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Web3 is a blue ocean.

This new digital economy (and potential solution for diverse daily issues every Internet user faces) is currently under development by thousands of designers, copywriters, and developers focused on decentralizing the Internet for the greater good of humankind.

This means…

Easy access to information. Fast execution of transactions. And even transparency to build trust among an entire industry.

But this doesn't happen overnight.

It's been under development for many years, and shortly, it'll become a reality.

However…

There is a natural question that follows each and every Web3-related concept.

"Where do I find more information about it?"

"Is there an official, trusted source I can look into?"

Or…

"How do I start my own research about Web3?"

And we're covering everything in between—if you stay for the next 5 minutes—on this article.

Now, without further ado… Here's what you should know:

Where do you start with research?

Imagine you're in a Library. But this Library is completely ungated, and there are no restrictions on what you can dig into.

That's how Web3 research and Web3 education could feel at first glance.

See, since transparency is one of Web3's core values, any type of research (UX research, UI research, and even Behavioural research) will be flooded with information of all kinds and sorts.

It's the usual.

So… The question itself would be more about "how do I know if this source is credible?" rather than "where should I start with research?".

Because, sure — you'll find thousands of blogs, tweets, Discord channels, and even websites from projects laying out all the details on your subject matter…

But truly understanding the parameters to determine whether you should listen or not is where the money is.

So, to help you get started (or level up) your Web3 researching efforts, here's our two cents:

Start by familiarizing yourself with the efforts of different projects in the Web3 universe.

Follow those projects. Sign up for newsletters. Dig deep into the thick jungles of Twitter and Discord. And listen.

At first, it could sound and feel intimidating. We get it.

But it'll pay off. And after listening to enough lousy information, your gut will tell you when to listen.

A great way to get started is by signing up for our Newsletter. We share monthly updates on exciting projects, and what makes them unique.

For instance, we released a Crypto Valley analysis last week — and it's a great example of what you can expect from our updates.

So your Web3 education journey evolves faster… And with the utmost quality standard you deserve.

What exactly are you researching?

According to BanklessDAO, there are different indicators of what you should be researching about, and why:

These are…

1. Cold DMs on Discord and joining servers

2. Advanced Twitter search

3. Forum posts and comments

For this first option, they said that "You'd be amazed at how verbose contributors are when you ask interesting questions. Interviewing people over Discord chat is much less intimidating, too, since both interviewer and interviewee have time to think about their responses and really craft their words.

Joining the Discord server itself is another great way to do research. Cruise around like the lurker you are (or the lurker you've always wanted to be) and see what's going on. Listen in on meetings (I recommend listening to larger community-call or amphitheater-style meetings, since small meetings will likely require you to introduce yourself) and see what people are talking about."

And actually, we couldn't agree more. To understand how the market thinks, you must join the market and engage with it.

For our second take, they start by saying, "If you haven't tried this yet, it's pretty dang fun. You can unearth some super weird, interesting, informative, and downright wild stuff by searching properly through the beast that is Crypto Twitter. That noisy place sometimes feels like searching for a teeny tiny fish in a big wide ocean: what you're looking for might be deep. An advanced Twitter search is your gold mining device".

And, to our point, Twitter is a raw source of unfiltered opinions by expert users on a determined subject. But clearly, you need to understand how to cut the noise — something achievable through practice.

And finally… Forums and comments.

See, whenever you're researching a topic, you want to know what the pains and desires of an audience are. And the best way to do that is by going through comments on specialized forums. That's where people go to share their wins and rant about their mistakes.

And yeah… Web3 education and Web3 research are about creating something that benefits the greater good of humanity, and to do that… We (and Spark and Mint are included here) must all understand what their unbiased thinking looks like.

Now… There is something else you should understand.

And that's how UX Research works, and why it's massively important for Web3.

What is UX Research, and how does it relates to Web3?

UX Research is what makes the Web3 universe balanced.

In short, it's exactly what tells every business in the Crypto, Blockchain, and Web3 environment what they need to do to support their audience's engagement and education processes.

Because, you simply can't solve a problem if your users don't understand what the heck the problem is… Or what they should do.

Like TechTarget says, "UX (user experience) research is the study of learning what end users of a system or product need and want, then employing those insights to enhance the design process for products, services or software. UX research can take different forms depending on the area of focus. For example, for product teams, UX research could mean validating concepts and prototypes; while for marketing teams, it might mean testing brand designs and messaging before launching products."

"Welcome to Web3. A world filled with unicorns, long acronyms, market-moving memes, and slang that changes quicker than a well-executed rug pull."

- The Web3 Glossary, Unstoppable Domains

Like Scott McDonald from the UX Collective well said, there's a major community effort going on to preserve the quality of Web3 design, and how UX is crucial to achieving this:

"Yet despite this growing awareness and investment, web3 remains an enigma to the vast majority of consumers.

