchases become more seamless, the more likely newer generations will invest and use blockchain technology, adopt web3, and build on greater resilience.
But, the question still remains: what role do design principles play in increasing crypto adoption and how will these affect the transition from web2 to web3?
Crypto’s main challenges
The concept of cryptocurrencies is still relatively new, dating back to only 2009. Therefore, potential users have trouble understanding native digital money and its value. In today’s market, many users investing in crypto don’t necessarily understand the blockchain technology behind it and are more acting on “FOMO”, fear of missing out, hoping to get involved with cryptos during their early stage to reap the benefits of being believers. Even with an apparent increasing adoption, the misuse and lack of knowledge behind what they’re investing into can actually hurt crypto.
Misconceptions are more than common due to crypto’s complex nature. The combination of tech and finance presents an even greater challenge for those looking to invest without any basic knowledge of the industries. The world of crypto itself is innovating on top of traditional financial structures with new technologies, which means that the cost of entry is higher and more difficult without thorough and appropriate due diligence. But how exactly can new users double down on due diligence–is there enough crypto educational material around?
The short answer is no. Since crypto tech is still considered to be in its infancy stages, mainly engineers are pioneering and developing its advancements. This means that most early stages of crypto functionalities are theoretical, unfortunately excluding a digestible user-centric design. This inhibits potential users to understand the product well enough to decide to invest and creates friction within user experiences with a poor user interface. Therefore, designers have an opportunity to improve and transform a product’s usability and understanding. The more clear a product’s function is, the more transparency it provides, and the more inclined users are to invest.
How design enables the transition from web2 to web3
A successful transition from web2 to web3 is still heavily dependent on the amount of information, terminology, and general knowledge potential users have access to and understand. Just like crypto, web3 is a new concept encompassing blockchain technologies and building innovative processes on top of traditional web2 infrastructures. Early-stage education on these concepts is crucial to their adoption.
Designers face the challenge of untangling complex sequences and presenting them in a visually easy-to-understand interface to the platform’s users. Visual aids such as videos, animated explainers, and infographics, among others, serve as a quick and attractive way to create and push greater knowledge on the subject. More than just relying on whitepapers and protocols that only developers and advanced industry experts understand, designers can help drive greater adoption by creating easy-to-follow visuals.
While the market is still in what is considered the early stages of crypto, businesses and startups need to seek greater transparency in the workings of their protocols, empowering users with all the potential benefits and risks involved in investing. As new protocols emerge, users need to be aware that they are investing in unproven theories, yet count on an enhanced user experience design and visual aids to help them unveil the mystery that surrounds the crypto industry.
In the world of crypto
With or without economic uncertainty, one thing is sure; cryptocurrency will withstand the test of time. According to a recent survey, nearly 42% of millennials say they are very likely to buy crypto in the next year, with Gen Z behind with about 26%. These numbers are predicted to increase as the crypto environment continues to mature, reaching a greater audience of investors, regulators, builders, innovators, and designers. By making crypto more accessible and more transparent through design, the industry will move forward at a greater and more sustainable pace.