Are Wallets Overrated? <> Zack Labadie

Are Wallets Overrated? <> Zack Labadie

The loss of individuality and spontaneity on the internet over time

In this podcast episode, the host interviews Zack Labadie, the lead designer at Magic Wallet, to discuss his involvement in Web3 and his work at Magic. Zack shares his product designer background and early interest in emerging technology, including Bitcoin. He explains that he was drawn to Web3 due to its potential for true digital ownership and its rebellious and decentralized nature, which he felt was missing from the centralized Internet dominated by big tech companies.

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The conversation touches on the loss of individuality and spontaneity on the internet over time, as well as the current resurgence of these elements with Web3 and the community-driven nature of the space. They also discuss the challenges and rewards of designing for Web3, where the technology evolves rapidly, and the builder community is open to discussing and exploring new ideas.

The focus then shifts to Magic, the company Zack works for. He describes Magic as a decentralized key management solution that offers a development SDK. The SDK allows end users to sign in with their email addresses and create a wallet without needing extensive knowledge of crypto or Web3. The goal is to make Web3 more accessible to a wider audience, including those unfamiliar with wallets or blockchain technology.

The conversation delves into the balancing act of designing for developers and end users, with different personas and considerations involved. They also discuss how Magic contributes to the goal of mass adoption by reducing the barriers to entry for first-time users of Web Three. Zack emphasizes the importance of making the onboarding process simpler and more user-friendly, enabling a broader range of people to participate in Web3 activities.

Overall, the podcast explores Zack's journey into Web3, his interest in the space, the challenges and opportunities of designing for Web3, and how Magic Wallet works to make Web3 more accessible to a wider audience.


Dee 0:00

Welcome, welcome. Welcome to an episode of designer Dao where we talked about web three and design. My name is Dee, and this is designer Tao. Today we are with Zack, how do you pronounce your last name? Actually, I should have asked you before

Okay, today we are with Zack Labadie, who is the lead designer at Magic wallet. I'm not gonna butcher your intro. So let's just jump into learning more about you. So tell me a little bit about yourself and how you find yourself in this crazy space call like three? Yeah, absolutely. First of all, thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat today.

Zack 0:45

I am a product designer at a company called Magic. I've been with magic for a little over two years now. But have been designing digital experiences in some form or another for almost 10 years.

I spent most of my adult life in Boston, but last year, I moved down to Asheville, North Carolina, with my partner and our two cats. And yeah, I've been kind of following whether three in some form or another, I would say since 2016 2017. And so it was really excited to actually get into the space and start

designing within the space a few years back.

Dee 1:25

And what kind of interest you and what three, like a lot while at three of all things in 2017

Zack 1:33

Yeah, I guess I'll backtrack even a little further. I guess I've always been kind of a geek, like interested in emerging tech and stuff like that, as a super young kid always had like my Nintendo DS or my Gameboy, carrying around with me and really love like gadgets and the Internet and tech in general. And so I think Bitcoin caught my interests way back, probably circa like 2012. But being younger at the time, and not really financially literate, kind of went over my head. So like, at that point in time, I think all the headlines or like the mainstream coverage of Bitcoin was that it was primarily for like the dark web or like illicit purchases, and I was like, 17, and didn't even have a credit card. So Bitcoin was like slightly on my radar, but nothing I ever, like, fully, like wrap my head around. Flash forward a few years, some of that, like really interesting, sort of like weirdness that I always loved about tech, felt like it was starting to go away with like, things really consolidating around Fang companies like Facebook and Google, where all of a sudden, instead of this, like vibrant ecosystem online, where like, you know, when I was younger, I loved browsing forums and like, talking to strangers or playing video games, online stuff that my parents would probably be freaked out to hear about right now. But a lot of that felt like it was kind of going away. And that the internet was becoming like five websites, and everything was happening on those five websites. So I was starting to feel like a little jaded, I think at that point. But after learning about Aetherium, right before the ICO boom in like 2017 that really sparked my interest is something like truly novel and new, like the idea that crypto was not just digital gold, but that apps could actually run on the blockchain in this decentralized manner. That really piqued my interest. And I would say that was when I really started going deeper down the rabbit hole. And I think the two things that really like resonated with me about when Surrey as I started learning more was the ethos of true digital ownership. And that kind of like spirit of weirdness and rebellion that I mentioned a minute ago, which I missed from the early days of the Internet, that kind of like, rebellious Street. And going against this idea of like, walled gardens with Facebook and other big tech in favor of like, true digital ownership was super interesting to me.