  • While 90% of Americans have now heard of cryptocurrencies, only 16% have invested in, traded or used them according to the Pew Research Center.
  • Just 1 in 4 US adults knows what an NFT is, and fewer than 3% own one.
  • Four in 10 US adults surveyed this January said they are familiar with the metaverse, but only 16% could correctly define it."

Which, in fewer words…

This means that it won't go as far as we all hope unless the Web3 community takes UX research—their audience's understanding gaps, needs, awareness level, and sophistication—seriously. It'll remain a secret club. And that's only harmful to the tech industry.

UX Research: A quick crash course.

Let's say there are 4 different ways to perform proper UX Research.

We have…

Behavioural vs. Attitudinal research.

And Qualitative vs. Quantitative research.

Where should you stand in this spectrum? The answer is the most common one:

It depends.

Let's begin with a comparison between Behavioural vs. Attitudinal research.

Behavioural research relies on understanding what people are doing. What they perceive as safe considering their decisions. Meanwhile, Attitudinal research digs deep into what the people are saying. What they feel as a fact.

These two variants are very different because, more often than not, what people say they'll do is other than what they think.

Like User Testing says, "Attitudinal research involves assessing users' preconceived attitudes or feelings toward an experience. For example, this could involve asking a user why they like or dislike a feature on your site prior to using it. In contrast, behavioral research is focused on what the user does. Drawing another parallel to the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods, behavioral research will tell you what's happening, while attitudinal research helps to provide the reason why it's happening."

Now, Qualitative vs. Quantitative research goes a whole different way.

According to the Scribbr

"Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and graphs. It is used to test or confirm theories and assumptions. This type of research can be used to establish generalizable facts about a topic.

Common quantitative methods include experiments, observations recorded as numbers, and surveys with closed-ended questions.

Qualitative research is expressed in words. It is used to understand concepts, thoughts, or experiences. This type of research enables you to gather in-depth insights on poorly understood topics.

Standard qualitative methods include interviews with open-ended questions, observations described in words, and literature reviews that explore concepts and theories."

Which, in a nutshell, means that Qualitative approaches to research lean more towards the WHY and HOW behind something… And a Quantitative approach tackles the HOW MUCH and HOW MANY sides of things.

Now, is there a perfect way to do it?

No. There isn't.

But considering all four spectrums is key… Especially if you're creating something from scratch, just like any Web3-related venture is.

And at Spark and Mint, we've done our fair share of research.

As many as 100 hours of effort, reading, and testing to create a fully comprehensive DDT report on Switzerland, breaking down some of the biggest players in Blockchain, Defi, NFTs, and Web3.

Want immediate access to it?

Just sign up for our Newsletter, and you'll get a copy immediately.

As always, it's been a pleasure having you here.

Stay tuned for future updates from our team!

- The Spark + Mint Team

Related News

Web3 Design is becoming the new normal. Here’s how to use it in your favor.

Jul 7, 2022
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We'll break down exactly how Web3 design is becoming the new normal, what it actually means, and how you can use it in your favor to create meaningful experiences.

If you’re into design, you’ll get this a lot in the next few months (if you haven’t already):

Everything related to website building, or even design studios, will move closer to the Web3 environment.

Or, in simpler words:

Anything related to design will eventually be related to Web3. 

Call it Web3 design, Web 3 research, Web 3 education…

Everything will depend on how fast and seamless you implement a Web3 adoption.

Your business, your work-life balance, and even relationships depend on it.

But that’s for a different subject.

Today, we’ll talk about how Web3 design is becoming the new normal, what it actually means, and how you can use it in your favor to create meaningful experiences.

So, without further ado… 

Here we go!

What is Web3 Design?

To explain in simple terms what Web3 Design stands for, we need to take a quick look at the overall evolution of Web from 1.0 to 3.0, so nothing gets lost in translation.

First and foremost, Web 1.0 as we know it began as simple coding and people creating content with limited resources for a limited quantity of people. More like the Stone Age of the Internet, but crucial given that everything we know today came out of that.

Then, Web 2.0 allowed us to create content from anywhere, anytime. The user was no longer limited to just consuming but was empowered to create by centralized organizations that control data, search results, and policies. (Call them Google, Facebook, Twitter…)

On the other hand, Web 3.0 (or Web3) is decentralized and enables users to get full control of their data, content, and general rules. It’s the next generation of how content and communications are channeled, given that user data is generally anonymous, and the Internet runs on the Blockchain.

This is crucial to understand, as great Web3 design cannot be achieved without genuinely understanding what Web3 is as a whole.

Now, speaking about Web3 design:

It can be defined as the core values and principles that rule and guide creative teams to take user-friendly ideas to the Web3 realm in a user-centric and purposeful way.

This means that the overall goal of design from a Web3 perspective is to educate and improve user experience, as, in many ways, Web3 is still theoretical. But not for long.

You can safely say that a designer’s job to boost Web3 adoption is to make Web3 research less exhausting and bring together familiarity with curiosity to increase the chances of this adoption happening sooner than later.

