Why it’s so hard to find expert web3 UX Designers 🤔

18 Sept 2023

Finding ‘experts’ in web3 UX is impossible as the space is only recently reaching a level that’s attractive to the top talent. Two years ago if you’d asked most designers what their career goals are you’d find an overwhelming majority looking to work and learn inside companies like Google, Meta or Airbnb (or for the fellow aussies Google, Atlassian or Canva). This was for a good reason; These companies had the best mentors, most flexible work-life balance, perks and pay. The majority of people who have extensive experience designing for web3 are likely to have joined a startup in a junior-mid capacity, propelled up the ladder by bull market vibes and rapid company growth.

I had the pleasure of working at Google for 6 years and can tell you that it was as made out in the movie ‘The Intern’, I was flying to India within my second week to conduct in-person user research, heading to San Francisco the next month to learn from the internal UX conference, and travelling back to Sydney (home) via Singapore to run a design sprint with colleagues, you couldn’t really ask for much more! It also happened to give me deep expertise on  applying the best processes to design a product people love, provides positive business impact and innovates on best practice. These have been developed by thousands of the best product minds in the industry.

On the other hand, web3 natives that have been in the space for years would undoubtedly have deep knowledge of the crypto space yet would lack some of the core competency required to successfully navigate products at scale, utilising and navigating the collective brain-power of their colleagues and apply proven UX methodologies to drive product impact. This of course isn’t applicable to everyone, but I would argue it’s the majority.

Being early and rocking a BAYC that you minted by chance isn’t anywhere near the same as spending years honing your skills.

Only recently that increased funding has allowed web3 startups to attract the best talent with pay and benefits on par with big tech are we seeing more senior designers take that leap and join these exciting startups.

If you’re trying to attract talent, the draw card (at least what worked for me) is the complexity of the work and being able to create the new best practice in an innovative, exciting space. The 1.5 years I spent going deep into crypto within Immutable were incredibly challenging as the constraints were changing daily, requiring designers to have a deep tech understanding, being able to thrive in ambiguity and having to solve for the users of tomorrow, not today.

I’m excited to see more and more UX Designers from big tech take the leap into web3 as the current ‘best practice’ ain’t really that great…

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