Relevance of UI/UX Design in Web 3.0 Applications

Design is extremely important in the uptake and adoption of web 3.0. Because most users will be introduced to the world of blockchain via dApps, their journey through this technical space may be heavily hampered or aided by design. Let’s take a closer look at how as a designer one can step forward to the web 3.0 space and make the best of their skills. But before that, let’s look at that one question that pops up in our minds!

What is Web 3.0?

To answer this question, we should explore the bedrock of the web. Web 1.0 is where it all begins; back then, the internet was nothing more than a collection of connections, and a small number of individuals were in charge of producing all the information. The rest were simply consumers of the content made available by this group.

As you would have guessed, web 2.0 now lets anyone use the platform to publish content. Everyone has the ability to create and consume. For communication and information retrieval on Web 2.0, computers use HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), which is frequently stored on a single server. The read-only internet of the 1990s was replaced by Web 2.0, yet data and content are still overly centralized. Big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and many more have a complete monopoly on our web space, are able to set the rules, and are in charge of your data, search results, friends list, and just about anything else you can think of.

On the other hand, Web 3.0 offers a totally decentralized internet. Web 3.0, in contrast, focuses entirely on decentralization, employs blockchain technology, and stores data across various sites without a single point of control. Then to the blockchain, users will have complete control over their personal data on Web 3.0 and will be able to connect with one another directly without the use of middlemen companies or top-down censorship.

Decentralized social networks, play-to-earn video games, NFT platforms, decentralized banking, and other innovations will all be a part of Web 3.0.

Why learn this technology?

If you want to work as a designer in this industry, you should know what’s going on under the hood of web 3.0. Web 3.0 technologies include blockchain, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Metaverse (AR, VR & Mixed Reality).

Hundreds of venture capitalists are pouring billions of dollars into this new industry as we speak. Companies are rebranding in order to gain a stake in this new “metaverse.” The popularity of bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies is also making them a more popular asset class to invest in. The initial hype surrounding blockchain has begun to become a trend, with the potential to become the internet’s future. Renowned corporations such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Gucci, and Coca-Cola are experimenting with the Metaverse.

According to a Citi report, the Metaverse could be worth $8–13 trillion by 2030.

The successful deployment of Ethereum scalability solutions has significantly accelerated blockchain and Web 3.0 app adoption. Within the next 5 to 10 years, gaming, FinTech, digital identity, social media, and publishing will almost certainly be Web 3.0 enabled. DeFi (decentralized finance) apps and platforms are already available, addressing several issues in traditional finance.

However, for a new technology to succeed and gain widespread adoption, it must not only improve on the status quo; it must also avoid inconveniencing its user base. This is where UI/UX designers come in. The rise of Web 3.0 provides UI/UX designers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the internet’s future and make it better for all of us! To provide an exceptional user experience, it is critical to understand what its target audience desires in terms of design.

Millennials and Generation Z (also known as the Internet Generation) are the newer target customers who live on Web 3.0. Their entire existence revolves around technology. They want a more sophisticated and intelligent experience. The customer experience (CX) in Web 3.0 is based on user recommendations, automatic chatbots, and advanced search results leveraging machine learning, improved connectivity, and so on.

Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, socializing, and/or entertainment.

Money follows traction. That is why major corporations are interested in it. To provide a web immersive experience to the current audience, we must first understand how designers can create web 3.0 experiences.

How to enter this new industry

At first, entering this new industry may appear challenging. With so many new terms and abbreviations circulating, it can be intimidating for many people. However, it is simply a matter of exposing yourself to this industry. Begin where you have some prior experience. If you have a development background, you can start looking at the code that the blockchain is built on. However, because this article is aimed at designers, we will concentrate on the path that worked for us.

To summarise, begin with something you are already familiar with. We started by looking at case studies related to web 3.0. You can begin to get a sense of the current ecosystem once you have a good understanding of the blockchain from a design standpoint. Learn about the industry’s forerunners in various niches. Start with Metamask for money exchange, paymentX for crypto payrolls, and Circle for peer-to-peer money transfers.

Once you have a good understanding of the technology, look into ways you can contribute to this ecosystem.

How Can a UI/UX Designer Contribute to the WEB 3.0 Ecosystem?


Creating case studies in this field differs from designing for a Web 2.0 project. Many people are unaware of the blockchain’s capabilities and possibilities, so it is your responsibility as a designer to educate the public while presenting a viable use case. Since users may be hesitant to transfer money online, a designer must understand the mechanism underlying their app. It may be difficult to adapt to this education-centric design method, but because this is a new industry, it is critical that the user feels secure while using this new platform.

Using friction to slow down the process for the user, and giving them time to process what is going on behind the scenes is an example that you can incorporate into your design. This can be as simple as using a progress bar to show where your money is being transported while also utilizing tooltips or information bubbles to describe each step.