Making the world a better place, if you wish.

What are the principles for good design?

On a high level, design principles are nothing more than widely accepted guidelines to follow when creating a visual experience. This could be a website, blog graphics, a painting, or social media post.

Regardless of the final outcome, there will always be principles you can guide yourself from — and here are the most common ones when it comes to design from a broad perspective:

Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design makes a product understandable
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is long-lasting
Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Good design is environmentally friendly
Good design is as little design as possible

- Dieter Rams

According to Dieter Rams, a famous designer who influenced most of Apple’s initial creations, what’s considered good design is anything that makes the product functional, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, detailed, environmentally friendly, and simple.

There’s a lot to cover here, but here are the essentials:

Good design must make sense. It must educate. And it must be as simple as possible.

Same as great marketing — it shouldn’t feel like marketing.

You can say the same thing about design (and Web3 design): It should feel organic.

How does good design impact the adoption of Web3?

One word: Education.

See, Web3 is still in diapers for most people. It’s not a widely recognized term yet, and it could sound a bit intimidating by suggesting a MASSIVE change happening for users and how they (or we) perceive the Internet.

That’s why Web3 education is one of the core pillars of Web3 design — it empowers the user to bridge the gap between what they already know and what they will discover familiarly.

Now, diving even further into the subject…

Educating the user is a monumental task, and oriented design helps a ton. 

Like Builtin says in their article “Good Design will be Key to Web3 Adoption”:

“3 considerations when designing for Web3:

  • Design with the user in mind. Understand who a given user is and what kinds of Web 2.0 products they actively use, then try to translate those experiences into the Web3 product so that it feels familiar.
  • Design for trust. Web3 is a completely new and foreign landscape to a lot of people, so it’s important to cultivate trust through clear, consistent guidance and informative data. 
  • Educate through your design. Between all the acronyms, portmanteaus, and jargon, Web3 can be a pretty confusing and intimidating place. Designers can lean into this and leverage all the verbiage as an opportunity to educate and inform even the most novice of users.”

Considering that Web3 as we know it is still in the building stages, the role designers, copywriters, and marketers play is massive — in their hands is the future of an entire digital economy and, more importantly: How the user perceives and adopts this new reality seamlessly.

However, there are best practices for Web3 design that facilitate Web3 adoption and Web3 research.

Just like Web3designprinciples lists:

Whenever you’re building Web3 user experiences and interphases, you should consider…

  1. Active Guidance
  2. Consistency
  3. Community
  4. Data Transparency: Provenance
  5. Data Transparency: Transactions
  6. Record-keeping and Code
  7. Newbie Mode
  8. Feedback
  9. Trust

Let’s chop each one of these for a more precise understanding:

When we talk about active guidance, we mean showing new users how to navigate the website or project with little to no guesswork.

Innovative design shouldn’t be confusing or daunting — users must understand where they are and where they can go next with little to no friction.

Now, consistency is a different thing. Consistent tone, fonts, and imagery will set your project apart from others and give it its own twist — without compromising trustworthiness.

Considering the community for your Web3 design purposes is vital as well. This is because, instead of building something for a particular person, you will be creating something for a group of people — frequently from different countries.

UX/UI Design for Web3 is decisive for mass adoption.

Since data transparency and record-keeping both involve a high level of trustworthiness, it’s pivotal to note that design plays a huge role in evoking these feelings in each user.

The same happens with UX/UI design, especially when designing for new users (or, Newbies in this case). Instead of scaring new users with complex interphases, great Web3 design is inclusive and uplifts users to get familiar with it. 

That’s also how feedback and trust finish the equation — you can’t just build something without listening to your users’ opinions. Otherwise, trust will exit the chat.

The bottom line is…

Educating through design is the way to go. And that’s something we strive to do at Spark + Mint for anyone genuinely interested in Crypto, Web3, DeFi, DeApps, and everything in between.

That’s why our three-step approach to Web3 projects is shaking things up.

We focus on helping users and organizations simplify their preparation stage and execute with precision.

Three steps to get you closer to your goal.

Step 1: Research.

Through source-checked information put in simple words anyone could understand, we bring complexity to a friendly, plain English realm. Crypto doesn’t have to be so complicated.

Step 2: Design.

By applying proven processes and best practices in design applicable to Web3, we bring ideas to the tangible world with the utmost quality every project deserves.

Step 3: Market.

What’s a great idea if nobody’s listening?

Just a whisper.

That’s why our marketing team focuses on getting innovative ideas in front of those intended to see and engage with them.

Marketing 101: Be where your prospects are. And we are everywhere.

And we’d love to be in your inbox, too.

Yeah, we would.

In fact, we’re cooking something we don’t want you to miss.

We’ll be releasing our DDT Report on Crypto Valley soon as we dissect the best practices of some of the Top Web3 projects right now.

Interested?

Sign up for our Newsletter and receive constant updates on market trends, Crypto watch, and our DDT Report!

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

- The Spark + Mint Team