Dee 4:26

Yeah, I definitely remember the ASL era. And like the individuality of like MySpace and how slowly but surely moving into like the early 2000s We went away from individualism and more into like standardization. And with that standardization, we like lost that weirdness and that like spontaneity that the internet was adding, that's probably why for better or for worse, I like Twitter because it kinda taps into that because This chaotic nature of like engagement. But yeah, we lost, we lost it, essentially, I think with the Gen Z. They're kind of like claiming it back in a way. And we're starting to see and like skeuomorphism is becoming more popular now. So we're kind of in our Renaissance area era, so to speak. And web three is there, at the center of it, I feel like are definitely a part of it.

Zack 5:25

Yeah. So I think that's like another sort of element that's really interesting to me is that it feels like we are in this era of like, lots of Greenfield with design opportunities, where things were a little boring and a little like standardized to your points, I think, over the last maybe like, five to 10 years, but it feels like something new might be possible.

Dee 5:50

And so we've gone over how you how you got here, like, I was curious, why stay here? Because it's kind of slow rough for some of us designers, web three specialists? What keeps you in this space when the going gets tough?

Zack 6:09

That's a great question. Let's see. I mean, this space evolves and changes so fast, that I feel like there's never a dull day. So I do really enjoy, I think working within complex problem areas, and blockchain and web three is absolutely one of those. So the fact that it's always changing and always evolving at such a kind of fast pace, really keeps me on my toes. So I like that a lot. And it's part of the reason why, throughout my career, I've always been drawn to startups more generally. I feel like designing webseries like a startup on steroids or like, yeah, like to x speed. Yeah.

Dee 6:52

Yeah, I would say, honestly, I go back and forth. To be frank, like, there's some times where I'm like, should I just go get a web to job and like, Get out of here. And then there's other times where I'm really excited and really like about it, you know. And I think the reason I honestly the reason why I stay here is because this this podcast, like people are so open to talking about web three, and everybody's nerdy now. And I think the the community, and kind of is kind of what keeps me here, even more so than even the interesting design problems that I get to solve. Because like at conferences, you know, the people that I've met, the people that I've run into, I feel like in web to work or traditional work, everybody's kind of silo with their companies, like Salesforce, for example. It's like a whole like mini, mini coal around Salesforce. And it's like, at the center of it is the app, right? Versus in web three at the center of web three is the technology and the people. You know, it's not like an exclusive club that no one can get into. Like, the whole ethos of our of web three is about like openness and transparency and ownership, and things like that.

Zack 8:12

Yeah, I do feel like there's a little bit of irony there, where community is very accessible. If your point would be like Twitter, it feels like a small world, sometimes, especially in the design corner of web three. But the actual end user experience and the products that are being created, at least today, within Web three, I would argue, are quite inaccessible. So there's a little bit of irony there.

Dee 8:43

Yeah, I think we have and I've noticed that when I first got to walk through the dichotomy is like the ethos and the product or not lining up the products. Like there's something that gets lost in translation a lot of times.

Zack 8:58

Yeah, I mean, my personal two cents of that, I think a lot of the builders in the space are passionate and excited about the technology to a fault. Yeah. The technology is great. But my, my point of view is that what really matters is what it enables, and not so much the fundamental technology itself, at least with designing products.

Dee 9:21

Yeah, don't get me started. I have a whole rant in my back pocket about about how like, we don't think about the experience at the end of the day. I think I tweeted something recently. It's like, whenever you're working with development, lead organizations like they view tend to view product as like a hammer to nail thing versus I view product as like, Is this even a great house to live in? You know? Like is this like, you know, thinking about the experience of like using the app is something that us designers have to carry because our role, but it's definitely hard when you're outnumbered or when development? Like kind of leads product strategy? Because then that began about it from that lens. Um, so moving on, like, I do want to talk about magic. So I guess for everybody who doesn't know by now, what is magic? Like, what does it why is it important to the ethos?

