Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on a mission to better understand how participants perceive crypto’s current user experience and interface. I teamed up with Tobia De Angelis, founder of D1 Labs, to formalize this deep dive (Twitter disagreements can be great). Our focus: the UX/UI design approaches to both Bitcoin and Web3.
Our initial starting point kicked off with a survey to better understand user perception and priorities. This survey was sent to ~100 people (though not statistically relevant; respondents are entirely focused on building/investing in crypto).
Survey Findings & Commentary
1) Are you supportive and or interested in: Bitcoin, Web3/Ethereum, Both?
20% solely interested in Bitcoin
4% solely interested in web3/Ethereum
2% interested in none
The vast majority (73%) were supportive/ interested in both Bitcoin and Web3/Ethereum.
2) How would you define the relationship between Bitcoin & Web3?
Commentary: only a small number of people actually think web3 and bitcoin are truly competitors.
3) Are Bitcoin and Web3’s success correlated?
Commentary: It was interesting to see a nearly identical split saying yes or no. Results to this answer are beginning of confirmation that users have different ideas of success for Bitcoin and Web3.
4) When designing products that aim to contribute to Bitcoin’s success, one should focus on:
Commentary: We expected security to be top choice, but better UX/UI in the form of ease of use is top priority. Security close behind.
5) When designing products that aim contribute to Web3/Ethereum success, the most important thing to focus on:
Commentary: ease of use, smoothness take the top spot for web3 which was no surprise. We think we’re in the early days of unearthing use cases of smart contracts, so glad to see creativity was close to the top.
6) For Bitcoin: how acceptable is to trade security/privacy at the app layer for a smoother UX? (0 -10 scale)
Commentary: We probably should have used a 1–5 scale here. 0,5, and 10 had most votes — 0 outweighed 10 quite heavily, ie Bitcoin users do not want to sacrifice security.
7) For Web3/Ethereum: how acceptable is it to trade security/privacy at the application layer for a smoother UX?
Commentary: we were surprised there was a lower than expected average (4.85), especially after answers on Question 5. In web3, security is still very important from users eyes.
8) For Bitcoin: a global, widespread popular adoption is necessary for it to succeed.
Commentary: Bitcoin camp was essentially split on thinking widespread adoption was necessary for Bitcoin’s success.
9) For Web3/Ethereum: a global, widespread popular adoption is necessary for it to succeed.
Commentary: Web3 camp prioritizes global adoption more than Bitcoin camp. We were surprised to see the larger than expected (32%) say that web3 does not need to be global.
10) A successful Bitcoin looks like
Commentary: Bitcoin’s narrative is increasingly moving towards “store of value and payment network”, with only a collective 16% viewing as base layer for applications.
11) A successful Web3/Ethereum looks like
Commentary: Web3 as a store of value had almost no votes, with the vast majority excited about web3 being a base layer for applications (generalized, and financial).
12) Pick the two “web3” platforms you’re most excited about (if you’re a maximalist, pick one)
Commentary: This was more of a fun question to gauge where people were excited. Ethereum is the runaway winner, surprised to see so many people excited about unnamed “other”. To note: participants chose multiple options here.
13) Pick the 2 “coins” you’re most excited about (if you’re a maximalist, pick one)
Commentary: Bitcoin, to no surprise was the top maximalist choice. It was interesting to see that ZCash had more excitement than Monero given similar value propositions. Our take: participants care about global store of value and privacy.
This research is a starting point in understanding user perceptions of crypto by focusing on UX/UI and what success may look like. Based off the results, it’s pretty clear that Bitcoin and Web3 are perceived to have separate narratives, alongside disparate concepts of “success”.
Having a clear understanding of both the social layer and the corresponding protocol/tech layer for Bitcoin and Web3 is crucial to design successful products that meet user expectations. Our goal is to highlight resources, create a community for existing crypto participants, and the next wave of developers and application builders in the space.