Analyze the four levels of Web3 user experience: how to create a good user experience?

Original title: Summary: Four Layers of Web3 User Experience(The Levels of Web3 User Experience

By Jon Crabb

Compiled by: ChinaDeFi

This article attempts to create a larger framework for Web3 UX.

There are too many new elements between Web3 and Web2, such as gas fees, tokens, wallets and smart contracts. We need to consider more than just the UI. Now there are more layers to consider.

We need to improve all these aspects to create a good user experience.

How to visualize different levels of Web3 user experience

The journey of users is a long and winding road

Consider a standard application. Not Web3, but a popular application on smartphones that we often use. The actual UI of this application is just the last element of a long experience. It starts from the real world, goes through countless physical spaces, enters digital interaction, goes through a lot of different hardware and software, and finally finds its thumb resting on the buttons designed by others.

We may have an idea, such as "playing music" or "viewing directions" or "buying clothes", which is affected by something in our physical environment.

This "user experience" started long before we took the phone out of our pocket.

When studying Web3, this point has not been paid enough attention. To verify this point, let's give an example.

International remittance

One is the "user experience" of remittances to residents in other countries, and the other is the "user experience" of specific applications we use.

Sending stable currency on the blockchain is better than sending currency. It is almost instantaneous and low cost. If the currency is sent, it may take several days, and a fee will be charged for each step. Now some transfer applications are well done. The process of understanding such an application is much easier than understanding cryptocurrencies. Most people have smartphones and some local currency. But most people do not have exchange accounts, wallets or cryptocurrencies.

Some user experiences are better than current standards. But many other steps are worse than current standards.

According to my estimation, cryptocurrency failed because it was not so easy to access and could not integrate well with other parts of the "system".

If we really want to understand the Web3 user experience, we need to start from the overall situation and see which aspects need attention.

Overall user experience model

The Nielsen Norman model has three levels:

  • interactive
  • journey
  • relationship

These three aspects cover the entire user experience from the real world to the digital world. This framework is often used for CX design (customer experience) and service design. In most cases, users have made many decisions before visiting our application or website.

If we further magnify a successful company, we will find that the company is usually solving a core problem. In real life, this is usually a vexing problem, and the product has innovated some methods to improve this deep sense of frustration.

Annoying_ shit_ irl --> thing/app_ that_ might_ help --> the_ actual_ UI

Because the pioneers solved the initial problems, they had the greatest impact on people's lives. However, it is actually much more difficult to achieve this, and usually requires a major change in technology, policy or society.

The most classic example is a famous quote made up by Henry Ford:

"If I ask people what they want, they will say faster horses."

What people really want is to get to their destination faster. One car can solve the problem. But this solution can only take off after raising awareness, creating a better road ecosystem, thoroughly reforming the entire manufacturing industry and passing appropriate laws.

See the connection here?

The final design of the car is obviously also important, but for this new mode of transportation to succeed in the end, we must show everyone its benefits, and we must also improve a lot of infrastructure, processes, regulations and related technologies.

If we focus on more modern platforms like Netflix, we can see multiple levels of experience. Core user stories are similar to "people want high-quality entertainment". The solution to this problem was DVD at first, but now the solution is digital streaming media platform. This requires expert debugging and planning. Users also want to watch high-definition video, which requires good compression effect of Netflix and good network connection at the user end. They want to find something they like, which requires a good UI, excellent information architecture and clever recommendation algorithm.

In both cases, "user experience" contains much more content than we thought.

Four levels of Web3 user experience

In the Web3 example, I suggest four different layers. Each brings specific user experience challenges.

A simple framework for visualizing the different layers to be processed

These layers are stacked together. The bottom layer is the most important, but also the most difficult to affect, because it is most relevant to the technical limitations of any blockchain used. The top layer is the visual layer, which can be easily modified - of course, what we put there depends entirely on the layer below it.

The following are some specific challenges in each layer, from bottom to top.

