UX efforts in the ecosystem

This is a report on current UX efforts in the ecosystem, supported by the Web3 Foundation Decentralized Futures program. The main feedback I am looking for is to learn if there are additional UX efforts that have been overlooked.

You can find a less narrative-driven overview on the status quo of UX in Polkadot here: Polkadot User Experience


User experience (UX) and developer experience (DevEx) have been the most-discussed topics in the Polkadot ecosystem. The thread Developer Experience must be our #1 Priority from about a year ago is one of the most active threads on this forum. As I consulted the community in preparation for the first Polkadot 2.0 strategy draft and asked what topics need the most attention, DevEx and UX clearly ranked as the top 2 in most discussions.


We face some issues specific to multi-chain environments, for which we don’t yet have satisfying answers (among them are that the exact location of tokens in the ecosystem is confusing to end users; that it is unclear why they have multiple addresses; that it creates irritation why users have to buy multiple gas (parachain) tokens to use the ecosystem; that users are losing access to their DOT when sending it to their CEX accounts on the wrong chain, etc…

What is being done?

When trying to find out what is done to improve UX, it turns out that we as an ecosystem afford very little mindshare on the issue. Clearly wallets teams are personally investing the most resources, but beyond them, there are no unifying efforts observable.

@kianenigma has started a wishlist in the Polkadot SDK Github as mentioned above, but at the current stage, this list is primarily here for note-taking and not representing a coordinated effort.

During March at Sub0 I met @cpnd_b and @Alex_Houdz who have started the Braille team (Twitter) with the intention of improving UX in Polkadot (Forum Intro Post). They are working to set up a more coordinated effort, calling it the UX Guild (Forum Post, Telegram Group) At the moment, they hold regular calls to capture existing issues in a backlog. They have initiated Polkadot Ref 819 to set up a UX Bounty.

What else?

Besides the efforts mentioned, I didn’t discover initiatives/projects specifically focusing on UX. I find this worrying. Did I miss something? Please reach out via comments or DM to let me know.


Great UX for mass adoption is the main focus of the the Virto team as we actively reach out to real world communities and businesses in Latam with no knowledge or interest in crypto.

With the initial launch of Kreivo, even tough it came with no UI, It already made simple for anyone to create their own Kusama native community/organization with built-in OpenGov in a single transaction and 1KSM. One missing piece of the puzzle has been enabling users to interact with a Substrate chain without wallets, something we are working on and wish to share soon :slight_smile:

Kreivo already implements a concept of memberships, nfts core to the protocol that represent affiliation to an organization and also “pre-paid gas” that allow users to who don’t own any tokens to interact with the chain.
The wallet-less magic happens when we pair this concept of memberships with our upcoming pallet-pass, if you have gas in a membership you can freely interact with the chain. You can think of pass as a wallet abstraction similar to pallet-proxy that gives you a key-less on-chain account controlled by any of your devices supporting the WebAuthN standard(a.k.a. passkeys). Your phone, PC and other devices are already capable “wallets” that should be ok to lose them without losing your life savings, having a system of fine grained control over what devices can do and impose limits is also key part of pass. We hope the new pallet can be a catalyst that lowers the entry barrier to the ecosystem, bringing new users who won’t have to be exposed to the complexities of crypto and blockchain(e.g. my mom will never install a wallet app or extension with pass she won’t have to ;)).

IMO simple access is the main milestone to conquer. We need to give regular users an experience that is not only as convenient as what they are used to in web2 but even simpler. Pass can help but simple access has more components. Another initiative we also focus on for example is easy decentralized on(&off)-ramp enabled by our payments-pallet, users anywhere should be able to use their local currency and with the help of local peers get easily on-boarded.

In my experimentation corner I also keep some hardware related ideas as a personal hobby of mine with the hopes they can make access simpler some day. Besides supporting and creating the most secure cold hardware wallets I would also like to see other simpler/cheaper “warmer wallets” that could almost be given away for free and provide the simplest on-ramp to web3. There are already cheaper devices that would work with Pass, but I also play with custom crafts(e.g. keychains) that can have a more Kusama/Polkadot tailored custom experience. Or custom firmware for affordable hacker friendly devices deployable in remote areas, e.g. a cheap watch with LoRa that could broadcast transactions without internet to a nearby point of sale also using an affordable terminal(we’d like to test such a system in a mini villa of container houses).

UX and experimentation is a great passion of ours, so if more initiatives pop-up I’m sure the Virto team will be glad to collaborate and tackle them(given KSM holders also see value in supporting them).