Zack 10:21

Sure. So there are definitely layers to it. But I think the simplest kind of like elevator pitch to explain magic isn't that we offer a development SDK that allows any end user to just sign in with an email address in like your typical expected web to style flow, and create a wallet in the process. So that's the super high level TLDR. Under the hood, what magic really is is like a decentralized key management solution. So we help other brands or businesses or DAP developers create very user friendly experiences. So that if you are, let's say, launching an NF T project, you are not limited to a subset of users who have a Metamask wallet or understand what a wallet is, you can really kind of reach the other 99% of the world who definitely have an email address, and honestly should not need to know all that much about crypto or web three, to dip their toes in the water and get that first experience. So that's really what we're optimizing for, is helping people who have no crypto knowledge or previous experience, getting that first sort of on chain interaction, and in many cases, they don't even know they're doing it. And I think that's perfectly okay.

Dee 11:47

Yeah, I think with the wave of the idea of account extraction, the idea of like more ways to onboard the masses, especially as we go through this bear market, tools, like magic are definitely critical. And, and like tapping into, you know, the normies, so to speak, I think for so long, because we didn't have that much extensive to web three didn't have to cater to folks that weren't like a part of the ethos, it was definitely very much given. You can't sit with us. And when the bear market here, people were like, oh, JK, we need more users. We're gonna need to like, onboard people and meet people where they're at more and more. And I'm starting to see that on Twitter and different web three, like figures talk about that. So magic. And speaking of that, like how, as a designer for magic, it's a very interesting position to be in because you're building a tool that is for developers and for end users at the same time. How did that experience been? Like, like how you balance those two?

Zack 12:57

It's a really interesting problem area, I'll tell you that. So before joining magic, I had previously only worked on direct to consumer products. So I was very used to simplifying everything as much as possible. When writing copy, making sure that it's at like an elementary grade reading level, really tried to make things as simplistic and accessible as possible. And so it took a little bit of adjusting to join magic and start working on dev tools and designing for a completely different audience, more technical, sort of audience. But it's been fun. I mean, it took some learning. But there's, you know, the camp of our direct customers, who in many cases are developers, and want very nitty gritty, technical, logical details. But there are also other stakeholders within those businesses that we try to design for. So depending on the touch point, you know, if we're on the marketing website, we might be designing not for a developer, but actually like a chief product officer, or even a designer. So there are different I would say personas within that sort of like larger business umbrella. It's not only developers, even though developers are the ones ultimately implementing our SDK. So even within that sort of like business umbrella, there are definitely different personas and different considerations we take into account when designing and then when the end user side, you know, it's much more nebulous we are in that case, trying to put forward more of a like, direct consumer sort of experience that is very simple, opinionated in UX, but maybe not quite as opinionated in UI, if that makes sense. Because we want to be delivering basically like Lego bricks that our customers can build with, to ideally create whatever kind of experience they want. So like modularity and flexibility is really important in terms of the components we're creating and the SDK design. But the end user experience should always be as kind of simple and straightforward as possible.

Dee 15:14

Yeah, definitely, I think in that's another I guess I'm one of the many challenges of being a designer web three, is that in traditional sense, usually you're a b2c, or b2b. And in web three, often a lot of applications are b2b and b2b see at the same time and catering to both of those different audiences, especially when nine times out of 10, you're probably the only design there are like very low staffed, and web three and holding both of those personas in mind that each touch point. Um, I one, one question I want to ask was like, How do you feel that like magic is adding to the to the goal of like mass adoption? Like, how have you observed people using the product? And does it like, basically do what the sentence does, which is like, make it easier for people to take gain onboard to one three?

