User experience (UX) design affects nearly every waking moment of our lives. It’s not just digital either. Have you ever thought about the UX of doors? Perhaps a brief refresher of what UX is, will help. A useful definition of UX is as follows: ”A person’s perception and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service” (from The International Organization for Standardization).
The following opinion editorial was written by Bitcoin.com’s head of product experience Alex Knight.
Back to doors. We’ve all experienced a door that didn’t open the way it should. That’s a UX failure right there (there’s a name for such doors, search for “Norman doors”).
Thankfully Norman doors are rare, as are their computer software and web2 counterparts. Unfortunately, web3, still in its infancy, is rife with Norman doors. Until we fix most of these proverbial doors, web3 mass adoption is unlikely.
In this article I’m going to discuss three areas web3 needs to work on. Caveats: this list is not comprehensive and since my area of focus is web3 wallets I’m going to talk about UX challenges through that lens. The three areas are:
- Ease of use
That security is vital for software that handles financial instruments is obvious. Two of the bigger security challenges right now are:
- Handling cryptographic keys
- Unintelligible crypto transactions.
I believe that self-custody is the most important concept in crypto. This is not to say everyone must use self-custody. However, that it always remains a viable option is critical. I direct you to Bitcoin.com’s CEO Dennis Jarvis’ article on the topic for a compelling defense of self-custody. So far, self-custody has meant users must manage cryptographic keys. An early UX advancement was using recovery phrases, sometimes called seed phrases, instead of handling cumbersome unintelligible cryptographic keys.
While recovery phrases improved upon cryptographic keys, recovery phrases have proven to also be pretty complicated. There is a constant drip of stolen crypto due to people not fully grasping the importance of their recovery phrases, for example exposing or losing them. This leads to the second security problem: unintelligible crypto transactions. In most crypto scams, people willingly enter into transactions they don’t fully understand that send their cryptoassets away.
Moving Away From Recovery Phrases
Many people are working on the…