It’s been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced BTC and the first working blockchain to the world. Following Bitcoin’s success, hundreds of new blockchains emerged – each attempting to be a better variant of the other.
While the blockchain industry has transformed into a multi-billion-dollar ecosystem over the last few years, the mainstream adoption of decentralized finance (DeFi), Web3, and the metaverse remain far from meaningfully realizing their potential.
The strong reason behind this sluggish growth is the predominant focus of most blockchains and the projects built on top of them on the technicalities and less on the user experience (UX).
User experience is crucial for the mainstream adoption of a product or technology. It’s not just about the product or tech itself but also how it feels to use it. User experience is a significant contributor to the success of any new product, service, or technology, and it will be no different for blockchain.
UX has been integral in facilitating interactions via devices, apps, and websites for years. The more intuitive and responsive the UX, the more likely to experience widespread use. UX is why thousands of products and services dominate the Web2 ecosystem.
That said, when it comes to blockchain technology, existing DeFi and Web3 ecosystems have a long list of shortcomings in the UX area, including but not limited to poor copywriting, minimal onboarding workflows, a lack of user guides, and unnecessarily complicated interfaces and user flows.
The UX Dilemma of Web3 and DeFi
The DeFi ecosystem is among the largest sectors of the blockchain ecosystem, but only a handful of people use it regularly. That’s because DeFi and Web3 must improve their attention toward usability.
The UX problem isn’t limited to the frontend interfaces (consumer-facing); it also affects backend aspect (developer-facing) elements. Because current Web3 and DeFi developers don’t have the required tools and infrastructure to let them express their ideas easily, quickly, and safely, it impacts the eventual output.
Legacy blockchain technology isn’t designed for interoperability, resulting in a scattered industry. Smart developers and entrepreneurs are battling challenges on chains that other disparate chains may have already solved. This siloed approach increases the work for developers.
To mitigate this challenging reality, the blockchain industry needs an end-to-end technology stack designed and built together that delivers a standard that works for everyone. Only then will the blockchain ecosystem offer the tools, infrastructure, and UX needed for mainstream technological acceptance.
For example, before Tesla shattered records, most consumers shunned the idea of electric cars in an era where standard gas-powered cars reigned supreme. The company started emphasizing an electric car that was practical and desirable. To achieve this result, Tesla optimized the UX of their cars and built complementary technology, products, and services to help Tesla cars reach more widespread acceptance.
A Potential Solution in the Making
The blockchain community must learn from Tesla’s example. Instead of building siloed products and services, it needs an infrastructure designed to work seamlessly together. Take Radix, which offers an intuitive interface and infrastructure for developers alongside user experience optimizations for consumers through its wide range of products and services.
Radix’s CEO Piers Ridyard notes: “In order to truly achieve our vision of making DeFi and Web3 mainstream, we realized that the entire stack – consensus, execution, programming and user experience – all had to be built together.”
“In order to truly achieve our vision of making DeFi and Web3 mainstream, we realized that the entire stack – consensus, execution, programming and user experience – all had to be built together.”
To understand how Radix approaches this UX dilemma, it’s vital to recognize where existing smart contract platforms fall short. Developers generally rely on four things from the underlying blockchain to build high-value products and services: ease of use, reusability, security, and composability.
Ease of use needs to be improved in the existing infrastructure because it requires years of experience in specific smart contracts language (code) to build functional protocols and decentralized applications (dApps). Then there’s the security problem with smart contract platforms because most platforms force developers to implement the core functionality of assets and asset authorization without proper security measures.
Reusability and composability are other lagging areas, primarily because existing smart contract solutions are designed to work in standalone environments. In this case, one developer from a different network can’t reuse the code developed by another developer from another network, leading to increased building and deployment time.
To address these issues, Radix offers a multi-stack solution, including a consensus algorithm called Cerberus, designed to enable unlimited scalability without breaking atomic composability. Following Cerberus, Radix has also developed several other consensus algorithms like Tempo to serve different use cases.
Next, Radix has developed Radix Engine, which provides developers with highly intuitive and easy-to-use models for dApps and protocols, which removes redundant work from developers. Finally, the platform advances a dedicated programming language called Scrypto, specifically designed for Web3 and DeFi developers.
While these solutions aim to solve the user experience problems faced by developers, the Radix team is simultaneously working to optimize end-user experience. For instance, Radix has reinvented the concept of digital wallets with Radix Wallet. Because Radix’s infrastructure is well-equipped with all features and functionalities, Radix Wallet operates similarly to a typical banking app that users have already experienced.
Users can choose personalized logins through a feature called Radix Connect, connecting a single login to multiple wallets and accounts and tracking all assets from a single interface. The wallet is accessible from mobile devices, desktop computers, dedicated apps, and browser extensions. Moreover, it supports connectivity with a wide variety of dApps and protocols. Importantly, the wallet is self-custodial, meaning that users control everything.
In essence, DeFi and Web3 need to be simple, straightforward, and intuitive. The user experience must be designed not to inhibit functionality but to help users to engage with the technology effortlessly and at their own pace. Radix’s combination of Cerberus, Radix Engine, Scrypto, and Radix Wallet work together to address the UX dilemma for both developers and users.