This article will give UX Designers an understanding of DeFi dashboards that brings many DeFi protocols together into one single UI. This is part of an overall Web3 Design Bootcamp that teaches UX Designers about Web3 concepts and design patterns so they can land a job in the rapidly merging field.
DeFi dashboards provide the user access to multiple DeFi protocols all from one UI. The first way to think of these dashboards is that they extend wallet functionality. Popular browser extension wallets like MetaMask have small UIs with limited feature sets like viewing token balances and sending tokens to other wallets.
However, users can connect their wallet to a dashboard like Zerion to view their wallet as an asset portfolio, not just simple token balances. These portfolio views help users see how their wallet’s value changes over time. Also, Zapper allows users to bundle multiple wallets together so they can track the combined value of multiple wallets.
Dashboards also directly integrate multiple DeFi protocols into one UI. This is an example of open-source software composability. Web3 protocols are open-source so other projects can use them as building blocks in their own dApp. This is juxtaposed to the proprietary APIs of Web2 applications. Users can search for the best yields across the entire DeFi ecosystem, and directly deposit tokens into lending protocols (AAVE and Compound), liquidity pools (Curve, Sushi Swap, Uniswap), staking pools (Curve and Convex), and yield aggregator vaults (Yearn and Harvest). All accessed from Zapper’s “invest” tab.
These dashboards are packed full of other useful features. For example, the Zerion dashboard has “swap” functionality that searches across multiple DEXs to find the best exchange rate to execute a token swap. This is called a DEX aggregator, and is a convenience utility for Web3 users.
The thesis that we will live in a multi-chain world continues to be proven correct. More and more, people will use multiple blockchain networks, and will increasingly want to transact tokens between these cryptonetworks. Blockchain interoperability has a long way to go and Web3 ecosystems feel siloed; however, dashboards are well positioned to improve the UX here.
Zapper tracks the value of a user’s portfolio across 11 different cryptonetworks (all EMV-compatible). And, Zerion aggregates blockchain bridges so that users can transfer tokens to other Layer 1 cryptonetworks (BSC, Avalanche, Fantom), Ethereum Layer 2s (Optimism, Arbitrum), and sidechains (Polygon), all from one UI.
So that wraps up the first wave of DeFi from token swaps to dashboards. There are other protocols I consider slightly less foundational than what we’ve covered, but the curious reader may be interested to look into some of them. DeFi Derivatives platforms allow users to trade advanced financial instruments like options (Opyn), perpetuals (DyDx & Perp), and synthetic assets (Synthetix). Also, there are token index funds that diversify a single investment across multiple tokens (see Index CoOp). This is the same idea as ETF’s and mutual funds in traditional markets. Finally, there are insurance protocols that protect users from things like impermanent loss, and DeFi smart contract exploits (see Nexus Mutual).
If you enjoy videos over reading when it comes to online learning then checkout the course on YouTube. This is part 8 of 10 in the DeFi for UX Designers Course. Also, make sure to stay tuned for future Web3 Design Courses, which will cover emerging Web3 product categories.