Zack 16:08

Yeah. Let's see, I've got a good a lot of thoughts on this. But I think what it kind of boils down to for me is that if we want to onboard the next billion people to web three, we can't expect every single one of those people to set up a hardware wallet, or even, you know, download a Metamask extension and go through that onboarding process. Because as an end user, I might be somewhat interested in getting an NF T, I probably am not interested enough to spend multiple hours educating myself doing homework and jumping through the hoops to get this sort of, like sidecar product setup, before I can even you know, address my initial like job to be done, right. So, I think where magic comes in, is trying to decrease the barrier to entreaty as much as possible for that first time user experience when it comes to web three. I think right now, I'm pulling these numbers out of thin air. But what it feels like to me is that there's 1% of crypto power users out there who are responsible for 99% of on chain activity. And so metrics point of view is that the most pragmatic path to onboarding the other 99% of internet citizens, so to speak, is by tapping into these like very large, pre existing audiences, which is why we've been working really closely and seeing a lot of success with big incumbent brands and enterprises, like Mattel, for example. And helping them implement web three into their existing products and their existing IP. And that kind of allows for more of a progressive onboarding experience, right, you don't need to ramp up and know everything about web three, or, you know, be that kind of super expert power user. We want to make it as easy as possible to get that first, again, like toe in the water. And then start to consider a much longer term, kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure, progressive onboarding, get your foot in the door as easily as possible. And then you know, if you start collecting a lot of NNPS, or have a lot of value stored in your wallet, and you need additional kind of like power features. Ultimately, magic wants to be there for you. But at least as of today, you're free to kind of take your private keys and graduated to a different wallet, or tapped in deeper into more like power user use cases throughout the ecosystem. But we want to make it really easy to get that kind of first time experience for everyone.

Dee 19:10

Yeah, and I think I'm building on that, like onboarding in general, right, let's say you want what are some of the things that you've seen in the web three space that has made onboarding difficult, like getting that next million users difficult? And how should we approach like speaking to the masses, and like various contexts and web three?

Zack 19:35

For me, it always goes back to actual use cases and user intent. So like one kind of like pitfall that I see a lot of daps making or just web three brands in general, is you have that sort of like prerequisite of creating a wallet or connecting a wallet, before you can even start to follow through on it. The reason you came to a platform or website to to use like when to sort of ecommerce as an example, when you go to checkout, you don't necessarily need to create an account for h&m or whatever, before you can enter your credit card info and actually purchase an item, right? That kind of checkout experience is built around your intent to buy a t shirt. And creating an account is kind of like a nice to have that is baked into it. So something that we've seen successfully that magic is thinking through, like, what are the actual use cases that we're seeing come up throughout the ecosystem? And how can we optimize the wallet creation process around that to make it as frictionless as possible? One example is like NF T checkout. So we've been investing lately, NF T minting an NF T delivery API's along with like an NF T checkout product. And what that actually looks like is instead of this kind of convoluted, multi step process of creating a wallet, topping up that wallet with crypto for the first time, which is a super painful and long experience, and then spending that crypto trying to purchase an NF T collapsing those steps together as much as possible around the intent of buying an NF t. So with magic, you can actually add an NFT to your shopping cart, click Checkout, put in some credit card info, purchase the NFT with Fiat. And at the end of that checkout experience, you've created a magic wallet in the process. It's very seamless, it's very kind of went into style. But it does still have the same base components. It's just about how it's framed. And I think the user experience being built around that initial intent, instead of just putting gates hurdles in front of users upfront, if that makes sense.

Dee 22:06

Yeah, it does. I think I mean, in the, in the, you know, the, the bull market, users were highly motivated, you know, because the market was so high. And people were like, I gotta get on this crypto thing. And I'll make a quick buck. And so because people were highly motivated, I remember, like, people were fumbling through terrible user experiences, to an onboarding experiences in order to get to the thing, right. And so there was no incentive at the time to optimize for onboarding. And now that we're, you know, we're down bad. And we really are realizing collectively that like, in order for this whole thing to work, we're gonna have to onboard the masses. Now I'm seeing that pivot. But I think the one thing that I feel like web three suffers from is is like a language barrier. And I have one in a lot. So like, when I first started in web three, I want to say at 20, I'm late to the party compared to most 2020, like during pandemic error. I saw all these people on Twitter talking to me, I could have been speaking clean, like, I didn't know what the hell people were talking about, like I to the point where I was like googling on Twitter, like what like, what are these words? Like, I was like, what is the Dow? What is, you know, LARPing in this context mean, what is, you know, like, the language that we use, and I think, because we live it and breathe it, it's very apparent, and a lot of our app experience is that we're assuming a lot of the user, and we're assuming, we're assuming competencies. And in my like, in my career as a web three researcher and designer, the one thing you can't bank on is a baseline competency, because everybody has different levels of intelligence on like, a competencies based on their interests like me, I'm personally like an NF T girl like I love NF T's. I know, the process. I know all goes into it. I like him a casual trader. But you can't assume that I know what concentrated liquidity means, you know, even though I'm a web three power user. Yeah.

