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The introduction of Web3 in the digital space has changed the way we interact with the internet by a long margin.
Web3 promises decentralization, allowing individuals to own and control their data and information on the internet.
Web3 represents the new internet era characterized by blockchain technology, smart contracts, and decentralized applications(dApps).
Web3, as stated earlier, seeks to give individuals control over their data, unlike Web2, where centralized entities have access to people’s data and information and often monetize it.
In this article, we’ll explore the critical intersection of data ownership and control in Web3 and examine the implications for User Experience(UX).
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DATA OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL
Web3 Data Ownership and UX Design is facilitated through blockchain, a tamper-resistant ledger. To ensure users have control over their data, private keys are given to them, giving them the power to decide when, where, and how their data is shared.
This shift is monumental, giving users autonomy over their digital identities.
A very popular example of this autonomous identity is the creator of the Bitcoin network, Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity is yet to be proven or verified.
Data ownership and control are very important in the digital space because they deal with people’s information.
Web3 giving people actual control over their data is no small feat, and this has a lot of influence on why people have adopted this concept.
MEASURES USED FOR DATA OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL IN WEB3
Many measures are used to give individuals control of their data in Web3.
- Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of agreement written directly into code. They reduce the need for intermediaries and give users more control over their transactions.
- Encryption: Improved encryption techniques protect data during storage and transmission, ensuring only authorized parties can access it.
- Consent Mechanisms: Users have more control over how their data is used, giving users confidence in sharing data.
- Decentralized Identity: Web3 incorporated decentralized identity systems, reducing the reliance on centralized entities to authenticate and manage user identities.
CHALLENGES OF DATA OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL IN WEB3
While the promise of data ownership and control in Web3 is compelling, especially with the measures mentioned above, it comes with its own set of challenges.
The decentralized nature of the blockchain and its tools can be very complex and unfamiliar to users, leading to potential pitfalls such as lost keys, irreversible transactions, and security concerns.
UX Design comes in to strike the right balance between delivering on the promise of decentralization and safeguarding against unintended consequences.
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HOW USER EXPERIENCE COMES INTO THE MATTER
User Experience (UX) refers to people’s experience while interacting with a platform, service or system.
UX is about concentrating on the users and ensuring a platform or service satisfies their needs and gives them enjoyable experiences.
Giving users control of their interactions and experiences is a fundamental aspect of UX, and this is why UX is very critical in shaping how people interact with decentralized applications or platforms in the Web3 ecosystem.
They share a common goal: giving users control.
UX PRINCIPLES FOR DATA OWNERSHIP IN WEB3
Some UX principles which can help increase Web3 conversion and safeguard against unintended consequences of decentralization include:
- Educational Onboarding and Interfaces: Onboarding is a way to introduce new users to the features and roles of an application. One way UX designers can help increase Web3 conversion is to educate new users about the applications they’re about to use. This would make it easier for them to explore the application, especially given the novelty of Web3 concepts. This might include tooltips, short onboarding tutorials, or contextual help.
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- Intuitive Designs: Creating intuitive designs for a relatively new concept like Web3 will help people easily navigate its decentralized platforms.
UX Designers can do this by designing intuitive permission structures and easy-to-understand settings that help users control who has access to their data.
- Transparent Consent Mechanisms: UX designers must ensure that users know how their data is used.
Providing interfaces that make it easy for a user to give or revoke consent is a sure way of doing this.
Image from UX Fundamentals…
- Responsive and Accessible Design: Responsive design is a great way to make platforms accessible to everyone.
Designing for multiple devices and user abilities in Web3 will not only help users easily manage & control their data but also give them a quality user experience.
- Timely Feedback: Make sure the user knows what is happening at each application stage.
This can be done by giving them timely feedback informing them about access requests, changes in ownership status, and other relevant activities. This helps keep the user in control of whatever is going on.
- Usability Testing: The probability of an untested platform going haywire is much more than that of a tested platform.
Usability testing is a tool used by designers (anyone building a product, really) to test a platform’s ability to perform its intended role(s) before being launched into the market.
If more decentralized platforms can be adequately tested by real-life users before being launched into the market, it’ll surely reduce the rate of failed products and help users have more positive experiences.
As Web3 becomes more popular, we must consider and talk more about data ownership and control.
UX designers play an important role in building websites and applications that users can intuitively understand, ensuring a smooth transition to decentralized systems.
By carrying out some of the measures above, UX designers contribute to the evolution of a user-centric Web3 landscape where data ownership and control are not just a promise but a tangible reality.