Another approach is to use existing metaphors and mental models that users are already familiar with from Web 2.0. Interacting with a recognizable workflow provides users with a sense of security. Consider Apple when they were developing their touch-screen iPhone. They used the weight and friction of everyday objects to develop the swipes and extended taps that are now possible on modern phones. They can credit the success of their touchscreen interfaces to a pre-existing mental model in humans, which they discovered by studying how people interact with everyday objects.

Specifically for XR (Extended Reality) technology designs, always focus on

  • Giving your users instinctive interactions via hand, eye, and voice inputs
  • Teaching users how to interact with holograms at close range using their hands or at a distance using precise interactions.
  • Using voice commands to control surrounding holograms and environments in your immersive apps
  • Using information about what your users are looking at, you can add a new level of context and human understanding to a holographic experience.


Designers can create web experiences by taking into account factors such as visitor attention, simplifying complex elements, designing unique visual elements, maintaining brand identity, and so on.

Design for Blockchain: There is no clarity in the design industry about how designers can adapt to web 3.0 trends to provide a better user experience. However, some industry leaders argue that in order to create a web 3.0 site, one must first understand blockchain technology from a design standpoint, including the challenges that this technology can present. Because the audience is unaware of the blockchain’s benefits and drawbacks.

Design for VR: A good immersive experience is required when a designer creates a VR experience for users. Even though there is no final standard design guideline in the industry, understanding people and the platform you design for, visualizing the interaction while keeping user convenience in mind, considering head tracking, preventing motion sickness, and creating a guideline for the user can all be useful while designing.

Design for AR: Understanding the actual problem and ensuring that AR is the right channel to solve the problem, with clear business and user objectives, is required when designing for AR. Another critical aspect is to comprehend the hardware capabilities. Don’t limit yourself to rectangles when designing the visual because users in the AR experience have a complete real-world environment.

Design for MR: Mixed reality is a significant change in the new internet world, and designing for it is a difficult task for designers. When designing Mixed Reality interfaces, keep all UX principles in mind.

Finally, when designing user-centric interfaces, a high level of transparency is essential. Transparency is one of the pillars of web 3.0. As a result, being clear about the technology’s security and processes is critical in making users feel at ease with the new apps.

Why is UI/UX Important in Web 3.0 technologies?

As an example to answer this question, consider DeFi. Users of the DeFi app and platform are mostly Millennials and Generation Z, the two generations that practically grew up online. They naturally have high expectations for the user experience. The issue with most DeFi startups is that they are fundamentally developer-driven and not sufficiently consumer-friendly. And that’s the barrier to entry to not just DeFi, but also Web 3.0 apps in general. Let’s face it: most DeFi platforms and crypto wallets still have a clumsy and perplexing user interface. This is not aiding in the widespread acceptance of Dapps (decentralized apps).

The ability to provide customers with more than a functional product is the first step toward the mass adoption of any new technology. Millennials and Gen-Z users not only expect but demand an intuitive user interface and seamless mobile navigation. They value a company’s ability to transform its product or service into a pleasant and seamless digital experience.

Many blockchain developers are beginning to look for inspiration in other consumer tech sectors — tech sectors that have already achieved widespread adoption.

Let’s look at a compelling case study on how UI/UX transformed another tech sector!

E-commerce is a huge success. Because of the competitive nature of online stores, retail businesses have been forced to invest heavily in providing compelling online shopping experiences and customer journeys. Brands have been iterating and perfecting the primary UI/UX design elements that emphasize the usability and functionality of their main digital marketplaces, as well as their mobile apps, for decades.

This is because retailers had long realized that in order to be successful, they needed to keep their online customers engaged long enough to complete a purchase. To do so, they needed to make their UI/UX as streamlined and simple as possible.

They discovered through trial and error that effective UI design determines the number of conversions and completed sales. As a result, they concentrated on creating a smooth, efficient, and appealing customer journey from the welcome page to the checkout page. Online retailers also discovered that Gen-Z customers are twice as likely as Millennials to make a purchase on their smartphone, so they optimized their apps to align with the mobile-first mindset of the youngest shoppers.

By 2023, online retail sales are expected to total $6.169 trillion, accounting for 22.3% of total retail sales. This is an increase from $3.351 trillion and 13.8% in 2019

Web 3.0 startups aiming for mass adoption should take a page from the E-commerce UX/UI design playbook.

Bottom Line

Today’s new-age customers are more at ease interacting and socializing with their peers in the virtual space, and the new internet space is providing people with immersive experiences. This new trend has not yet been fully adopted by the entire world, but the pandemic has hastened its adoption, and industries and users are viewing Web 3.0 as a new way to transact and interact. To remain competitive, designers must better understand, learn, explore, and observe the evolving web world in order to create better designs for today’s users.


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