Understanding the difference between front-end and back-end is crucial with Web3 technology. The term “front-end” describes the part of Web3 applications that consumers interact with directly. This includes the user side of the technology, websites and decentralized applications (DApps).
The backend, on the other hand, refers to the complex system that supports these Web3 applications. Everything from distributed ledgers and smart contracts to consensus protocols are included here.
However, accessibility and simplicity are important for Web3 adoption. When the technical complexities of Web3 are emphasized too much on the front-end (such as managing cryptographic keys or understanding blockchain concepts), it can alienate a significant portion of potential users. It is important to make the user experience and interactions smooth and easy to understand so that the end user does not have to worry about the technical details.
By prioritizing accessibility and simplicity, Web3 technology can be more attractive to diverse users. This approach helps bridge the gap between knowledgeable early adopters of blockchain technology and the broader general audience.
Harrison Hines, CEO and co-founder of Fleek, a Web3 app development platform, told Cointelegraph: “Simplicity and accessibility were key to the widespread growth of computers, smartphones, mobile apps and even, very recently , AI. Hiding technical complexities in the back-end follows the same logic. Developers are also end users and need tools/infrastructure that are easy to use and build.”
Benefits of hiding Web3 in the backend
User experience can be improved by making blockchain-based applications easier to navigate. When users are protected from the technical complexities associated with blockchain technology and cryptographic keys, they can interact with Web3 applications in a manner similar to using traditional web applications. This streamlined experience encourages users to explore and adopt Web3 applications without feeling intimidated by their complexity.
Simplified onboarding for non-technical users
When the onboarding process is simple, people who are not familiar with blockchain technology can quickly get started with Web3 applications. This approach reduces the learning curve and allows a larger and more diverse user base to access the benefits of Web3 without requiring in-depth knowledge of its technical aspects.
For example, Immutable Passport simplifies the onboarding process for WAGMI Defense users by offering a simple, password-free registration experience. With just a few taps, users can create an account, eliminating the need to manage passwords. Altogether, Passport establishes a non-custodial wallet in the background, providing a secure repository for users’ digital assets.
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Authentication options are streamlined, allowing users to choose between popular methods such as Google, Apple, or email logins.
Passport’s interoperability feature also enables seamless logins across all games and markets within the Immutable ecosystem.
This approach ensures a user-friendly experience, especially for those unfamiliar with Web3 technologies. According to the Web3 game franchise WAGMI Games, this feature allows you to add more players.
Kostas Kroustaloudis, director of development at WAGMI Games, told Cointelegraph: “Simplifying the onboarding process for non-technical users is critical to driving widespread adoption of Web3 technology. “Most people have little patience for complex technical interfaces.”
Kroustaloudis continued: “In fact, the likelihood of someone uninstalling an app skyrockets with each additional click or tap needed to reach their goal. This is especially crucial when introducing new titles to players. The difference between success and failure can often depend on reducing just one extra click.”
Attract more users and developers
According to some experts, making it easier to create applications that hide Web3 components in the back-end can attract more developers and bring more Web3 applications to the market.
Fleek’s Hines said: “The main benefit is making it easier and more accessible for more developers to build applications using Web3 technologies in their backends.”
Hines continued: “It’s just a numbers game. The more developers you have creating more Web3-based applications, the more likely (and faster) you will start to find successful applications that drive widespread adoption. It’s the same thing we saw happen on Web2 and mobile devices. “Users discovering new Web3 applications that they like is what will encourage them to try others.”
Minimize user errors and risks
The back-end hiding of Web3 technology has the added benefit of minimizing user errors and risks. When users are not exposed to technical complexities, there is a lower likelihood of making critical errors, such as mishandling cryptographic keys or engaging in insecure transactions.
This is especially important in decentralized financial applications, where minor errors can lead to significant financial losses.
Minimize user errors and risks
A notable example of a Web3 backend implementation is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). ENS allows users to replace long, cryptic Ethereum addresses with human-readable domain names.
This technology can be integrated into applications, giving users a seamless experience. Users can send cryptocurrency to “john.eth” instead of “0x4cbe58a94d991087fa2dc648b1e33f55dbb53f4f2”, making transactions less error-prone.
Coinbase uses cb.id usernames, a form of ENS domain, to streamline cryptocurrency transfers and user interaction. These usernames are associated with the ENS infrastructure, simplifying complex wallet addresses by offering a human-readable alternative.
In addition to this, cb.id usernames automatically redirect web users to the respective Web3 profiles at profile.coinbase.com.
Regarding blockchain games, WAGMI Games is another example. Its WAGMI Defense mobile app uses a free business model and features a familiar user experience. Players start by getting a free basic card game. Let’s say a player wants to play more challenging games with the chance to earn higher ranks and potential prizes. In that case, they can purchase NFT characters with real money, similar to traditional apps.
While blockchain serves as the foundation for the game’s technology, players interact with the game through a more traditional interface. This design can decrease the perceived complexity and difficulty in using blockchain and NFT features, making them more accessible to a broader audience.
For builders looking to create more user-friendly and fluid Web3 applications, a key consideration is implementing gas optimization strategies. Gas fees are an inherent part of many blockchain transactions and can be a significant barrier for users.
Builders can improve the gas fee problem by using layer 2 solutions such as state channels, diverting transactions from the main chain, reducing congestion and improving user experience, especially for gaming DApps.
Additionally, they can choose low-cost blockchains such as BNB Smart Chain, Solana or Polkadot to create economical environments, especially for microtransactions.
Kroustaloudis agreed, telling Cointelegraph: “Gas fees, particularly in the context of apps that rely on microtransactions, can be a major hurdle. Even a $0.10 gas fee, when incurred frequently, can be problematic. With the emergence of several new L2 chains like Coinbase’s BASE and Immutable’s L2 solution, gas fees are no longer a concern.”
“Depending on the nature of the application, choosing to build on layer 2 becomes an obvious choice to achieve mass adoption. To embark on this journey, developers must thoroughly research the needs of their target users and determine the most appropriate gas optimization strategy for their project.”
Zero-knowledge (ZK) technology, specifically ZK rollups, can reduce the load on the main chain by bundling off-chain transactions into a single smart contract, offering faster confirmation times and lower fees. Builders can integrate ZK rollups to make their applications more efficient and cost-effective, while improving the user experience.
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Builders should also consider optimizing for mobile devices. Many users access Web3 apps on their smartphones, so ensuring that an app is mobile-responsive and works seamlessly on various screen sizes and devices is crucial for widespread adoption.
For users who plan to use Web3 applications, it is essential to maintain awareness and knowledge about the technology. Web3 and blockchain are evolving rapidly, and staying informed about the latest developments, security best practices, and user guidelines can help users make informed decisions to protect their digital assets.