Zack 24:16

I think between that credibly enjoyable weirdness that I've mentioned earlier, and being exclusive, shutting people out who are not part of the secret club or know that the lingo I totally agree a lot of times I kind of think of myself almost as like a translator, like I see web three designers jobs, and I guess, digital designers in general, to to really be becoming a subject matter expert, so that you can boil things down to be as accessible and straightforward to a larger audience as possible. A little bit of a tangent, but yeah, it's something I'm very passionate about. as well, for sure.

Dee 25:00

And that's why research is important. And I think there's like a couple of factors that like prevent us from making better onboarding experiences, I think one, we kind of have like a very, like yellow culture and building and web three. And so we tend to underestimate what all goes into, like a designed experience and like a thoughtful experience. I think. Secondly, we're all in startup blood. And different startups have so, so much money and depending on like, the background of your founder, they might not like value, like doing a research round to do an onboarding experience, they may not value like information gathering or competitive analysis. And so that kind of prevents the designer from designing from a place of understanding if the if the opportunity is given to like it to really get to know your users through through research and traditional means. I guess, in your experience, like, what do you think is like, not not the user problem, but our problem as builders, and why do you think like onboarding, still struggles and a lot of applications?

Zack 26:08

Great question. I gotta sound like a broken record. But I really do think it goes back to use cases. And not just use cases, but real use cases that resonate and deliver value to real people. So not just speculation, not super technical, defy platforms, not building for the sake of building. But creating products or experiences that are truly novel and truly valuable. I'm still not seeing much of that in the space today. There's a lot of novel stuff and a lot of fun stuff. But if I were to try to think of a killer app, to recommend to, let's say, my parents, or a friend who knows nothing about web three, I don't know where I would point them. Like, I'm very excited to see a lot of brands and projects moving towards utility, I think there's a lot of promising use cases for NF T's portable identity, and decentralized identity is something I'm personally very passionate about. I think those are a couple of the like, really exciting potential use cases. But as of today, they are still mostly potential. So I think that's one of the biggest barriers to entry is people talk a lot about onboarding the next billion to web three, and you can create like the slickest UI imaginable. You can break down the onboarding process to be like very progressive, and instead of overloading users with information, break it down into like, 20 steps. But I think ultimately, it goes back to like, why should people be interested in the first place? A lot of the mainstream headlines are around like speculative. JPEGs, or meme coins, like, quadrupling in value overnight. I don't think that is sustainable, or ultimately, like very interesting to me. So I think onboarding is really about, like, how can we utilize this technology to enable something impactful? That cannot be done with web two?

Dee 28:21

It's the age old question question of why should I care? I think, exactly. I challenge like, although the work that I do, I challenge my team to think about it. Like why should anyone care about this? Like, what is our angle? Because like, we can get super excited and super amped for something. But as the enmasse is really gonna care, we really, are we painkillers? Are we vitamins, you know, and I think, honestly, I was talking to someone on Twitter again, about this about like, oh, how like a lot of web three apps, especially in the in the tooling space, like they have no revenue. They don't have, you know, ways of like monetizing, if you are building for for web three teams, and you can't, and like a lot of teams don't have the money to like, pay for a web three tooling app and the way SAS was. And the person was basically emphasizing well, like people are already making money via transactions. And I'm just like, if transactions are the only way for us to monetize web three, then only a handful of apps are ever going to survive, essentially. And so not only do we like suffer from lack of use case, we also suffer from lack of like, potential revenue. Our ways of monetizing that isn't just like transactional based like fees, which is like no user wants to be charged a fee for every single web three app that they use or interact with, like, that's not sustainable.