Technical layer

  • speed
  • cost
  • stable
  • anonymous

Access layer

  • wallet
  • connect
  • Mnemonics and security
  • Interoperability
  • Network expansion
  • Mobile Experience

Functional layer

  • transaction
  • mobility
  • Mobile mining
  • Smart contract interaction and permissions
  • User identity
  • government
  • Token Type
  • Web3 Login
  • Show NFT
  • Ownership of in-game assets
  • Sending information across layers or chains

Visual layer

  • Visual Design
  • Information hierarchy
  • Navigation
  • content
  • Help and guidance

Decomposition analysis

Technical layer

When I see the actual technology layer, I think the UX on DeFi is better. Large amount remittance usually requires waiting time and expense, and in some cases, it is subject to the security inspection of intermediary banks. On the blockchain, it is fast, cheap (although not always), and can be verified by anyone.

The UX challenges at this level are:

  • Increase speed to match or exceed VISA networks (tps)
  • Improve the stability and security of the blockchain
  • The cost is reduced to the level lower than Western Union remittance or Wise
  • Make the transaction verifiable

These are the biggest challenges that need to be addressed. However, they are interface independent. In this case, the layer 2 blockchain is a direct attempt to improve the overall user experience.

When considering such uncertain things as the identity on the chain, such things become more important.

Access layer

Suppose that this year is 1995, and you heard about a wonderful new thing called the Internet. First, you need a personal computer with a modem. You need to connect it to the telephone line. Once you "dial up" and "get online", you can't answer the phone. To really do something, you must set an "email address", which may be "pop3" or "imap", and use a "browser". If you want to become a professional, learn "telnet" and "ftp". Once you manage, things will never be the same again.

The UX challenges at this level are:

  • Create a wallet that is as easy to use as a bank application and/or browser
  • Create Web3 Single Sign On
  • Smooth currency channel
  • Unified chain or create "layer x", no manual bridging is required
  • Human readable address (ENS is a step in this direction)
  • Self regulation and privacy education for people
  • Give cryptocurrency to more people
  • Beyond the current Internet browser paradigm

Functional layer

When we talk about the web3 user experience. One thing to consider is that something must be strange because it is brand new. New features always seem hard to get started. A few years ago, no one had heard of NFT or AMM. Now that we have them, we also need to figure out how to make the best use of them.

The UX challenges at this level are:

  • Make transactions intuitive
  • Abstract complex policies
  • Simplify operations (such as using zappers and automatically packaging tokens)
  • Create flexibility in the system (sending tokens to the wrong network)
  • Making participation in governance easy and beneficial
  • Make NFT meaningful and useful
  • Create more "killer applications" beyond finance
  • Transfer ownership of in-game assets to users rather than manufacturers
  • Increase NFT sharing and display mode
  • Improve cross chain and multi tier compatibility (most users may not want ten different forms of USDC)

An important note on this layer is that some unmanaged encryption applications have partially addressed some of the above issues. The disadvantage is that in most cases, we are using some decentralization to gain a better user experience. Crypto. Com allows us to send other Crypto Com users send tokens for free. Most exchanges will let us choose which network to withdraw money from (main network or Polygon, etc.). Coin Security will provide us with tokens and give us some interest, but we can't control their strategies. Celsius has done the same thing, but the effect is not very good.

Visual layer

Do we use consistent design patterns based on user research? Is the terminology too technical? Does everything look normal on your phone?

The UX challenges at this level are:

  • Follow accessibility best practices
  • Reduce the use of technical terms
  • Highlight important content
  • Hide irrelevant things
  • Create easy to follow instructions
  • Promoting inclusiveness
  • It means "friendly" and "welcome", not "terrible" and "xenophobic"
  • taste
  • Preserve individuality and build for the public at the same time

This is my first serious attempt to create a larger framework for Web3 UX, and I intend to continue to develop on this basis.

"All the models are wrong, but some are useful."