Anna Demianenko Photo
Anna Demianenko
Design Lead
Articles
3
min read

UX Research for an NFT platform – Metastaq

An abstract design element with an NFT card created by Lazarev. design agency
Summary

Explore our journey crafting user-focused design for the NFT platform, Metastaq, navigating the complexities of Web3 and NFTs. Witness how our strategy created an inclusive space for both Web3 veterans and newcomers in the NFT landscape.

If you aim to reach a user adoption destination, you need to pave a human-focused way to it. Yes, Web3 and NFT alone are gaining momentum and opening the door to new ways of interaction, art, brand communication, marketing, and business. 

But to keep it scaling, it’s time to break through the intricate puzzle of overcomplicated interfaces that make blockchain products like closed clubs for Web3-versed only.

That’s what our client, co-founder of the NFT platform Metastaq, Ibrahim Hasani, had in mind and Lazarev. helped bring it to life. 

Although, without a clear understanding of the industry's specifics, users’ needs, and pain points, it would've been next to impossible to build the platform it is now. So to avoid taking such risks, we turned to UX research which was our true ally all the design way.

We'll dive into the world of discovery that helped us design the NFT platform that, spoiler alert, acquired the top global brands as customers with over 200 stores after the launch.

Metastaq x Lazarev: how it all began

The thing about Web3 is that it sets its prime focus on NFT marketplaces' individual users but rarely on businesses. The Metastaq team discovered this market gap and decided to cater to brands. 

The startup developed an all-in-one B2B solution that empowers businesses to create and mint NFTs. And the cherry on top of it — it’s a platform that reaches both Web3-versed users and newbies who are excited to discover the realm of blockchain. 

That’s Lazarev. cue to enter the scene. Our task was to design a space where Fortune 500 brands can stress-free mint NFTs, leveraging automatically generated smart contracts, and build e-stores.

As usual, we kicked off our design journey with UX research. Let’s see what findings it helped us uncover.

UI UX Design of a NFT Dashboard for Metastaq Web3 platform.

UX research’s role in Web3 design

When working on Metastaq, we tailored the UX discovery phase to the company’s specific goals and dived into market and technology research and competitor analysis.

Insights combo: market & technology research

Our team set out to discover the world of blockchain. We left no stone unturned and explored the industry's specifics and constraints and how it all aligned with economic, political, and technological aspects. 

We also ran stakeholders and product discovery workshops to have an in-depth look into Metaverse case studies from different brands' advertising campaigns. 

What did it help us find? 
We extracted actionable insights about the target audience's pain points, like:

  • the too-complex minting process;
  • the lack of tools to analyze token sales;
  • the longed-for features like paying in fiat for NFTs.

Not bad, right? There’s more.

Next, we needed to select a blockchain network to build the platform on. Our ally in this endeavor was technology research. Our squad looked into platforms like Polkadot, Solana, Avalanche, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains.

Having analyzed each, we dug up both platforms’ strengths and weaknesses. For instance, when it comes to Ethereum, it’s the second most decentralized cryptocurrency in the world, after Bitcoin. But its decentralized protocols tend to be slow. The platform makes 15 TPS (transactions per second), which isn't enough.

Polygon is quite the opposite. Speed-wise, it has faster transactions that are also at a lower cost than Ethereum, which makes it an attractive chain to use for decentralized finance apps.

But the trouble is that the platform lacks security when not using the main chain. Given that Metastaq aimed for a long-term and safe journey, using Polygon wasn’t an option.

So after considering all the pros and cons, we decided to go for the Solana network. It has a lower gas cost and is faster than Ethereum, thanks to the small number of validators. Plus, Solana doesn’t have a mempool, so it processes and adds transactions to the blockchain almost in no time.

Technology research of top NFT platforms

Look into the competitive field

Given that the NFT market is filled with various offers, our goal was to outline key points that would help Metastaq stand out. Analyzing its direct and indirect competitors, like OpenSea, Bitski, Rarible, etc., helped us uncover hidden gems we could implement in our design. For starters, a feature like lazy minting is something users expect to see on the platform by default. 

Metastaq lazy minting flow

On top of that, we found out that the creating smart contracts stage is mandatory from a technical perspective but optional for user experience. 

That was something one can call our aha moment..

We hid smart contracts creation and included this process in automation. Eliminating it from UX helped us streamline the NFT creation flow and avoid overburdening the user’s focus.

Research findings that make the design work

The research insights roll didn't stop there. Such robust data served as a solid foundation for every design step. The platform's main features and user flow are one of them.

Metastaq’s prime functionality 

We structured the platforms’ features according to the elaborated mind map, which was a necessary premise of user flow. For example, we packed Metastaq with a no-code NFT creation and powerups that help users increase the value of their NFTs and make it a reward or a discount coupon. 

The platform also is rich with functionality like integration with webpages and API, payment in fiat (not exclusively cryptocurrency), automatic creation of SC, and the ability to mint all NFTs in one transaction.

Research-driven functionality for NFT marketplace

Data-backed user flow

This is where it all led. Having built a research-driven design strategy, we set out to create a journey that would welcome users to the platform and guide them across the NFT creation process.

Lazarev. developed customized user flows for creating and minting tokens. We divided the management system into a well-structured dashboard that includes Collections & NFTs and the Releases pages. All three empower brands to create and save tokens as drafts, delete, and/or mint NFTs.

User flow that helps brands create and mint NFTs


We also explored the idea of adding a separate analytics page but opted to keep it simple with a small amount of data in informative blocks on the Releases and NFTs pages. 

Oh, and one more thing. Our team is all about a personalized approach. Keeping in mind various Metastaq user personas, we built different layouts for the admin, user, and manager roles — each with its own access level.

Finale

What can you take from this research-focused case study? Well, that in-depth analysis isn’t a whim or extra service — it’s a foundation to build a user-centered Web3 product on.  

With Metastaq, we created a platform that utilizes the innovative nature of decentralized space in a way that both Web3 aficionados and excited newcomers can grow their brands within the NFT platform. The company’s results and our client speak for it.

Lazarev. fosters a positive collaboration by providing top-notch services. Their team not only worked on the design aspect, but since Web3 is such a new space – they also helped us define the user flows and experience. This is not an easy task – Web3 has no reference points. They worked very 1-1 with our team to understand our vision and then worked with our teams to translate it into designs for a compelling product.

{{Ibrahim Hasani}}

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