Zack 29:52

Yeah, the average person isn't living paycheck to paycheck. You're just not going to be able to onboard a billion people to web three. If the primary use case is buying a $5,000 image that you don't even know, afterwards, ultimately, my not so hot take but maybe take depending on the audience's that, like the technology really doesn't matter. Nobody? No, no, like normal person outside of tech cares about the underlying tech, they care about the value that gets delivered, like arts scroll through Facebook on a daily basis. You don't know anything about like, you know, HTTP requests and IP addresses and stuff like that. And they shouldn't have to, right. It's really just about like, what the technology enables

Dee 30:40

this, I think, actually, Oh, William Michael Williams from serotonin was actually talking about this in a talk earlier what he was saying kind of the same thing you're saying, which is like value, like, one, like really good use case for decentralization, its content creators, right? Because a lot of people are making their living, creating content on Tik Tok on YouTube, on Instagram. And if these big companies tech companies go under, or like, for instance, recently, they were talking to talks of textile ban, that's like all your income gone, because of the platform has gone. And so decentralization to that person is very like appealing, because in an opportunity to own their own content and take your wherever they want to go, is very appealing, it's a good use case, because as a creator, it's a pain in the butt to have to reload, upload your content to different platforms, if one goes down. And and so that's the case for decentralization to that person. But if you talk about it, and like techie times, like karate creators, decentralization, blah, blah, like use those terms, they're gonna be like, why? What is this? I don't I don't care about decentralization. If you're throwing a bunch of words at me that don't matter, you know, what you should talk about is like ownership and the idea of owning data and taking it and taking it around. And that's where you meet people at is like the value of the benefit, like, why should I care? You know,

Zack 32:02

exactly, yeah, I think it's about building around and on top of kind of some of the core inherent principles of web three, like ownership, interoperability, things like that. As soon as you start getting into the weeds of like, exactly how that's possible, or the technical constraints, or the buzzwords of like incentive alignment and stuff, people are just going to tune out like you're not going to reach the audience that you need to be reaching. That's where I would I guess, go back to this idea of like, becoming an expert so that your users don't have to,

Dee 32:39

exactly. I will say, as a web UI designer, what are some of the biggest obstacles you face? Like? Like on the day to day doing your job? Like what is what are the hardest parts of being a designer and web three? From your perspective?

Zack 32:58

That's a great question. I do feel really lucky to be working at magic with a team that cares so much about products and great user experiences. I don't feel like I ever need to fight an uphill battle in terms of user empathy or doing the right thing or making smart decisions around UX and product. So that's really great. I would say, more broadly, some of the challenges that I've observed. Kind of really pushing, I think, for the average person. We've touched on it a few times so far during this conversation, but crypto is crypto and web three is a bubble within a bubble. So like different is that the sort of like tech bubble, and then within that this corner of like crypto and web three. And I think over time, people get very acclimated to some of those more like insider terms and ideas and concepts and forget that 99% of the world has no idea that half of this exists or how it works. So I think pushing for the quote unquote, average person or the the more non technical stakeholder is something that designers are uniquely positioned to do like not losing sight of the fact that we are operating in a very small kind of microcosm with a lot of potential. But there's still a huge gap between the stuff that we are reading and talking about and designing for on a daily basis, and the lived experience of like the rest of the world outside of that bubble.

Dee 34:43

Yeah, I would agree. I was I guess I can speak to the obstacles I face so far. Definitely a couple of different places. I think. My first thing is, and I've talked about this before, but the hardest part is being under sourced, I think a lot of what we places only have one designer to like five devs. And so when you're the only designer, you not only have to like hold the product torch, but you also have to hold the branding torch and the marketing torch was a lot of torches to handle. I think when a designer is overwhelmed development will lead design, because like, then the designer is just not going to be able to have a capacity to have their hands on everything. And so what that results in is a lot of like, disjointed user experiences. Um, I think secondly, the hardest part of building for this space is the having to hold so many user personas and one app. I think like, like we talked about before, you can't just think you have to think about every touchpoint and who that touch point is for versus and international work. Typically, you're only you're holding a handful of personas. And those personas are just kind of variations of the same person. They're not like so radically different. Um, and so because you're constantly having to build for different audiences, that adds a level of complexity to design. And going back to my first one, if you're the only designer like having to code all that is a lot. And so I think I think thirdly, I think it's um, honestly, it's culture, depending on the organization, you work with a UX maturity might be very low. And so if the if the if, like if you have to be the only person in a web three organization that is like, have high UX maturity, you have to carry your team through like just like bad, like, not I want to not bad, but just like, I want to say ignorant perspective on design. Like this is a hard build a lot of like, thresholds across you got across the like being understaffed threshold and working at a startup, they got across the complexity of just designing in web three, and how hard and different that is. And then the third hump you had to cross is like getting your team to like, understand the UX and the importance of it and like why, and why you should approach things in a certain way. And so we're, we're hopping, hopping over those hurdles. And like, a lot of times we're falling or tripping. And we can't like across all those thresholds, especially by ourselves a lot of times, and that's kind of like the obstacles that I've experienced so far.

