The Ultimate Guide to User Research in Decentralized Finance

4 October 2023

In the ever-changing landscape of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), knowing your audience is vital. This simplified guide will delve into why understanding your users matters in DeFi and give you useful tips on conducting this research.

Why User Research Matters in DeFi

DeFi is making financial services more accessible for all. However, with this inclusivity, we see a variety of users with differing needs, expectations, and levels of knowledge. Comprehending these users is key in building DeFi apps that not only meet but exceed their expectations.
Studying user behavior, desires, drivers, and issues can shed light on every facet of a DeFi app, from its interface and features to its marketing and customer support.

Knowing Your Users

The initial phase in user research is figuring out who your users are. Generally, in DeFi, you can sort users into three types: cryptocurrency fans, finance experts, and beginners in the field.
Crypto fans are usually tech-savvy people with a good grasp of blockchain tech and significant experience in the crypto world. Finance experts are likely to know traditional finance inside out but may be new to decentralization. Beginners might be drawn to DeFi's potential but might not fully understand finance or blockchain.
Remember, these categories can be split further based on aspects like location, age, income, and so on.

How to Research Users

After identifying your user base, it's time for the actual research. Here are a few ways to do that:


Surveys are an easy and cost-friendly way to collect information from a wide user base. They can help you gather demographic data, learn about users' financial aspirations, measure their DeFi knowledge, and more.
For instance, you could distribute a survey to your users asking them about their financial goals and expectations. Ask questions like:
• "What are your top three financial goals for the next five years?"
• "How would you rate your current understanding of DeFi on a scale of 1 to 10?"
• "What features are most important to you in a DeFi app?"
Say your survey results show that a significant number of users rate their understanding of DeFi at 5 or below. This could indicate a need for educational content or a more intuitive design that simplifies the user experience. If many users express that their main goal is to grow their savings safely, this might inspire new features focused on low-risk investments.


Interviews offer a deeper comprehension of individual users. They can gather qualitative data and shed light on users' motivations, issues, and interactions with your DeFi app.
You might conduct one-on-one interviews with a selection of users, where you dive deeper into their experience with your app. Questions could include:
• "What drew you to our DeFi app?"
• "Have you encountered any problems or difficulties while using our app?"
• "How does our app help you in reaching your financial goals?"
During an interview, a user might reveal that they find certain terminologies or processes confusing, signifying a need to simplify your app's language or user journey. Another user might express a strong desire for a feature you hadn't thought of, like a DeFi learning center or a step-by-step guide for each transaction.

User Testing

User testing lets you watch users interact with your app, offering insights into usability problems and areas for enhancement.
For user testing, you could ask participants to perform certain tasks on your app while you observe their interactions. Tasks might include making a transaction, navigating to different sections, or using a specific feature of the app. Look for any areas where users get stuck or seem confused.
If multiple test users struggle to complete a transaction, it suggests that the transaction process is too complex and needs to be simplified. If users miss out on utilizing key features, it may mean these features are not prominently displayed or intuitively placed in your app, indicating a need for layout or navigation adjustments.


Analytics can yield tons of information about user behavior. Studying metrics like user engagement, conversion rates, and where users stop using your app can reveal trends that can guide your design choices.
Utilize in-app analytics to identify user trends and behaviors. You could look at metrics like how often users log in, what features they use most, at what stage in the app they drop off, etc. For instance, if you find that users frequently exit the app at a specific point, this could indicate a design problem that needs addressing.
Analytics might show that users are frequently exiting the app at the transaction confirmation stage. This could indicate that this process is too complex or that users are unsure about transaction fees or outcomes. This insight could inspire you to simplify this process or add more information at this stage to build user confidence. If you see high engagement with educational content, it suggests a strong user interest in learning more about DeFi, pointing to the need for more such content.

Comprehending User Behavior

It's crucial to grasp how users interact with your DeFi app. Look for patterns in their actions. Are there features they find confusing? Are they using the app in unexpected ways? The answers can provide valuable inputs to enhance your UX design.

Wrapping Up

Understanding your users is the foundation of a successful DeFi app. Comprehensive user research allows you to grasp your users' needs, motives, and actions, enabling you to build an app that genuinely suits them.User research isn't a one-and-done task. User requirements and behaviors can shift, especially in a dynamic sector like DeFi. Hence, user research should be a continuous process, always informing your design choices and helping your DeFi app to grow with its users.

At Refire Design, we believe in the power of insight-driven innovation. As a leading Web3 design studio, we're adept at carrying out comprehensive user research to understand your unique audience. From conducting insightful surveys and in-depth interviews to performing user testing and studying analytics, our team is proficient in gathering and interpreting user data. We dig deep to uncover user needs, behaviors, and expectations, using this knowledge to shape intuitive, engaging, and effective DeFi applications. Our commitment to understanding your users paves the way for creating designs that don't just meet expectations, but exceed them.