paulstamatiou.com/crypto-design-challenges
Crypto design challenges

It’s still early days in crypto.

That’s what you’ll hear everywhere when you start digging into crypto and web3 today. For most new users this unfortunately feels a bit closer to the wild west. There are a myriad of situations where they might not know what's happening and where they don't trust the system, services or tools they're using.

Early adopters face foreign terminology, complex UIs, unexpected and exorbitant fees, security issues, slow transactions, confusing errors, scams and more. That makes for one hell of an onboarding, even if you're lucky enough to have a friend showing you the way.

This is the state of crypto today. That can work for now—early adopters are motivated enough to jump through hoops to try something new—but this won’t scale as billions of users join the crypto ecosystem in the coming years.

But this is all known; there are many new technologies and protocols vying to evolve, change or fix things. I’m most interested in the design side of things.

Can we even design truly great experiences for common activities in crypto today? Does the underlying tech have to evolve significantly first? What's the best we can do with today's technological constraints?

The crypto users of tomorrow will have different motivations and expectations than the early adopters today. They won't put up with clunky, confusing, unreliable, unsafe and expensive systems. Great design—for wallets, exchanges, identity, dApps, marketplaces, DeFi and more—will be the bridge to help get us there.

Everyone likes to say that in the future maybe crypto users won’t even know they’re using crypto; that the blockchain and complementary systems are just the technology powering everything behind the scenes. We can only get there if we design for trust and use that as a critical lens through which we analyze every aspect of the crypto experience today.

Designing for trust

So you might...

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