Zack 37:29

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I mean, on top of that, the space changes and evolves so quickly, that there's this kind of like a treadmill that you need to always be on in terms of following the news and understanding where where the space is headed, and what sort of narratives are kind of emerging, which is like a whole kind of like, meta layer, I guess, on top of the day to day and the ice work and all that stuff.

Dee 37:56

Yeah, for sure. Well, my last question before we can, like wrap up here is like, as a, you know, I noticed that like, a lot of web three companies are slowly but surely starting to hire more designers. It's slow going, but it's happening. What has been your like, hardest part of like hiring in this space are like getting new talent into the space, you would say.

Zack 38:29

Something that I have observed going through the hiring process over the last years, though, is that it's very difficult to find someone who is both an excellent designer, and has knowledge or passion for for web three. And I think part of that is because web three is fairly nascent, fairly young. It's pretty exclusive for a lot of the reasons we've already mentioned, like during this conversation. And there's this sort of like negative feedback loop, where up until recently, there hasn't been a whole lot of great design in web three. So I think I think that might be a bit off putting to some designers. I think it's like an interesting challenge for others, like it's part of the reason I was drawn to the space is all this Greenfield opportunity. But a lot of the hiring process, in my experience has been either folks who are very passionate and knowledgeable about web three, but are maybe a little too in the weeds, and like the technology more than the solutions or the use cases, or folks who are much more senior in their design experience, but know very little to nothing about web three, which creates a pretty challenging like ramp up process. Yeah. Yeah. That said, I do like to fundamentally believe any great designer He is eager to tackle big and complex problems and should be able to approach even the most complex thing like blockchain or web three, with a spirit of kind of like curiosity and wrap up fairly quickly. And so I don't think, you know, having years of experience in web three, or like intimate familiarity with Blockchain concepts is a non starter or even that much of a negative. I think it's about finding designers who have an open mind are eager to challenge or eager to tackle big challenges, and can apply design thinking broadly to, to whatever it is they're facing. And web three is just one sort of, I guess, like, area where that can be applied.

Dee 40:45

Yeah, honestly, I agree. I mean, I came into this space knowing nothing about web three, and I like a contract and for sushi, and it took me about a month or two to skill up. And then after that, it was more like, I think the hardest part of onboarding web three is like, I had to evolve my, my design process to be more modular than linear. Meaning that like, I was so used to like doing design and the very, like, Okay, we'll do this, and then we do that, and then we do like, you know, just kind of like a cadence, and working in web three, and startups realizing that Oh, I have to like, be very flexible and like modify my processes. And granted, I came into the space like a mid level design and like reaching senior, but I will say like, learning how to when to apply the design principles, and the context was like the hardest part of learning web three, and also like the challenges of just not having a lot of resources and having to be nimble and modify your process, you know, according to the organization and important to like the resources that you have.

Zack 41:54

Yeah, yeah, it can feel like a wild wild west at points but at least personally, that's that's part of the excitement for me.

Dee 42:01

Yeah, definitely scale up a lot faster than anywhere else. All right. Well, this has been a great talk about design with three use cases use cases use cases they still go we landed on

Zack 42:16

an active enough. I've been doing a lot more than I am tweeting. But yeah, you can learn more about magic link. And it's been awesome chatting. I really appreciate you reaching out and talking today is great.

Dee 42:31

Yeah, for sure. Thank you so much for finishing this episode. Design it out. To learn more about us, follow us on Twitter, and our website designer dashed out dot XYZ. Till next time

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